Have you ever tried to move a large, 100+ pound piece of industrial, commercial-grade kitchen equipment?

I foolishly have. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. The equipment definitely won that battle. A pallet jack was procured from a coworker, and they helped save the day.

That’s the moment I realized the importance of casters. They’re so small and everyone just sort of takes them for granted. They do their job so effectively no one needs to pay attention to them when they’re there. They have the strength to carry heavy loads and the endurance to go across a variety of terrains.

To highlight how important they are, and our thankfulness for them, we’ve written a buyer’s guide, explaining their differences and specific applications.


There are four types of commercial casters. They are labeled “plate,” “expanding stem,” “threaded stem,” and “push-in” or “friction” casters. You will most likely find plate and threaded-stem casters on large, heavy-duty items like refrigeration systems and cooking equipment floor models. They can also be found on heavy-duty carts and dollies. The only difference between plate and threaded-stem casters is how they are installed.

Threaded Stem

Expanding stem casters are used for shelving, carts, and worktables. These items weigh less and are moved more frequently.

Expanding Stem

Push-in or friction casters are used on carts, dollies, and mop buckets. Think small when you think of them. Smaller foodservice and janitorial equipment use them.


Now that they’ve been defined, let’s examine more about why they’re needed. Besides the obvious.

They make heavy, impossible-to-move equipment mobile, but they also provide extra height. This can enable the piece of equipment you want to meet health inspection requirements. The minimum clearance between equipment and the floor is 6 inches. Casters can give you that little bit of extra height.

By being mobile, the equipment can be moved by staff for cleaning, routine maintenance, and service when it comes time for repairs.

They are especially helpful for walk-in and storage areas. All of the shelving and bins should have casters for easy maneuvering, practicing the first-in-first-out principle, organizing, and cleaning. Read about maximizing walk-in storage to learn more.

While they’re necessary for the overall success of any and every commercial kitchen, they’re often not thought of as an asset or as a separate purchase from equipment. However, buying casters to replace worn ones saves money up-front and over time. Just because casters are worn doesn’t mean the whole item needs replacing.

Similarly, not every piece of equipment comes standard with casters. Refrigeration often does for condenser cleaning but cooking equipment does not.

If you purchase them and install them yourself, you’ve saved money. But not time. Hiring someone to install them for you or adding them as an accessory to your initial purchase may cost more money upfront, but will save time, labor, and therefore, money over time.

Next time you order a piece of equipment, call us and ask about our caster options.

Ready to Buy?

Call: 888.778.4815

Email: sales@deqonline.com