In the eukaryotic nucleus, processes of DNA metabolism such as transcription, DNA replication, and repair occur in the context of DNA packaged into nucleosomes and higher order chromatin structures. In order to overcome the barrier presented by chromatin structures to the protein machinery carrying out these processes, the cell relies on a class of enzymes called chromatin remodeling complexes which catalyze ATP-dependent restructuring and repositioning of nucleosomes. Chromatin remodelers are large multi-subunit complexes which all share a common SF2 helicase ATPase domain in their catalytic subunit, and are classified into four different families - SWI/SNF, ISWI, CHD, INO80 - based on the arrangement of other domains in their catalytic subunit as well as their non-catalytic subunit composition. A large body of structural, biochemical, and biophysical evidence suggests chromatin remodelers operate as histone octamer-anchored directional DNA translocases in order to disrupt DNA-histone interactions and catalyze nucleosome sliding. Remodeling mechanisms are family-specific and depend on factors such as how the enzyme engages with nucleosomal and linker DNA, features of DNA loop intermediates, specificity for mono- or oligonucleosomal substrates, and ability to remove histones and exchange histone variants. Ultimately, the biological function of chromatin remodelers and their genomic targeting in vivo is regulated by each complex's subunit composition, association with chromatin modifiers and histone chaperones, and affinity for chromatin signals such as histone posttranslational modifications.