How to Choose Caster Wheels for a Home Project

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Caster wheels can be a good choice for any type of project you're working on at home, whether that's a new oversized toolbox for the garage, a storage bench for the front door where you'll change shoes, or a kitchen island. Not all caster wheels are alike, so it's good to remember a few features about them when you're making your choice; this will ensure that you get the right wheels for the project itself and ensure that your floors are protected as well.

1. Swiveling

Swivel casters can make something easier to push around corners, but note that swiveling casters are also easier to maneuver over cracks in the floor, cords, and the like. When a wheel can swivel slightly as it meets an obstacle, it will continue with its momentum forward rather than resisting that obstacle. Investing in swiveling caster wheels will mean less risk of having your cart or other object topple or slam to a stop every time you hit a crack in the floor. If you'll be rolling the item over your garage floor, uneven floor tile, and the like, always opt for swiveling caster wheels.

2. Material

If your caster wheels are for a simple bench for the entryway, they probably won't be exposed to many chemicals and other such damaging elements. However, in a garage, your caster wheels may run over or run through paint thinner, chemicals and fluids that drip from underneath your car or that are used for woodworking and other such hobbies. Opt for steel wheels or polyurethane in these conditions, as some chemicals and other such materials can damage and erode rubber or thin plastic. However, if you might be working around electricity, you'll want rubber wheels that can ground any potential shock and keep your protected.

3. Weight capacity

Each caster wheel should have a weight capacity listed online or in a catalog; ball bearings are usually recommended for larger weights as they can better disperse this weight as the wheel turns. Note that you want to remember the potential weight of any item when it's fully loaded; your tool cart may not weigh much when it's empty but when you load it up with tools and equipment, it can weigh several hundred pounds. The same is true of that simple bench by the entryway; when it's just carrying shoes, it's very light, but when someone sits on it to change those shoes, your caster wheels will need to support that weight.