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Casters are wheels that let you make chairs, cabinets, appliances, and almost anything else moveable. The variety of casters is almost unlimited, and they are available as follows:

  • stem versus plate mounting - a stem caster includes a short (2"-3") rod that slips into a separate castor socket, commonly found on chairs and beds; for heavier applications, other casters have no stem but instead a flat mounting plate that must be fastened by screws or bolts
  • swivel versus rigid - to be able to move in any direction, pick a swivel caster; rigid casters roll only in one direction
  • size and capacity - caster wheels come in many sizes, with the larger sizes intended for uneven surfaces and heavier loads. Caster wheels also come in wide widths for easier rolling over carpeting and other soft surfaces
  • wheel material - most casters have either plastic or rubber wheels, but heavy duty casters often have steel wheels
  • swivel bearings - for heavy loads, make sure the swivel caster has ball bearings that allow the caster to pivot easily.

For some applications you'll want to be able stop the wheels from turning. You'll find that some casters include a lock for this purpose, but these cost slightly more.

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