How to Remove Caster Wheels from Office Chair

by | Last Updated: October 6, 2021

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How to Remove Caster Wheels from Office Chair

Although it may take you some strength to remove and replace caster wheels on an office chair, the process of doing so is relatively straightforward. While you may spend a shorter duration to remove and put back your old casters, say when removing hair from office chair wheels, replacement may take a little more time.

So, in this guide, I will comprehensively explain how to remove caster wheels from office chair.

You can remove old caster wheels by pulling them out with your hand, using a screwdriver, or using a prying tool. You replace an office chair caster by pushing it back into the socket with your hand or rubber mallet. You take apart office chair wheels by prying them using flathead screwdrivers.

How Do You Remove Old Caster Wheels?

Most office chair wheels have a grip ring on their stems. This ring is what secures the caster wheel in place. It is also what you’ll be working against as you remove the caster wheel.

The first method you can use to remove caster wheels from an office chair is to pull them out with your hands. If hand pulling proves challenging, use a flathead screwdriver.

Accessing the Wheels

Lay your chair down on its side. 

You can also place the chair upside down, letting it support itself on your headrest and armrests. 

Doing this gives you easy access to your casters.

Determining the Kind of Office Chair Wheels You Have

Threaded caster wheels may be the simplest to remove. Twist the wheel to your left to establish whether it has a threaded stem. If you notice it adjusting upwards, continue turning it until it comes off.

In the case of grip stem casters, grab the base of your office chair with one hand and your caster wheel with the other hand. 

Try pulling out the caster wheel. If it is challenging to get the wheels off, lubricate them where the base connects with the casters.

If you still find it tough to remove the caster wheels after lubricating them, grab the wheels with an old cloth or towel and try pulling them again.

Use a Flathead Screwdriver and Prying Tool

When detaching old caster wheels, it may be impossible to pull out some with your hands.

To remove the wheel using this method:

  • Put your flathead screwdriver in between your wheel and the base of the office chair.
  • Pull the caster wheel as far as you can.
  • Insert your prying tool to curve around the stem.
  • Pry against the wheel gently. It should come right out.

If a caster fails to bulge, you can adjust the angle from which you are using the screwdriver and try prying the wheel off.

In addition, the prying tool should have a large enough slot to properly wrap around the stem of your office chair caster (this is typically around 13mm). Also, get a screwdriver that is about 13mm wide.

Some office chairs have square plates attaching the casters to your chairs’ bases. If so, use a flathead screwdriver to detach the wheels.

Further reading: How to Disassemble Office Chair – a Step by Step Guide

How Do You Replace an Office Chair Caster?

Once your old casters are out, replacing them begins with examining the specifics of your previous wheels. 

You also have to factor in which caster wheels work for you.

Determining the Stem Type of Your Old Caster Wheels

There are four different castor wheel stem types. We have the:

  • Grip ring stem in which the ring is a few millimeters away from the tip of the stem
  • Grip neck stem in which the ring is right at the tip of the stem with the rest of the stem shaped like a smooth soda bottle
  • Threaded neck in which the stem has threads that are spiral-shaped
  • Open socket or stemless casters that lack the metallic protrusion

Establishing the Size of the Casters

You can use tape measures or calipers to determine the stem’s length and diameter. 

Typically, the stem will have a ⅞-inch length with a diameter of 7/16 inches.

Deciding on Your Replacement Casters

Most likely, your office chairs came with twin wheel plastic casters. 

Nevertheless, you can get more sturdy options requiring lesser maintenance practices than twin casters. 

Aspects to consider as you pick caster wheels are:

Their Safety on Different Floor Types

You want caster wheels that you can comfortably use on tiles indoors as well as the wooden patio at your open home office.

Frame Type

A plastic frame has a lower support capacity than a steel frame. The latter should be able to handle over 500 pounds comfortably. 

Durable caster wheel materials allow more flexibility as to who can use your office chairs. In addition, they enable you to use the wheels for extended periods.

Rolling Action

Consider caster wheels that contain ball bearings to facilitate smooth rolling. 

Swiveling and quiet operation enables you to minimize office distractions, especially when getting onto and off an office chair.

Need for Maintenance

You want caster wheels that require you to look at them minimally. Especially when dealing with twin-wheel casters, hair and other matters tend to accumulate around an axle. 

A well-built single-wheel caster can minimize grime accumulation because of its design and lower your need to clean it. 

On the other hand, a thread guard on your caster can combat dirt build-up. 

Besides, with minimal hair accumulation, you can turn the casters a lot easier.


Getting casters with a warranty acts as security in case you get wheels that aren’t as good as advertised.

Hence, the best castor wheels to pick are sturdy single-wheel casters that are suitable for all floor kinds.

Regardless, you may have a thickly carpeted floor. So which office chair caster wheels best suit a floor with thick carpet?

There isn’t a caster type that best suits such a floor. However, consider sturdy casters with expansive diameters. 

A wheel with a diameter of three inches is likely to move smoother on a thickly carpeted surface than one with two inches.

It is best to use a floor mat on top of a thick carpet to ease wheel mobility and deter hairs from frequently entangling around your casters. 

That said, it’s unnecessary to use floor mats on other surfaces, provided you have the right wheels.

Putting Back the Casters or Installing New Ones

For threaded casters, rotate them in an anticlockwise direction to drive them into the base of your office chair.

When it comes to grip and open socket casters, push the wheel into the chair base socket until it locks into place.

Although the caster may fit your chair base, you may still find it challenging to put your wheel in the proper position. Probably, the reason you are having issues fitting it in is the grip ring.

Sometimes, it is more challenging to install new caster wheels than when placing back the old ones. 

The ring is what keeps the wheel locked in. Therefore, if you are having trouble installing a caster, you can get the grip ring in by applying a little more force.

To install the casters:

  • Wipe any dirt around the chair sockets.
  • Lightly grease the clean sockets.
  • Try pushing in the new chair casters.
  • Use a rubber mallet or hammer to lightly knock the back of the raceway of the caster and see if it will insert and push the grip ring through the socket.

Alternatively, you can try compressing the grip ring using pliers and then push the wheel into the socket.

How Do You Take Apart Office Chair Wheels?

The most straightforward way to take apart your office chair wheels is using two screwdrivers, preferably flatheads. 

However, let your wheels stay locked into your chair’s base for easy removal.

  • Slide your flathead screwdrivers in between the slits of your twin-wheeled casters.
  • Pry off the wheel on one side while using the other screwdriver to steady the caster and prevent it from rotating. The process may need a bit of force, so you may need to apply more pressure to get the pried wheel off.
  • Leave one of the screwdrivers wedged in between the remaining wheel and the center.
  • Push down the screwdriver on the centerpiece, and it should loosen and come off the axle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Take Wheels Off Office Chair?

Most office chair wheels come with wheels that you can remove to do routine maintenance or replace them. 

While you can take wheels off your office chair, ensure that it’s absolutely crucial to do so. 

This is because removing caster wheels can take some time, and you may need some tools if you find it challenging to place back your casters.

How Do You Remove a Broken Caster?

You can remove a broken caster by pulling it out. 

If you cannot get it off, use a screwdriver and a prying tool to apply pressure against the base of your chair while pushing the wheel out.

Closing Remarks

Some wheels come out quicker than others. The length of time you have used the chair may also impact the ease of removing your casters. 

Nevertheless, the process is relatively easy, even if you don’t do many DIY projects.