Suitcase-Tips – purchasing and operating
Here are some tips, derived from our repair experience:
- Avoid very small wheels. Bigger is better, as bigger wheels need to do less revolutions at the same distance. 40mm are really bad, very common 50mm not much better. Rather go for 65, 76 or 84mm, even 100mm and more can be found. Unluckily, there are bad quality big wheels as well
- Plain bearings tend to wear out quickly, so prefer ball bearing wheels. Unluckily, nearly all suitcase ball bearings are horrible quality.
- Avoid 4- or 8-wheel suitcases, if any possible. Wheel gears tend to break, especially when roughly treated by airline staff. 4- or 8-wheelers can easily move on their own, especially in windy or tilted environments.
- 8-wheelers look a little better - but wheels are even worse than those of 4-wheelers. Keep away...
- 2-wheeled cases with free-standing wheels are available with plugged and injected axles. Plugged-in axles are easy to replace and are therefore highly recommended. If you can see or feel a large rivet head on the inside of the case, the case probably has a pinned axle - this is good. If you only see plastic and small bolt heads - better keep your hands off....
CAUTION! Sluggishness is an alarm signal!
If a suitcase can only be moved with considerable effort on a smooth floor (tiles or similar), you should take care of your suitcase.
- Are bearings worn out ? In this case, monitor the temperature of the wheels and gears - just touch them. Wheel gears are sensitive to temperature. If they get too hot, they can melt and it is difficult or impossible to repair them.
- Are the wheels mechanically blocked? - Splinters, dirt or fibres can prevent the wheels from turning freely. In this case, the wheels can be completely ground off, and often the wheel suspension is also damaged. Removing a small stone may only take a few seconds...
So: If a suitcase runs heavily, check the wheels IMMEDIATELY. If necessary, carry the suitcase or look for a suitcase trolley.
Sometimes the treads of box wheels come off / come on. They can be cut with a sharp knife and removed with a little effort. The case will then still run for a few kilometres on the plastic core of the wheel, albeit with increased noise. However, the core wears out and the wheel should be replaced at the next opportunity if you use the case intensively.
- Broken off push handles of suitcase zips (of others too, of course) can easily be replaced by key rings.
- Paper sticker residues on suitcases with a smooth surface (not on textiles!) can be removed well with normal cooking oil. Apply plenty of oil, leave to soak for 1 day, rub off, repeat if necessary. Of course, this does not only work on suitcases, but also on bottles, etc.