Big or Small? The Importance of Choosing the Right Wheel Size for Casters

When shopping for casters, you should pay close attention to the wheel size. All casters have a wheel. Some of them, however, have a bigger wheel than others.

The size of a caster’s wheel is represented by two measurements: wheel diameter and wheel width. Wheel diameter is the distance from one end of the wheel to the opposite end  Wheel width, on the other hand, is a measurement of how deep or wide the wheel is. You can identify the size of a caster’s wheel by checking these two measurements. How does wheel size affect the performance of casters exactly?

Load Rating

The size of a caster’s wheel will typically affect its load rating. Different types of casters have different load ratings. Some of them have a load rating of just 50 pounds, whereas others have a load rating of over 500 pounds. Regardless, casters with a big wheel tend to have a higher load rating than those with a small wheel.

Both wheel diameter and wheel width will affect the load rating of a caster. Of those two measurements, though, wheel width has the greatest impact on load rating. Wide wheels cover more surface area on the floor than narrow wheels, so they accommodate heavier loads.


Clearance is affected by wheel size. If you’re shopping for casters to use in a building or space with low-hanging ceilings, you may want to opt for a small wheel size. A small wheel size will provide greater clearance. You can install the casters on the bottom of an object. And thanks to the casters’ small wheels, the object will sit lower.

Keep in mind that only wheel diameter affects clearance. Wheel width, as the name suggests, is a width-based measurement. Therefore, it doesn’t affect clearance. Only wheel diameter affects clearance. The higher the wheel diameter of a caster, the more vertical space the caster will consume, resulting in less clearance.

Ease of Rolling

Casters with a big wheel are easier to roll than those with a small wheel. They require less force to roll, making them preferable in workplaces and other spaces with uneven floors.

If you’re planning to use them on uneven floors, you may want to choose casters with a big wheel. You’ll be able to easily roll them with minimal force. Maybe the floors are textured, or perhaps they have ridges in them. Uneven floors aren’t a concern, assuming you choose the right type of casters.