One of the most sought-after qualities in an office chair is its mobility. The 5 wheels at its bottom allow a smooth movement across the room and you don’t have to get up every time to reach your printer or the colleagues table.
If your chair does not come with good quality wheels, there can be a lot of trouble.
As the rubber covering on the old casters wear off, they ruin your office floor. The wheels also get jammed and at times cause a lot of noise while moving or simply sitting.
Now, you don’t have to stay annoyed with each dysfunction you face while moving your chair.
Here, we are sharing some easy ways to replace office chair casters. You can do it all by yourself at your home or even in the office.
Where to find good casters for your office chair?
Before finalizing the purchase, you should check the number of pieces your chair needs. The office chairs have 5 caster wheels for proper balancing.
The wheels and the caster should be made up of durable materials like steel, aluminium, cast iron, thermoplastic rubber, fiber, etc.
Choose according to the floor where you will use the chair. It would be great if the package you are buying mentions the weight capacity of the casters.
Also, make sure you get the casters with swivels and not the rigid ones that just go forward and backward.
What do you need for changing office chair casters?
- 5 casters
- Grease or any other lubricant
Steps To Replace Office Chair Casters
Replacing the wheels of any movable chairs is quite easier than it looks
After you have checked your old casters and bought the new ones, here is how you can install them on your chair.
Remove the old casters
To remove the older wheels, place the chair on the floor horizontally. Now, carefully one by one pull the casters off the base of the chair.
You should be cautious about not damaging the base while doing this because you won’t be able to put the new wheels afterward. If the old wheels are stuck, use the end of the screwdriver to pry them out.
Though caster wheels have a small grip ring that gets fit in the base, a lot of chair bases come with a different locking mechanism.
The stem of the wheel in such chairs has a neck or a hole in which a pin gets inserted to lock the wheel with the base.
To remove those wheels, you will find a small hole on the base from where you have to lift the locking pin. If your chairs don’t have that hole, unscrew and open the base to remove the wheels.
Clean the sockets and apply grease
A lot of debris gets accumulated in the caster sockets making it tougher for you to install the new ones.
Using a damp cloth, screw driver’s end, or a vacuum cleaner, clean all 5 sockets. Then apply some grease to save the casters from rusting and making noise.
You can also grease the new rolling casters you have bought.
Insert the new casters
Insert the stem of the new casters in their sockets. No matter if the wheels have a grip ring or a carved neck, it should go after you push a little hard.
If it’s having drip ring, just rotate it to get in and if it has carved neck, you can use the hammer to insert the stem
But beware of damaging any part of the wheel. Even minor damage can hamper the smooth mobility of your chair.
Test after replacement
Once you replace office chair casters, place the chair properly and sit on it.
You have to check that all the wheels are levelled and the chair is not bouncing.
Put pressure on all five directions where the wheels are and if you feel bounce on any side, insert the wheel properly.
Also, move your chair forward, backward, and sideways to check if all the wheels are working smoothly.
ALSO READ: How to clean office chair at home
Different Types of Casters for Office Chairs
Here are a few designs that you will find while choosing the casters for your office chairs. Each has its own advantages and a level of strength.
Single wheel casters are budget options for your chairs. These are meant to bear a small amount of weight and the swivel in the casters is not very efficient as well.
These are the most common type of caster type you will see everywhere. The swivel here allows swift movement in all directions and there is more stability as well.
Dual casters not only have more balance than single casters but they put much lower pressure on the floor and there will be a lesser chance of damage.
Dual casters can be without any covering or the ones with a hood at the top to make it look like a single wheel.
The hooded casters have a more presentable design and the dirt accumulated in the wheels is also not visible because of the hood.
Ball casters are generally used in high-quality chairs as they provide the smoothest movement across the floor with a low risk of damaging it.
They are not meant to carry very heavy weight.
There are different types of mechanisms available in these types of casters to stop the mobility of the chair.
Most of these casters have a manual braking system that you enable after sitting on the chair. Others have an auto-lock system which enables the break as the chair gets heavy. The brake is automatically released when there is no weight on the chair.
Casters for different surfaces
As casters are very infamous for ruining your floors with their scratch marks, there are different types of built designs available for different floor types.
Their two most common categories are the carpet casters that are for soft surfaces and the hard surface casters meant to be used on hardwood and tiled floors.
When to replace the wheels of a chair?
Wheels of good office chairs are pretty durable but even if one or two of them get disfigured, you will have to get replace all.
Sometimes, you feel the bounce at one side of the chair, in such case, check if the wheels loosened up or they have lost their shape.
Secondly, if the wheels on your chair didn’t scratch the floor earlier but now you see the marks, it’s high time to replace them.
The wheels that make noise also need replacement. But before that, you should be sure that it’s the wheels that are making noise and not the cylinder.
What is the difference between a caster and a wheel?
Wheel, as you already know is a round object that can go back and forth when attached to a supporting mechanism. The supporting mechanism of these wheels in the chairs is called a caster.
In simple terms, the whole roller unit you insert in the wheel socket at the base is called a caster. Some major parts of a caster are the wheel, axle shaft, bearing, central kingpin, stopper, and stem.