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Caster Brake Type Overview



Side lock brakes are one of the most common brake types used in light-duty casters. Side lock brakes are available in both 1-1/4” and 2” wide wheel types.

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 is engaged, an L-shaped metal plate presses against the top of the wheel causing the wheel to stop. Over time, this metal plate can become bent and make it difficult for the wheel to lock. Because of this, side lock brakes are not recommended for heavy industrial environments or carts that carry heavy loads.


Tech Lock Brakes are perfect for larger and heavier-duty casters, as they provide a large pedal located on the back of the caster that is easily accessible and simple to engage. This type of brake is often used for carts that require more secure locking due to their size and load capacity. It also provides the added benefit of being able to disengage and move the cart without having to manually unlock the brakes. 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

    By pushing down on the pedal, the wheel is positively locked onto the caster, preventing any mobility or movement.


    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.

    cccrest-525s-total-lockTotal lock brake 2
    • 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.