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Controlling mobility: The benefits of swivel lock casters

When is a swivel caster not a swivel caster?

When engaged, a swivel lock will turn a swivel caster into a rigid caster (also known as a fixed caster) by restricting movement to a single direction instead of moving freely.  Swivel locks can help accommodate the set of specific mobility needs that every industrial warehouse and other environment has. Casters with this additional feature ensure that whatever combination of swivel and rigid casters are needed for an application are readily available and accessible, which means no downtime for your operation. Upgrading your current casters to casters with swivel locks can be expensive, but isn't the only solution if your mobility needs aren't being met. Field-installable swivel locks are available, cost effective and a cinch to add to your casters. 

Using casters with swivel locks

Keep in mind that casters and wheels are capable of moving in a forward or backward direction as well as in a swiveling motion depending on your needs. Both actions may be locked or unlocked so your equipment performs accordingly. There is almost no limit to the features and customizations of industrial swivel casters, so it is important to review the available options to determine what's best for your application and operation.

Types of swivel locks

Swivel locks typically come in three common types:

  • Welded-on. Welded-on swivel locks are factory products and only available when purchased with a new caster. This is the most expensive and least common swivel lock that we see. Welded-on swivel locks are typically foot-activated and not field installable.
  • Field installable hand-activated. Field installable hand-activated swivel locks are able to be used in addition to the casters you are already using. These swivel locks are require engagement by hand, are fairly common and cost-effective.
  • Field installable foot-activated. Field installable foot-activated swivel locks are our most popular swivel locks. A simple press of the foot is all that is needed to engage and disengage this swivel lock. Its price is comparable to field installable hand-activated swivel locks.

The field installable swivel lock that you will work with your caster is typically determined by the size of its top plate. Reach out to us if you have any questions regarding which swivel lock will work with your casters.

Installing field installable swivel locks

Most standard kingpin casters offer have notched system in their swivel section that allow swivel locks to be added on after their initial purchase. These notches must be present for field-installable swivel locks to work with them.


To install a swivel lock, simply detach a caster from its load and then reattach it with the swivel lock placed between the caster's top plate and the head of the attaching bolt with the flat side of the swivel lock flush with the top plate.


Various styles of swivel locks are available on the highly popular Colson 4 Series casters and Albion's 410 Series heavy duty casters.

Our most popular foot-activated swivel lock, A001.100, can be seen to the right. This swivel lock fits casters that use a standard 4" by 4-1/2" top plate and is available for purchase online here. 

Let CasterDepot be your guide for your projects of any size including furniture casters and chair casters, and be sure you order the correct parts for successful outcomes. The right choice is only a phone call away.