How to Remove Caster Wheels: Do’s and Don’ts
Removing caster wheels from a chair or bed is easier than you might think. Although it may take some arm strength, most people can remove casters swiftly once they learn how. The experts at Caster Central put together a brief guide to help you learn how to remove caster wheels from your office chair.
Caster Central is one of Massachusetts’ leading caster manufacturers. We specialize in creating and distributing high-quality chair casters, hand trucks, threaded caster wheels, and much, much more. Read on to learn how to remove caster wheels and replace them next time your office chair needs maintenance.
How to Remove Caster Wheels from an Office Chair
Caster wheels allow your office chair to glide over surfaces with relative ease. However, broken caster wheels significantly reduce your office chair's mobility, making even the slightest movement sluggish and clumsy. Replacing them with new office chair caster wheels resolves the problem and improves your chair's movability.
The best way to access your office chair’s caster wheels is to place the chair upside down so the headrest and armrests support it. You can also lay the chair on its side if you prefer. This should give you access to the chair’s legs and wheels.
Once you have the chair situated, inspect the wheels to determine if they are grip stem or threaded caster wheels. If they are threaded caster, turn the wheel leftward until it comes off.
Grip stem caster wheels require a bit more strength to remove correctly. Place one hand on your office chair’s base and firmly grasp the wheel with the other. Forcefully pull the caster wheel until it pops off.
If you have trouble removing the wheel, lubricate the area where the casters connect to the base with soapy water or another viable lubricant. This should make it much easier to remove. If you still can’t remove the wheel, place an old towel or cloth over it and continue pulling until it pops off.
Removing Caster Wheels with a Screwdriver or Prying Tool
Some caster wheels refuse to come off no matter how much you yank and pull. In this case, you can use a flathead screwdriver and a small prying tool to make the process much easier. Follow the steps listed below to remove caster wheels with a screwdriver and prying tool.
- Place the flathead screwdriver between the office chair’s base and wheel.
- Pull the caster wheel as far as possible with your hand
- Place the prying tool around the stem
- Gently apply force to the wheel to carefully pop it off
Replacing Office Chair Caster Wheels
After you remove the caster wheels, you can determine their stem type. Caster wheel stems fall into four categories:
- Grip Ring Stems- Caster wheels with grip rings resting a few millimeters away from the stem’s tip
- Grip Neck Stems- wheels with soda bottle-shaped stems with grip rings at the top
- Threaded Neck Stems- stems with spiral-shaped threads
- Open Socket/Stemless Caster- Caster wheels without a metallic protrusion
After determining the stem type, you need to measure the stem’s diameter and length. Most have a 7/8-inch length and a 7/16-inch diameter. Nevertheless, it’s best to measure them yourself to help you determine the replacement’s size.
What to Consider Before Purchasing Replacement Casters
You always want to consider your floor type before purchasing new caster wheels. Some caster wheels work better on specific floor types. If your home or office has wood flooring, try to find caster wheels that glide over wood smoothly without damaging them.
Caster frames typically consist of plastic or steel. Steel frames can handle much more weight and last longer than plastic models, but often demand higher prices. It’s up to you to determine which frame type is right for you and your budget.
Although it might not seem important, caster wheels with quiet and efficient rolling action can minimize office distractions, substantially increasing your workplace productivity. Try finding caster wheels with ball bearings to ensure efficient rolling motion.
Hair, grime, and other unwanted debris often accumulate around plastic caster wheels’ axles, especially in twin-wheel casters. This requires you to maintain the wheel and remove any axle grime every few weeks.
Sturdy single-wheel casters don't require as much maintenance and help minimize accumulation. Single-wheel casters are the better option if you don't want to maintain your office chair wheels.
It’s always a good idea to purchase caster wheels with a warranty just in case they don’t live up to your expectations. Warranties allow you to return the wheels if they break, don’t fit your office chair, or damage your floor.
Installing Caster Wheels on an Office Chair
Now that you understand how to remove caster wheels from an office chair and know the different design types, you can start the installation process. However, the installation process varies depending on the caster wheel style.
Threaded casters are easy to install and require you to turn them counterclockwise until they fit firmly into the chair's base.
Grip and open socket casters require more elbow grease since you need to push them into place. It's crucial to push the grip or open socket caster wheels vigorously until the grip rings lock into the chair's base. If you have trouble securing the grip rings, use the following installation method.
Clean and wipe down the chair sockets to remove any dirt around the area.
Lucubrate the sockets with grease or another viable lubricant.
Push the chair casters into place the best you can.
Use a rubber mallet or hammer to gently hit the back of the caster’s raceway to slide the grip ring through the chair socket. You can also use pliers to compress the grip ring and push it into place.
It's important to note that new caster wheels are usually more challenging to install than used ones. It may take multiple tries to lock everything in place correctly. Just continue putting forth your best effort until the caster wheels fit securely.
How to Take Your Office Chair Wheels Apart
When hair and excess grime hinders your office chair’s mobility, you can easily take the wheels apart and clean them. Just follow the steps below to learn how to take apart and maintain your office chair wheels.
Slide two flathead screwdrivers between the twin-wheeled caster slits.
Use one of the screwdrivers to stabilize the caster while using the other to take off one of the wheels.
Place one of the screwdrivers in between the other wheel and the centerpiece.
Apply pressure to the screwdriver and take off the axle.
Contact Caster Central for All Your Caster Needs
Caster Central is your source for high-quality casters in Massachusetts. We’ve been Massachusetts’ number one caster company since 1866 and offer premium casters at fair and affordable prices. Whether you want to learn how to remove caster wheels from an office chair or just need some first-class casters for your industrial hand truck, Caster Central has the supplies you need at a price you can afford.
Contact Caster Central at (800) 445-4082 and see what our team of caster experts can do for you today!