Casters vs Mobile Base??

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Forum topic by Jenine posted 07-08-2017 08:25 PM 817 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 2334 days

07-08-2017 08:25 PM

I’m thinking about using heavy duty casters designed for commercial kitchen equipment on my Powermatic 64B instead of a mobile base. I work for a commercial kitchen equipment supplier, so I can get the casters for $38 as opposed to $100 for the set. Four casters can support 800lbs, they are ultra low profile (raise the saw 3”), post style, and all 4 lock. Is this a terrible idea? Anyone have experience using casters instead of a mobile base? I love the Delta mobile base on my jointer and hate the one I got from Rockler for my bandsaw, so I have mixed feelings regarding mobile bases. Thoughts? Thanks!

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

8 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13027 posts in 2992 days

#1 posted 07-08-2017 08:52 PM

Is your floor dead flat? If it isn’t and you go with casters, it could twist the frame.

-- Rick M,

View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 2334 days

#2 posted 07-08-2017 08:56 PM

I doubt it, it’s a garage so it should slope. Good point though…didn’t think about that. If I add washers to level it, would that solve the problem? Although, I suppose it would depend on where it is each time I use it. Hmmmm.

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4259 days

#3 posted 07-08-2017 09:25 PM

Leveling casters work for machinery.

Regular locking casters have some deficiencies
that make mobile bases generally preferable.

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3910 days

#4 posted 07-08-2017 10:07 PM

Even when locked, there is a lot of slop in casters that makes them less than ideal IMO. The best case is a mobile base where all four wheels pop up and the thing rests on solid feet when in stationary mode.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


725 posts in 2073 days

#5 posted 07-08-2017 10:23 PM

There are castors for machinery like Loren points out, but I agree with Jonah about there being slop even when they are locked. The moble bases out there are proven to work well. I have built a moble base for my drill press. Cheap clunky castors with no locks that actually worked well for that application. I put good locking castors under a work bench. Huge mistake on my part. Could not keep that bench from racking. I would be afraid of my table saw moving while I am trying to use it.

-- John

View Planeman40's profile


1474 posts in 3372 days

#6 posted 07-09-2017 08:24 PM

I have put casters under almost all of my machines as I am getting tight on space and have moved some of my less used machines to a “parking” area in the shop. I just roll them out when needed. Personally, I find they work just fine, even beneath my 850 lb Hammer 48”x 48” sliding table saw. I have no locking casters. I find the weight of the machines keeps them from moving on my relatively level concrete basement floor. I purchased all of my casters from Harbor Freight, making sure I bought the better grades of casters. They work great.

My position is, if you are putting enough pressure against the work when feeding it to move the machine, you are doing something very wrong. I never have a problem with any of the machines moving when working.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View ohtimberwolf's profile


965 posts in 2964 days

#7 posted 07-09-2017 08:48 PM

Here is something you may want to consider. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 1835 days

#8 posted 07-09-2017 08:56 PM

Another benefit of mobile bases is they are more stable then casters as they spread the footprint a little wider than the machine.
Whether pop up, or feet that screw down to stabilize the machine, I have always preferred them to anything I’ve had on casters.

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