Many individuals are unfamiliar with the term “castor,” but when they hear it, they usually assume it’s a wheel. However, a castor is more than simply a wheel. When looking for a specific product in materials handling, as well as in many other fields, you must be very precise in describing and knowing what you want. And having an accurate name for the item is critical. So, let’s clarify exactly what distinguishes a castor from a wheel.
What is a Wheel?
We’ve all seen wheels before. It’s a circular mechanism with a hole in the middle that can be used as a shaft to enable it to perform any function you want. You could also characterize it as a cylinder with varying width that revolves on an axle like the wheels on a vehicle. The wheel is employed for various mechanical purposes. There are many different types of wheels, and a representative from Tente, a leading castor supplier, has stated that “there are many factors that should be considered when selecting the right wheel for your requirements. Thread material, wheel diameter, wheel bearing, and wheel center are just some of those important features”.
Over the last 5000 years, the invention of the wheel has revolutionized the human existence. It’s only been 150 years since the first patented caster, though. If you’re wondering what the distinction is between a wheel and a castor, it’s probably because you want to know what a caster can do for you.
What is a Castor?
A castor wheel, as the name implies, does indeed include a wheel. However, it is more than simply a wheel. It’s made up of both a wheel and a bracket, sometimes known as a “fork,” or “yoke,” and this bracket distinguishes it from the regular wheel. So if you’re replacing the “wheel” at the bottom of your chair or cart, be sure to get one with a bracket instead of just another “wheel”.
To make an item moveable, it is simply connected to a set of casters. Casters come in two distinct varieties:
- Plate Mounted is a type of mount that has a flat bracket with mounting holes so you can securely attach another flat surface flush against it.
- Stem mounted does not have a flat surface, and it can thread or lock into the attaching object by a threaded pintel or a spring retention clip.
The swivel castor allows the wheel in the caster to spin 360 degrees under load. As the central hub of the wheel spins around the center of the swivel section, it “casts” in a small circle. This crucial swiveling function of castors makes it much easier to move heavy loads and turn tight corners in a warehouse. Locking castors, plate castors, stem castors, and kingpin-less castors are just a few types of swivel castors available.
Because they don’t “cast” rigid castors are less common but more accurately identified as fixed castors. They’re simply a wheel placed between the legs of a bracket that doesn’t swivel. As a result, rigid castors are ideal for moving materials forwards and backward in a straight line but not for turning them around a corner.
Because rigid castors do not have a swivel portion that is subject to perpendicular and tangential stress, they are more durable than swivel castors and can accommodate greater weight capacities.