Choosing Caster Wheels: What to Look For

Close-Up A Caster Wheel On Wood FloorCasters are wheels typically mounted on the underside of a piece of equipment, making it easier to move, turn, roll, or swivel. They are widely used in industrial carts, platform and hand trucks, assemblies and pallet rack systems, increasing portability while ensuring that goods are protected from damage during transport. Manufacturers and suppliers of caster wheels offer many different options, so it is important to know which type is suitable for your needs.

Before you choose the caster type for your warehousing or business requirements, you may consider the following factors.


The appropriate choice of caster wheels will depend on the type of environment that you intend to use them. If you’re working outdoors, you will need caster wheels that have higher shock absorption and abrasion resistance. If you’re looking for casters for indoor applications, choose the ones which offer quiet and smooth rollability. Other environmental factors conditions that you also need to consider include exposure to chemicals, floor surface, temperature, moisture, and frequency of use.

Weight Capacity

man pulling an equipment full of boxesSome casters are built to carry heavier loads than others so it is important to consider how much weight they need to move. Choosing the appropriate caster type that will help you prevent workplace accidents or damaging products.

Types of Casters

Casters come in many different types but they may categorized into either swivel or rigid casters. Swivel casters can rotate 360 degrees while transporting load, allowing them to move easily in tight spaces and corners. On the other hand, rigid casters are those that can move forward or backward. While rigid casters can also be turned in any direction, they don’t move as smoothly as swivel casters. Below are some of the most common types of caster wheels based on material.

Metal Casters

This type of casters can be made from forged steel, cast iron, or stainless steel. They offer high tensile strength and greater load capacity which make them ideal for applications where there is high load impact and wheel abuse. Metal casters are also heat and abrasion-resistant and they roll with ease, reducing machine or human energy required to store, move and transport heavy loads. The food, chemical, and pharmaceutical are some of the industries where metals casters are useful.

Rubber Casters

Rubber casters are widely used in pallet systems where loads are less heavy. They may either be bonded on a metal or plastic core. Rubber caster wheels are popular for their noise reduction and floor protection qualities. They are available in different rubber types and tread thickness.

Polyurethane Casters

Polyurethane casters provide great protection on floors. They can be bonded on cast iron, polyolefin, or aluminum, offering smooth and quiet operation, even on rough surfaces. Polyurethane casters can be used on carpet, concrete, tile, smooth steel, or wood and will not damage or leave marks on the floor. This type of casters can resist most chemicals, oils, and debris.

Pneumatic Casters

Best for outdoor and ground support operations, pneumatic casters offers puncture-proof cushioning and superior shock absorption. These air-filled rubber wheels are ideal for both moving fragile loads on rough or uneven surfaces.

With the above information, selecting the right type of caster wheels for your business requirements will be easier.