different types of casters

Casters vs Wheels

Casters and wheels both are rolling devices; that’s why at first impression, many people see these two rolling devices; they think that since the two work rolling, they are the same! And many people are similarly a little bit confused about what is the differences between casters and wheels.

Though the two devices look similar, their usability, durability almost everything are different. However, in our casters vs wheels comparison guide, we will discuss in detail the main differences between casters wheels and standard wheels, where you can easily understand the actual distinctions.

What is a Caster Wheel?

A caster is basically an undriven wheel which is also known by many as a caster fork or caster yoke. It is basically a joined frame that is specially designed to move various applications like toy wagons, shopping carts, chairs smoothly.

What is a Wheel?

Wheels are one of the most familiar objects that we see almost everywhere in our daily life. A wheel is a complete circle object with a hole in the center that rotates the wheel effortlessly on the axle. Its history is very ancient, but in the 21st century, starting from small works to industrial purposes, almost every field can be seen to use it.

However, in this guide, we will not discuss the history of wheels; we will discuss caster or wheel also construction and usability of wheels.

Quick Feature Comparision Chart of Casters vs Wheels

Features Caster Wheel
Durability They are basically of two types, Institutional and industrial and they are made with different high quality durable, lightweight plastic materials. Wheels are much more durable than the caster, they are made with rubber, plastic, phenolic, steel, cast iron, and many more materials.
Usability Caster is used in regular things as grocery carts, office chairs, hand trucks, hospital beds, etc. The wheel is used in moving objects as hand trucks, dolly, pry dolly, furniture dolly, bag barrow, trundler, and L-shaped vehicles.
Weight Capacity The weight capacity is 400 lbs to 40,000 lbs or more. Wheel capacity is not limited, their capacity is more than the caster.

Wheels vs Casters – Detailed Comparison Guide

You already understand that wheels and casters are not the same. In this section, we will analyze both caster or wheel differences part by part in detail to make the subject easier to understand.


Caster wheels are basically of two types, Institutional and industrial. The construction quality of the two types of casters is different. Institutional casters are basically of much lower quality than industrial ones. They are made of durable, lightweight plastic materials, which are attached to our regular usable items for easy movement.

On the other hand, industrial casters are designed with high-quality, durable different kinds of materials, which are mainly used in industrial types of heavy-duty applications with more load capacity features, which are included in huge transportation applications.

The wheels are a wide variety of usable objects, which are made of different types of materials in different fields. In most fields, wheels are used to make wheels depending on the surface with rubber, plastic, phenolic, steel, cast iron, and many more materials, which have adequate protection and ensure extreme strength.


Caster vs wheel has numerous disparities, but the biggest difference is in their usability. As we mentioned in the introduction, caster wheels are mainly used in our regular usable things, like grocery carts, office chairs, hand trucks, hospital beds, and many other fields where adequate loads are not required.

On the other hand, Wheels are mainly used in most cases for items with higher load capacity. You can see the use of wheels in hand trucks, dolly, pry dolly, furniture dolly, bag barrow, trundler, and L-shaped vehicles.

Weight Capacity

There are massive differences in weight capacity between ball casters vs wheels. You can see different types of casters, basically depending on their types, their weight capacity.

  • Standard duty caster usually has 100 to 500 lbs capacity,
  • Medium-duty 150 to 600 lbs capacity,
  • Heavy-duty 400 to 4,000 lbs,
  • Extra heavy-duty 1,000 to 7,000 lbs,
  • and Max duty 5,000 to 40,000 lbs or more capacity.

As a result, it is used in different fields like caster wheels capacity.

On the other hand, the weight capacity of the wheels largely depends on their diameter. For example,

  • a 6 inches wheels weight capacity of 2,000 lbs,
  • 8 inches wheels weight capacity of 2,500 lbs,
  • 10 inches wheels weight capacity of 2,900 lbs,
  • 12 inches wheels weight capacity of 3500 lbs.

The wheel’s weight capacity is more than the caster wheel.

Also, in the field of weight limitation of wheels, the soft wheels vs hard wheels basically play as another big factor. Hard wheels have an extremely high loaded capacity, which is made of materials such as cast iron or phenolic resins. Which are more commonly seen in the field of use in industrial warehouses; on the other hand, we see most of the cases soft wheels in the field of use in regular items.


When it comes to deciding which type of wheels or casters you need for your setup, there are a few factors you should keep in mind. First of all, you should consider the distance you plan to roll your equipment around your setup area.

For example, if you plan on rolling the drums over long distances, then you will need to choose the right casters. If you’re planning on using a set of wheels, then you will probably be able to get away with using any standard wheels.

Also, you should consider your own body weight and how that may affect your choice. Some of the wheels and casters can take some abuse, so it’s good to know whether your setup will be used in a gym or by a heavy person.

In the end, it’s best to pick a combination of casters and wheels that will fit your needs. If you want to try out different combinations, make sure to look for some of the online retailers like Amazon, and they will have a wide selection of both casters and wheels.

Why are wheels called casters?

The word “caster” comes from “castor”. A caster is a wheel with a sharp point on one side that helps it to dig into the ground. This wheel was used to move heavy objects such as statues.

What is the difference between glides and casters?

Glides are moves that don’t change the location of the piece on the board, whereas casters move the piece to a different square.

What is the purpose of casters?

Casters are used to move the pieces. If you want to move a piece from one place to another, you have to use a caster.

In conclusion, we’ve gone over what a caster and wheel are, what their uses are, how they work, and their benefits and drawbacks. Now, let’s take a look at how they compare. To understand the differences between these two products, it’s important to consider the types of products they are used for. We’ve already covered this, but we’ll go over it again because it’s important to know when to use one product over the other.

When choosing a caster, you must know that there are many factors to consider. The three main factors are weight, cost, and efficiency. If you have a light load, and your caster is very expensive, it probably isn’t going to be the best choice. However, if your caster is more affordable, and is able to handle heavier loads, you’ll be much happier.

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