What Are Swivel Locks on Casters?

If you’re planning to buy swivel casters, you may want to opt for a swivel lock. Swivel casters are distinguished from rigid or fixed casters by their 360-degree range of rotation. While rigid casters can only roll forward and backward, swivel casters can roll in all directions. Some swivel casters even feature a swivel lock. What are swivel locks exactly?

Overview of Swivel Locks

Swivel locks are locking mechanisms that are designed to prevent casters from swiveling. Normally, swivel casters can roll in all directions. Activating the swivel lock, however, will restrict their movement.

You can still roll a swivel caster after activating the swivel lock, but you won’t be able to roll it in all directions. With the swivel lock activated, you’ll only be able to roll it forward and backward.

Hand-Activated vs Foot-Activated Swivel Locks

There are hand-activated swivel locks, and there are foot-activated swivel locks. Hand-activated swivel locks typically consist of a pin that you can pull out or push in. The pin is found on the side of the plate. Hand-activated swivel locks are simple, reliable and easy to use.

In comparison, foot-activated swivel locks consist of a pedal. You can use your foot to activate them. To stop the caster from swiveling, you can press the foot-activated swivel lock with your foot. Foot-activated swivel locks are arguably more ergonomic than hand-activated swivel locks since they don’t require bending down. You can activate and deactivate them while standing.

Benefits of Choosing Casters With a Swivel Locks

With swivel locks, you can essentially convert swivel casters into rigid casters. You won’t have to manually replace the casters. Instead, you can activate the swivel locks.

Activating the swivel lock, of course, will prevent the respective caster from swiveling. The swivel caster will essentially operate like a rigid caster. You’ll still be able to roll it forward and backward, but you won’t be able to swivel it in all directions — at least not until you deactivate the swivel lock.

Swivel locks are available with caster brakes. Caster brakes are braking mechanisms for the wheel. They aren’t the same as swivel locks. Swivel locks only affect the swiveling movement of casters. Caster brakes, on the other, affect their ability to roll altogether.

In Conclusion

Swivel locks are an innovative feature on swivel casters. Whether hand-activated or foot-activated, you can use them to stop casters from swiveling Activating a swivel caster will restrict the caster’s movement. The caster will only be able to roll forward and backward until you deactivate the swivel lock.