Whether it's a piece of furniture you're building or a piece of equipment in a warehouse that needs new caster wheels, it's good to ensure you take your time to choose just the right wheels for the job. You may assume there isn't much difference in caster wheels, but sometimes even the smallest detail can make some wheels safer and easier to work with. Note a few details you don't want to overlook when selecting caster wheels.


Thick tread on your car's tires helps to grip the pavement and keep your car steady. The same is true for caster wheels; thicker tread will mean a better grip over rough pavement such as a cement floor. You also need that thick tread for any piece of equipment you'll be using outdoors and running over soft soil, such as a power washer.  However, that thick tread can also chew up carpeting, so for a bookcase or other such indoor pieces, choose smooth caster wheels with no tread.

Number of wheels

Of course you'll typically need four caster wheels for any piece, but note the number of wheels on each caster. Some have dual wheels, to help disperse the weight of a very heavy piece and keep it balanced as it's being moved. This also helps protect the caster itself from breaking when you turn a corner, as more weight is then put on the right or left wheels alone. For that large bookcase, toolboxes, or other such items, opt for dual casters.


Consider the material of the caster plate and screws. Heavy, solid steel will have less risk of cracking under that very heavy bookcase or toolbox, although a lighter plastic may be sufficient for a small rolling island for your kitchen and other lightweight pieces.

Also, note the material of the caster wheel itself. Rubber is usually more durable than brittle plastic, which may crack and chip over time and especially when run over a rough floor surface. Rubber is also a better noise insulator, so less noise is made every time you move a piece with rubber caster wheels. However, if you need caster wheels for a medical setting, a food warehouse, or anywhere where germs and cleanliness may be an issue, be sure you opt for food-grade plastic wheels. Even though these wheels are more brittle than rubber, food-grade plastic will hold fewer germs and bacteria from the floor and other surfaces.