Why Having The Correct Casters On Your Office Chair Matters: Don’t End Up Spinning Your Wheels.

office chair caster

Office Chair Caster

If you plan to win the next office chair race at work you had better make sure that your chair has the right casters or else you'll get left at the start.

And even if you don't have chair racing ambitions it’s important to have the correct wheels.

Does this sound like you?
When you decide to move your office chair do you have to lean into it with all your weight and muscle to get it moving? Or is it so easy to move you have to drop an anchor to get it to stop? If either of these is true, your chair wheels are suspect numero uno.

What wheels does the average office chair have?
It’s almost certain that any office chair you buy will come with standard carpet casters. And that's hardly surprising, as the vast majority of chairs will be used on carpeted surfaces.

There's nothing mystical about carpet casters. All it means is that the outside of the wheels are made in hard plastic so that they move smoothly over most types of carpet. However, using them on other surfaces can be unpredictable.

When do you need something different?
Surely chair wheels don't make that much difference do they? As long as my chair moves easily that's all that matters. Well the problem is if you have carpet casters on a chair that's on hard flooring there won't be a problem moving. The problem will be getting it to stop still. Why is that?

For casters to work properly there needs to be a degree of friction between the wheel and the surface it’s being used on. Too much friction makes the chair difficult to move. Too little friction means it rolls at the slightest move you make.

For this reason casters for hard flooring have a softer facing to give the right resistance. What if you don't want to move your chair in relation to your work?

When are no wheels a better idea?
People who work at higher work surfaces will often go for a chair with a footring to rest their feet on. This way of working tends to be more static and casters can sometimes be a bit unstable. Also, meeting room swivel chairs don't need to move very much. For both these situations wheels are often substituted with glides. Glides are small flat feet and help keep the chair static and stable in use. All the other functions work as normal.

What should you do if your chair has the wrong wheels?
In the first instance contact your chair’s supplier and ask if they can supply the correct casters. These are usually inexpensive with a set of 5 normally costing under $30. And if they can’t help there are a number of online suppliers. Either way swopping them is simple.

How easy is it to change them?
Fortunately if you find that your chair has the wrong casters it’s pretty straightforward to fix. Most office chair casters have a push pull fixing arrangement. Just turn your chair on its side, grip each wheel in turn and pull.

Usually they release easily. Next it’s a case of pushing the new ones firmly into place and they will click when properly located. The whole thing should only take a couple of minutes to do. Now you will be in full control of your chair.

Summary

  • Most chairs come with carpet casters
  • Hard flooring needs a different type of caster
  • Glides work well for static use such as chairs with footrings and meeting room chairs
  • Getting replacements is usually straightforward
  • Changing wheels is easy

So make sure your chair has the right wheels, whether you're a boy racer or simply want to be in control of your chair. This site offers a great selection of office chair casters.

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Are Your Office Chair Casters Giving You The Run Around?

If you are using your office chair on a smooth or hard surface like lino, hardwood or ceramic tiles you may be finding that you can't control your chair properly and it seems to want to roll too freely.

It's likely that your chair has got casters that are intended for use on carpets and so is moving much too freely on your smooth, friction free floor.

What you need is to replace the existing wheels with a set of hard floor casters, they're typically rubber faced and so grip on smooth floors better.

You should contact your chair's supplier and see if they stock the right casters, alternatively, you'll find that you can probably get suitable casters from this online specialist.

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How Do I Put An Office Chair Together?

If you've bought an office chair from an online retailer chances are that it will be unassembled to make shipping easier.

Having said that, better quality chairs are usually shipped ready built.

In case you do need to assemble your chair, what will be involved?

Begin by checking to see if there are any assembly instructions included, if not visit the supplier's website or ring customer service.

If you still have no luck, don't worry it's generally pretty simple.

Usually, the 5 star base needs to be connected to the gas lift post and that in turn connects to the underside of the chair seat.

You will normally find that the pneumatic lift post has tapered ends. The wide end goes in the 5 star base and narrow end in the chair seat bottom.

They are usually push fit components, so once located just press down firmly on the seat with your knee, or sit in the seat heavily to force them together.

Chairs that come with arms may need to be fitted and as a rule are held on with bolts or large screws. Make sure you do them up tightly with the correct tool.

The last job is to fit the office chair casters to the base. Generally, they just press into holes in the chair's base, push them firmly to make sure they are properly located.

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Selecting Office Chair Casters For Hard Floors

It's important that you select the right type of office chair caster for your seat.

As standard, office chairs come fitted with casters for use on carpeted floors and they are generally hard nylon.

For hardwood floors you will need a different type of caster and these are usually soft rubber or polypropylene.

For better quality chairs you can usually specify them when ordering. With an existing office chair try contacting the supplier to see what they recommend, alternatively this site has 13 different types of office chair caster and can probably help.

If all else fails you may need to purchase a chair mat to place under your desk, the cheap clear plastic ones aren't very good and tend to bubble up with use.

Snapmat offer an excellent range of quality chair mats, they aren't cheap though but they'll last for years.

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Replacing An Office Chair Caster

If you need to replace a damaged caster on your office chair it's usually a simple thing to do.

Most casters just push in into the socket in the 5 star base.

It's best to contact the chair supplier so that you get the right caster, however if you having problems try this online caster supplier, they carry a wide range of different office seating casters.

Alternatively, you can usually get popular casters from your local Office Depot store and if you take the damaged wheel with you then you'll be able to see if what they have will fit.

If the existing damaged wheel support is still in the socket, just use a screwdriver to lever it out or alternatively use a pair of pliers or grips to pull it out. Then, just push the new wheel stem firmly into socket hole and make sure it is properly located by pulling on it gently.

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