Difference Between Soft And Hard Chair Casters

Difference Between Soft And Hard Chair Casters

Undoubtedly, it is essential to look for various factors while buying a chair, whether for office or any other purpose. Often, people overlook the caster as one of the most important factors.

Floor consideration is essential because it determines the durability and functionality of a chair, whereas casters are primarily important if you move the chair frequently. Depending on the location of the chair, the floor can vary. Therefore, it can be made of hardwood, concrete, or soft carpet.

Check here to know about different caster chairs available in the market according to flooring.

What Is A Caster?

Casters are small wheels on the chair legs, enabling easy movement of the chair on the floor. The casters are used to drive the chair around short distances without standing up when you apply weight to them.

The essential components of the caster are; the mount, stem, and wheel. The casters for office chairs are made up of plastic or rubber and may vary in size according to chair versatility and usage. The design and construction of casters vary depending on the useability of the chair, its weight capacity, and the type of floor.

Considering these factors, you can determine the size, material, and tread type that will be most suitable for you. Usually, small caster wheels are difficult to roll and require more effort. While wheels with large diameters tend to be used more often because they make sliding easier. In addition, cheap casters will wear out more quickly because the weight distribution will not be even.

The two significant types of chair casters are hard and soft casters; both will be discussed in detail below.

Hard Casters

  • The hard casters take less effort to roll or glide.
  • Hard casters work best on soft floors like carpets, rugs, and soft chair mats.
  • They are commonly available nylon twin casters and are covered by a plastic shell to make rolling easy on a soft surface like a thick carpet.
  • The hard casters are not suitable for solid surfaces such as concrete, tiles, or laminates. The rugged wheels move quickly on these surfaces and put you at risk of falling and causing injuries when least expected. Therefore, hard casters are not safe on hard floors.
  • Furthermore, they make noise and scratch the floor when gliding on the hard surface of vinyl or tile. Therefore, the floor can look unpleasant if used.
  • The hard casters can lock themselves when the chair is placed on soft surfaces, reducing the risk of gliding.
  • The caster can maintain its shape over time and does not change with the load.
  • They are more durable as they are made from robust materials.
  • They are more economical, especially for heavy-load applications.

Soft Casters

  • As the name suggests, they are softer than the hard plastic casters and are similar to roller skates.
  • They work best on hard floors as hardness allows the caster to run smoothly on the ground.
  • The ideal floors for soft casters are hardwood floors, concrete, tile, laminate floors, or rigid plastic chair mats.
  • They are made from rubber or polyurethane to reduce sliding and scraping on hard floors.
  • Soft casters are not passable for smooth floors like rugs or carpets. It is because you need to apply more force to move them on delicate floors.
  • On hard floors, they can absorb vibrations and minimize the noise when sliding.
  • Furthermore, they cause minimal damage to the floor. Suppose you use hard wheels on a solid surface. It can fracture tiles, dent, or damage wooden floors. Thus, soft casters made from rubber are a better option.
  • Similar to car tires, soft casters can become flat or change shape before returning to their original form.
  • They render more cushioned rides than the hard casters.
  • They can handle both heavy and lightweight loads.
  • They create less noise than the hard casters.
  • They are expensive, but the price mainly depends on the type of chair and the manufacturer.

It is very important to consider whether to use hard or soft casters, and that will be determined based on your floor. The right caster will reduce damage to the floor, ensure the chair will work effectively, and ensure safety.

Casters can be easily removed and installed. Thus, you can replace or change them according to the floor if your chair currency has the wrong caster on. Alternatively, you can purchase floor mats matching the casters of the chair.

To keep casters clear of dust and debris, you can wash them occasionally. This is because dirty and worn casters in the chair could cause back and leg injuries.