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All the answers to How do I remove hairs from a caster wheel on a roller chair? were unsatisfactory to me. Laborious, ineffective, fume-producing.

How can I actually remove the wheels from the casters, in order to remove hair jammed in there?

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You can pop the wheels from their axles with a large flat-headed screwdriver, they're just push-fit.
Speed is the trick - they're somewhat resistant to a continued hard force, but if you 'surprise' them with a rapid motion, they will come off relatively easily. Prising near the axle itself is much better for the wheel than putting force near the rim.

Pop them back with your hands, heel of your palm or side of a clenched fist - a sharp blow is all it needs.

...but note that you weaken the joint each time you do it, to the point that eventually the wheels will just fall off when you move the chair.

Nissim's answer is actually very good for the second wheel of each pair, as it obviates the need to remove the second wheel & therefore weaken it.

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I succeeded, and I share with you.

  1. I used a 9" channel-locks pliers, which fit perfectly between one wheel and the leg frame. Carefully pry from side to side until one wheel pops off. This will do some chewing on the frame and the inside of the wheel, but these are not visible areas. Don't be afraid of breaking. This is tough ABS plastic, and if the clog is bad enough you'll do it! pry one wheel off

  2. Pull the roll of hair off the exposed axle. Now instead of prying the other wheel off, pop the whole axle out by closing the pliers and pinching the end of the axle towards the other side of the frame.
    pop axle out

  3. Pull the other roll of hair off. Reassemble.

Here's the before and after. I did two chairs, each with five casters. Nothing broke. Second one took 7 min. total. Very satisfying.
befaft

  • can I just burn the hair? – Vahn Sep 5 '16 at 1:58
  • It's wrapped tight around the axle in a very tight crack. You will burn the plastic first and still not have burned the hair loose. – Nissim Nanach Sep 5 '16 at 2:36

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