The Difference Between Casters and Wheels

Moving heavy loads to and from different points of the worksite is essential in completing different types of projects. However, although this is a repetitive task for most jobs, it can still be challenging and dangerous when done manually and without the help of castors and wheels.

Your employees may get injured when forcing themselves to carry and transport heavy pieces of equipment and materials. They may also cause damage to the worksite when they accidentally drop a heavy object on the floor or bang it against walls.

Fortunately, different kinds of machines and tools have been created to help you with transporting heavy materials and pieces of equipment. Some examples of this kind of equipment include hand trucks, pallet jacks, and forklifts.

Aside from making lifting tasks easier and safer, these machines and tools have one more thing in common. They either use casters or wheels to get the job done efficiently.

Differentiating Wheels and Casters

Most people use the terms casters and wheels interchangeably. This is an understandable mistake because the two devices are often used in the same applications and may even look alike. However, you should remember that they are two different materials that make moving heavy loads around the jobsite much easier.

What is a Wheel?

A wheel is a common device often found almost anywhere. It is one of the six classical simple machines that have been used by humans for centuries.

Simply speaking, a wheel is a round material that has a hole in the middle made to fit an axle or spindle. It is designed to roll off a flat surface, such as the ground or a track, to make transporting heavy loads easier. The wheel also allows machines and materials to be moved with much less energy by reducing the friction of the object with the surface.

Common Applications of Wheels

Wheels can be found in a variety of applications, from the smallest gadgets to the largest vehicles. You can even see them being used right when you step outside your door.

Most commonly, wheels are used for cars and trucks. The round shape of the tire allows the vehicle to move forward with ease on the road. The same concept applies to bicycles, which is why they are often called “rolling machines.”

In industrial settings, wheels are also used different kinds of heavy equipment. They are usually attached to the bottom of the equipment to make moving it around the jobsite much easier. Some examples of this kind of equipment include forklifts.


What is a Caster?

A caster is a type of device consisting of a “fork” or “yoke” and a wheel. The fork or yoke is a type of bracket that holds the wheel in place. This bracket is also what differentiates a caster from a common wheel.

Applications of Casters

Casters are often used in settings where there is a need to move heavy objects around. This includes both industrial and domestic settings.

In an industrial setting, casters are commonly used in machines, such as hand trucks and pallet jacks. They are also used in dollies and other types of equipment designed to move heavy materials around the jobsite.

Casters are also used in domestic settings, such as in office chairs and shopping carts. Your furniture may also be fitted with casters if they are too heavy to move around. The casters make it much easier to move these objects without having to lift them off the ground.

Types of Casters

There are two different types of casters, depending on how they are mounted. They are the swivel and rigid casters.

Swivel casters are the most common type of caster. As the name suggests, these casters can swivel or rotate 360 degrees. This allows the object fitted with swivel casters to be moved in any direction.

Rigid or fixed casters, on the other hand, can only move forward and backward in a straight line. This type of caster is often used in heavy equipment, such as dollies and hand trucks.

To achieve the best balance between maneuverability and strength, swivel and rigid casters are often used together. Swivel casters are fitted on the rear of a device while rigid casters are placed in front.

caster wheels

Choosing Between Wheels and Casters

Now that you know the difference between wheels and casters, it’s time to decide which one is better for your needs. Whichever you think will best suit your requirements, each material can definitely help you with your lifting tasks.

If you need high-quality casters for your project, you can count on us at Global Nexus Corporation. We offer different kinds of casters, which are sourced from reputable manufacturers around the world. Talk to us to learn more.

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