The Differences Between Casters and Wheels


For people not in “the know,” casters and wheels may look and operate in the exact same way. There are several differences between the two, however, and knowing the differences may be of big help should you ever need to purchase them.



Everyone on the planet should know what a wheel is, as most of us interact with them on a daily basis. From wheels on office chairs to the wheels of your car, you know it is round, typically has a hole in the middle, and assists the object it is attached to in being mobile. The wheel has been one of the biggest inventions in human history.



While a caster includes a wheel, it is more than just a wheel. There are several different kinds of casters out there that you should be aware of:

Swivel casters

casters and wheels


Swivel casters are made in such a way that allows the wheel inside to rotate a full 360 degrees, making it easy to transport heavier loads and maneuver tight corners in workspaces, such as warehouses.


Rigid casters


Also referred to as “fixed casters,” these casters are wheels mounted in simple brackets that do not allow for swiveling. Rigid casters are best used for moving materials back and forth in straight lines, and by the nature of their design, can handle much heavier loads than their swivel caster counterparts.

You’ll find these casters in two different styles, usually plate mounted (equipped with mounting holes for fastening objects), or stem mounted (these have flat surfaces to lock into the object you are attaching it to). The purpose of a caster is to be mounted to almost any object you can imagine to make it able to move around.

Now that you know the different types of casters, you will know exactly what you need when you go to the store to find the right kind of caster for your project.