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How to Change Roller Skate Wheels in Just 5 Easy Steps

Are you having trouble changing your roller skate wheels? Are you not sure which tools to use or how to go about it? If so, don’t worry. In this blog post, I will walk you through the 6 easy steps necessary for how to change your roller skate wheels.

Woman Roller Skating on BridgePin

By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to having brand new wheels in no time. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Items Needed for Changing Wheels on Quads & Inline Skates

When it comes time to change your quad or inline wheels, you’ll need just a couple essential tools to perform the take. The most important items are:

  1. Quad roller skates, rollerblades or inline skates with wheels and bearings already on them. 🙂
  2. An allen wrench (for most inlines) or a socket set / skate tool for quad skates. This is used to remove the axle nut or screw so you can slide the old wheel off.
  3. If you are doing a wheel replacement, then you’ll need a new wheel and possibly new skate bearings. However, if you are doing a simple wheel rotation, this is not needed.
  4. A rag or some paper towels as dirt, wheel lubricant and other debris are likely on your wheels.

5 Easy Steps To Change Roller Skate Wheels

When you’re roller skating, it’s essential to make sure your wheels are in good condition and roll well. Wheels get worn down faster than any other skate part, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and maintain them regularly.

Wheel rotation, cleaning and checking your different wheels and making sure you either have clean or new roller skate bearings can insure you keep rolling without issue for a long time. I also have an article on how to clean roller skate bearings if you are interested.

So, here are my 6 easy steps to change the wheels of your roller skates.

Step 1: Unscrew The Axle Screw or Nut

Inline skater adjusting an axle screwPin

The first step to changing or rotating wheels is to use an allen wrench (on inlines) or a socket set / skate tool (on quads) and loosen the axle nut or screw. Simply find the axle of the first wheel you want to remove, insert the tool into the axle screw or onto the axle nut and turn counter clockwise to loosen it.

Continue this rotating motion until you can remove the nut from the axle on quads or completely remove the axle bolt on inline skates.

Step 2: Take Out The Wheel


Once you have removed the axle screw or nut, pull the loose wheel from the roller skate plates. On inlines or rollerblades, you will be pulling the wheel out of the skate frame.

On quads, you will be pulling the wheel off of the axle. Be careful not to lose your axle screw or nut. I often have a cup near by and just drop all of my small pieces in one place to insure I don’t lose them.

If you are doing a wheel rotation or need to remove the bearings from your to put in a new wheel, then keep your existing wheels nearby. If you are installing a new pair of wheels and skate bearings, then you can remove the old wheels from view. See my article on how to remove bearings from roller skate wheels for more information.

Step 3: Fit The New Wheels Onto The Axle


Now it’s time to fit the wheels onto the axle. Before putting the wheels on, make sure that the axle is clean. If there is any dirt or grease on the axle, remove it with a rag or paper towels.

Make sure that the wheels are facing the right way before you start screwing them on. On quads, you want to make sure the wheel is facing outward with the flat surface of the wheel facing down and the beveled area with the logo of the wheel manufacturer facing you.

Step 4: Attach The Wheel and Tighten the Axle Nut or Screw


After you have fitted the wheels onto the axle or into the frame on inlines, attach the wheel by screwing the axle nut or screw in place. Make sure that it is tight and won’t come off while you are skating.

On inlines, it’s a good idea to use a little force when you tighten them, but be careful not to overdo it and damage the wheel or axle screw.

On quads, you want to tighten the axle nut just enough so your wheel continues to spin freely. If you tighten them too much, then the wheel will stop rolling.

Step 5: Check The Wheel

On quad skates, lay your skates flat on one side and test both wheels facing you by pulling up and down on each wheel. The wheel should jiggle no more than 1mm if you have the axle nut on tight enough. The wheel should also rotate easily and spin freely. With more or less room, the wheel will either be too unstable or won’t spin well.

On inline skates, you can tighten the axle screw with a little more effort. Just remember not to overtighten to the point where you can’t remove the screw or you damage it.


Now, it’s time to test out your wheels. Skate around for a bit and see how they feel. If everything seems good, give the wheels a final check to ensure they’re tightly attached. You’re ready for some skating indoors at your local skating rink or some outdoor skating at your favorite park!

When to Replace Roller Skate Wheels

There are a number of ways to tell your skate wheel needs to be replaced. The first is that you feel uneven wear or a thudding sound when you are skating. This can indicate the dreaded flat spot and often means it’s time for a replacement.

Wheels wear differently based on the placement of the wheel on the skate (front, back, inside or outside) and what you are doing on your skates. Activities like speed skating, roller derby, jam skating and other roller sports can also put more wear on your wheels as these activities really put more stress on your skates as a whole.

However, that is not the only time you may want to change out your wheels. Sometimes, you may want larger wheels and harder wheels to go fast when you are practicing indoor speed skating. These inline speed skate wheels are some of the fastest in the world.

Or, you may want to switch to softer outdoor roller skate wheels when you are outdoor skating on smooth concrete or rough asphalt.

Or, maybe you want some wider wheels to give you some extra stability. Or shorter, harder wheels for less grip and more slide.

The possibilities and reasons for changing out your skate wheels are really endless. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know When I Need Wheel Replacement?

You may need to replace your roller skate wheels if they start to wobble or make noise. Another sign that your wheels need to be replaced is if you begin to slip and slide while skating or you just want to try something new. Wheels are the most common thing on your skates that you will change frequently, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with how to change them.

What Are The Different Types Of Roller Skate Wheels?

There are a few different skate wheels available on the market. There are soft wheels made to give you a smooth ride when you are outside inline skating or quad skating. There are super hard wheels that are made for sliding and dancing indoors.

Here are some good artistic roller skate wheels and jam skate wheels that show some of the harder wheels available. There are also great roller derby wheels and roller hockey wheels that are made special for their sport.

There are also all kinds of wheel sizes. Large wheels will go faster but you’ll have less control and stability, while small wheels are great for agility but pretty awful for speed.

There are also all kinds of material types with urethane wheels being the most common and what you’ll find on 99% of all new skates. They are great for both outdoor and indoor skating as they offer plenty of traction and durability. However, there are also wheels made out of vanethane, clay, wood or even fiberglass.

Check out my best roller skate wheels page for a whole lot more information about this important part of your skates.

What Should I Do If My Wheels Get Damaged?

If your roller skate wheels become damaged, you’ll need to replace them as soon as possible. Damaged wheels can cause skaters to lose balance and control, leading to serious injuries.

Where Can I Buy A Replacement Skate Wheel?

You can purchase replacement roller skate wheels from your local skating rink, local skate shop, Amazon or an online skate shop like Roller Skate Nation. Consult with the manufacturer’s guidelines before purchasing to ensure you’re getting the right wheels for your skates.

Can I Put Bigger Wheels On My Roller Skates?

Yes, you can put bigger wheels on your roller skates as long as they fit the axles and your skate. Just be sure to get the right size wheel for your skates.

Want to Learn Even More About Skating?

Want more reviews on roller skates? Check out my Best Roller Skates page for a list of all of the quads I recommend. I also have pages for roller skates for menroller skates for women and roller skates for kids where I recommend the best skates on the market today for each group. Or, check out my roller skates for beginners if you are completely new to roller skating.

Or, if rollerblades or inline skates are more your style, then check out my rollerblades for menrollerblades for women or rollerblades for kids pages. Or, if you are completely new, check out my rollerblades for beginners page.

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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