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Medium Duty Castors vs. Light Duty Castors: What's the Difference?



When it comes to choosing the right castors for your equipment or furniture, it's essential to understand the difference between medium-duty and light-duty castors. These two types of castors serve different purposes and have distinct features that make them suitable for specific applications. In this article, we will delve into the contrasting characteristics of medium-duty and light-duty castors, helping you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal castors for your needs.

1. Understanding Castor Load Capacity:

One crucial aspect to consider while selecting castors is their load capacity. Light-duty castors are designed to support lighter loads, generally ranging from 70 lbs to 300 lbs per castor. These castors are commonly used for furniture, office chairs, and light equipment. On the other hand, medium-duty castors are built to handle heavier loads, typically ranging from 300 lbs to 1,000 lbs per castor. These castors find application in industries such as manufacturing, warehousing, and other heavy-duty environments.

2. Construction and Durability:

The construction and durability of castors play a vital role in their performance and reliability. Light-duty castors are typically made from materials like plastic or nylon, paired with lighter gauge steel or aluminum components. These castors are suitable for smooth indoor surfaces and may not withstand rough terrains or intense use. Conversely, medium-duty castors feature sturdier construction, often employing high-quality materials such as steel or durable nylon. With their robust design, medium-duty castors can endure demanding environments, uneven surfaces, and frequent usage.

3. Wheel Types and Mobility:

One significant difference between medium-duty and light-duty castors lies in their wheel types, which impacts their mobility and functionality. Light-duty castors usually come with smaller and softer wheels, often made of rubber or soft plastic. These wheels prioritize smooth and silent movement while protecting delicate flooring surfaces. Conversely, medium-duty castors are equipped with larger and harder wheels, frequently made of materials like polyurethane or cast iron. These wheels can handle rougher terrains, such as concrete floors or outdoor terrain, providing sturdier mobility for heavier loads.

4. Swivel and Locking Mechanisms:

The maneuverability of castors is another aspect to consider, especially when dealing with equipment or furniture that requires easy navigation or stability. Light-duty castors often feature a simple swivel mechanism, enabling 360-degree rotation for smooth movement in all directions. However, these castors might lack a locking mechanism, making them less suitable for situations requiring fixed positioning. In contrast, medium-duty castors generally come with both swivel and locking mechanisms. These locking mechanisms allow users to secure the castors in place, providing stability when needed.

5. Application and Suitable Environments:

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of castors, it is crucial to select the appropriate type for specific applications and environments. Light-duty castors find their niche in residential or office settings, where they are commonly used for furniture, lightweight equipment, or carts. Their smooth rolling and floor protection capabilities make them ideal for indoor use on smooth surfaces. Medium-duty castors, with their robust construction and higher load capacities, are better suited for industrial environments, manufacturing plants, warehouses, or construction sites. These castors excel in heavy-duty applications, enduring rugged terrains and heavy usage demands.


Choosing between medium-duty and light-duty castors depends on the intended application, load capacity requirements, environment, and desired functionality. While light-duty castors offer smoother and quieter movement for lighter loads, medium-duty castors are built to withstand heavy loads and demanding environments. By understanding the differences in load capacity, construction, wheel types, maneuverability, and suitable applications, you can confidently select the appropriate castors that cater to your specific requirements. So, whether it's furniture, equipment, or industrial machinery, make an informed decision and enjoy optimal mobility and stability with the right castors for your needs.


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