Broken office chair wheels are inconvenient. Learn how to remove and replace your office chair wheels in no time.
Most office chairs come with cheap, standard caster wheels. They don’t always stay in their sockets, falling off and causing your chair to tilt. They sometimes become so dirty and clogged up that they no longer roll, scuffing your floors. At some point, you’ll likely need to replace them. Fortunately, it isn’t a difficult process.
You’ll start by hand-pulling the old wheels from their sockets at the base of your chair, and then you’ll install new wheels by pushing their stems into those same sockets. Your office chair will be good as new in about five minutes!
How to Remove Your Office Chair Wheels
Removing the standard caster wheels from your office chair’s base isn’t very difficult, but it may take some strength.
- Lay the chair down so you can access the wheels
- Pull the caster wheels to remove them from the base. Some may come out easier than others. You may have to twist the wheels as you pull to loosen them. If they are too difficult to remove by hand, use a flathead screwdriver to help pry them from their sockets
- Take the time to clean the base of your chair and around the sockets before installing new wheels.
Note: If you want to change your office chair caster because they don’t roll or they get dirty, then I would suggest you clean them. It is not so difficult to clean caters. You can do it yourself just Click here to see the process.
How to Install New Office Chair Wheels
Installing new caster wheels on your office chair is as simple as pushing them into place. However, it could take some force to get them installed correctly.
- Ensure your chair base is clean and ready for new wheels
- Line the stem of a new wheel up with one of the sockets on your chair base and, using your palm, push against to wheel to pop the new wheel into place. The raceway of the wheel should be flush with the socket
- Repeat until all the new wheels are installed on your chair
The new wheels may not pop into the sockets of your chair base easily or seem too big for the sockets, but there’s no need to worry that they’re the wrong size.
The stem of a caster wheel has a grip ring on it that holds the wheel in place once installed. That same grip ring expands and contracts, and if it’s expanded a bit more than the socket you will have to use some extra force to install the wheel.
There are a couple of ways to finish pushing the wheels into place:
- Lubricate the sockets of the chair base with a product like WD-40 to help the wheel stems push into place better
- Use a mallet or hammer to firmly tap against the wheel until the stem pushes into place
You can find YouTube videos that visually guide you through the process as well.
What Kind of Wheels Should I Install on My Office Chair?
There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing new caster wheels for your office chair, such as:
- Weight capacity
- If the chair is on carpet or a hard surface
- The correct size for your chair
Remember that chair casters are not universal, To know more about it check out this article – click in the text: Are Office Chair Wheels Universal.
Office chairs typically come with standard 2-inch or 2.5-inch caster wheels but can go up to as large as a 3-inch wheel. According to Caster Headquarters, office chair caster wheels usually have a 7/16-inch grip ring diameter on the stem and a 7/8-inch or 1-inch-long stem. As long as your new wheels have similar stem measurements, they should fit your current office chair.
Oftentimes, the smaller plastic caster wheels are poorly made and don’t last as long as better-quality wheels. Investing in better-quality wheels for your office chair will help it roll better, regardless of flooring, in addition to adding another element of design to your chair.
You may simply want sturdier wheels than before, or you may go with a vintage-inspired option. Some people opt for caster wheels made of roller skate wheels to meet in the middle of durability and design.
Repairing Office Chair Wheels
If you aren’t ready to replace your office chair wheels yet, you may need to clean them up so they’ll roll better. Using a flathead screwdriver, you can pry the wall of the wheel away from itself to clean out the bushing. The bushing is the inner component of the caster wheel that allows it to roll.
Over time, the bushing becomes tangled with hair, strings, and more. Removing any debris tangled in the bushing, wiping down the wheel, and lubricating the bushing with a product like WD-40 will bring your old office chair wheels back to life. Simply push the wall of the wheel back into place when you’re done.
It’s helpful to understand what the parts of the caster wheel are while working on projects like this so you can make more specific adjustments. There are plenty of YouTube videos to visually guide you through cleaning caster wheels as well.
If you find that one wheel is broken but the others are in great shape, you can save yourself time and money by simply replacing the single broken wheel. Be sure to order a spare wheel that matches your current ones.
Or, it could be that a single wheel continues falling out of a socket and causing your chair to tilt. If a wheel continues to fall off your office chair, try using quality glue to hold it in place. If the wheel stem is still wobbly in the socket despite glue, you may need to pad the stem some with duct tape before attempting to glue it into place.
If all else fails, you can always replace the problem wheels.
Removing and replacing your office chair’s caster wheels is a simple and fast project that can have a big impact on your office chair. New office chair wheels can improve workplace safety, preventing an accident like falling out of your chair. They can also add to the aesthetic of your chair. It’s the little things that make time at our desks more enjoyable.