Caster Brake Type Overview



Side lock brakes are one of the more common brake types in light duty casters. Very predominant in 1-1/4” wide wheel types, they are economical and field installable.

Side lock brake ESD
Side lock brake vintage
  • Locks the wheel only
  • Available in 1-1/4” and 2” wide

How it works

When the brake pedal engages, an L shaped metal plate presses against the top of the wheel causing the wheel to stop. As a result, over time the L shaped metal plate will bend making the wheel unable to lock. Side lock brakes are not recommended for heavy industrial environments.


Tech lock brakes (or face-contact brakes) are great for larger and heavy-duty casters. The large pedal rides on the back of the caster which makes it very accessible and easy to engage. Caster Connection also sells a maintenance-free rig with a tech lock brake built in!

Tech lock brake 1
Tech lock brake 2
    • Locks the wheel
    • Available for 2" wide wheels

How it works

Pushing the pedal down positively locks down onto the wheel making it immobile.


Total lock brakes lock the wheel and the swivel mechanism rendering the caster completely immobile. The brake is part of the caster therefore making it not field installable.

Total lock brake 2
Total lock brake ESD
    • Locks the wheel
    • Locks the swivel
    • Available for 1-1/4” and 2” wide wheels

How it works

Engaging the pedal located on the back of the wheel locks the wheel and the swivel in one motion.


Cam Brakes are very economical and as a result, they can be unreliable. Due to the design of the cam brake, they are not compatible with ball bearings. It looks similar to a side lock brake yet without the L shaped metal shoe to stop the wheel.

Total lock brake phenolic
  • Locks the wheel only.
  • Available in 2" wide

How it works

Engaging the brake squeezes the cam against the wheel hub causing the wheel to stop moving.

Finally, if you need a brake that's not listed here, Caster Connection's knowledgable solutions staff is here to help!

For even more information about caster brakes, visit our Caster Brakes Overview page.