How to Remove Office Chair Wheels

Is it time for your office chair wheels? Or are the plastic wheels damaging your wooden floors, and you want to replace them with silicone wheels? In any case, you need to remove the old set first.

Luckily, this is fairly easy; we’re going to give a detailed step-by-step guide on removing office chair wheels without much trouble.

How to Remove Wheels of Office Chair?

Removing the wheels is not hard at all, and all you need is some simple tools and a bit of oil to loosen up the things.

1. Flip the Chair

Unless you’re a fan of working in awkward positions, the first thing you want to do is flip your chair upside down and place it on your desk so that you have your wheels in the air. This will give you easy access to the wheels from all angles.

Some ergonomic chairs are pretty heavy, so you may need an extra hand lifting them and flipping them upside down.

2. Turn the Caster Clockwise

Casters with a thread or screw inside can be removed easily. Turn the caster in a clockwise direction until it moves. When this happens, you know you’re doing it right, so keep going until it’s out.

  • Alternatively: Lubricate the Grip Stem Caster

If the caster doesn’t unscrew, it’s a grip stem. It should be easy to detach with the help of lubricating oil. Apply a small amount to the place where the chair and caster connect. Pull the caster using one hand while holding the chair down.

The best type of lubricating oil to use is the spray one, and the WD 40 is a budget-friendly choice. Don’t forget to use a towel while holding it to avoid stains on your skin or clothes.

  • Alternative 2: Move the Caster With a Pry Bar or a Screwdriver

Sometimes, casters are too rusty to be hand-removed, so you’ll have to do it with a very wide, flat screwdriver or a pry bar with an extension for nail-pulling at its end.

If you go with a screwdriver, you need to get its head in between the caster and the chair. Make sure that the whole head is in. Then, slowly turn it left and right until the caster becomes looser and starts moving up. If it doesn’t move up, you can try to rotate the screwdriver and place it in different locations between the caster and the chair. Trying out different angles might also help you pull out the stuck caster.

If you are using the pry bar, and the wheels are not getting off, try putting the slot for nail pulling onto the stem, and then pull the wheel out. The stem between the chair and the caster connects them. When you place the pry bar’s nail-pulling slot onto the stem, the caster should pop out once you pull. If it doesn’t, try finding another person to hold the chair down as you pull the caster up.

Once the wheels are out, there are usually two possibilities: you either want to clean them up and get those hairs and debris out or replace them.

If you want to clean them, we strongly recommend checking out our guide on removing hair from the office chair wheels.

If replacement is what you want to do, here are some steps to follow next.

How to Replace Office Chair Wheels

In the following paragraphs, we’ll give you a brief step-by-step guide on what you need to do to prepare your chair for a new set of wheels and how to attach new wheels to it.

Take Measurements

Before purchasing a new caster, take measurements of the old one with a ruler. Although most of the chairs use the same-sized wheels and casters, there’s still a slight chance that you’re dealing with a special case.

Measure the wheels as well, although they usually come at 2-2.5 inches. If you’ve been experiencing trouble rolling the chair around the room, on the carpet, or uphill, try a set of larger wheels.

Decide on the Type of the New Caster You Want

Usually, people prefer to buy twin-wheel casters because they are more durable, as the weight is more evenly distributed.

However, casters for single-wheels are a common choice for industrial chairs.

What Type of Wheels Are the Best for Office Swivel Chairs?

Most office chairs come with the standard, well-known plastic dual wheels. If you’ve been using office chairs for some time now, you’ve probably learned that these wheels will be the first thing that wears and tears on the chair. If there’s no floor protection below the chair, they may damage the floor.

You can eliminate or at least minimize these issues with higher-quality casters. In our experience, the best type of office chair wheel is silicone, heavy-duty single-wheel casters.

These are safe for all floor types (laminate, hardwood, etc.). Silicone has much better amortization than plastic and thus, can handle various weights without causing damage to the floor surface. They usually have a steel frame with a capacity of more than 500 lb and roll much more smoothly and silently compared to plastic ones. They are much more durable than plastic wheels, and since they are single-wheel casters, they collect less dirt.

Their only pitfall is their performance on thick carpets. These casters aren’t made for rolling smoothly on a plush or woolen surface. One option is to use 3”-diameter wheels instead of 2” ones. Bigger wheels might ease their movement, but they will still drag.

Conclusion

Removing the office chair wheels is pretty simple and easy. All you need are some basic tools almost every household already has. Flip the chair, take the wheels off and clean them up or replace them with a newer set.

It may be a good idea to switch from standard plastic double-casters to single silicone ones since they are more durable and higher in quality. 

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