15 Examples Of Wheel And Axle Machin In Everyday Life

Axle and wheel is the one of the six types of simple machines. Wheel and axle machine plays an important role in day to day life. It makes life easier and helps to do work more efficiently. Here we are going to discuss some examples of wheel and axle machine that we experience in everyday life

Examples of wheel and axle machine

Wheel and axle machine is used for different-different purposes over the period of time. you can find lots of appliances made up of wheel and axle in the vicinity. Here we are going to discuss some examples of wheel and axle machine.


As soon as you see screwdriver as an example of wheel and axle machine, a strong question arise in your mind, how is it possible? What makes screwdriver as an example of wheel and axle machine. Here you will get an answer of your questions.

Wheel and axle is one of the simple machines out of six simple machines. In wheel and axle machines, most of the time we can easily identify the wheel and axle, but in case of screwdriver wheel and axle is not clearly seen. In screwdriver, handle is acts like a wheel and the shaft is like axle. When we apply couple force on the handle, the shaft start to rotate with the handle and in this way work is done by this machine. 

examples of wheel and axle
Screwdriver image credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/screwdrivers-screws-red-black-1073515/

Pizza Cutter

In pizza cutter we can easily spot the wheel and the axle. As it is very clear from its picture, pizza cutter have wheel mounted on the axle, and the handle is connected to the center of cutter with the help of axle. As we run the cutter forces is acting on the rim of wheel and because of that axle also start to rotate and we can see the turning effect of wheel. This is a type of wheel and axle machine in which force is applied on the rim of a wheel and not on axle.



  It is an axle-wheel machine in which force applies on the axle. In bicycle force is exerted on axle by pedaling. There are two types of tooth wheels, i.e. gears used in bicycle, one is of small size and other is of bigger size. Small sized gear is attached to the axle of rear wheel and big sized is attached to the pedal leaver, and both are joined by an iron chain. As the radius of pedal gear is larger than axle gear’s radius, therefore the mechanical advantage in this system is high, so the force applied by peddling on the rear wheel gets amplified.

Image credits- https://pixabay.com/photos/race-cyclist-speed-bicycle-bike-3112028/

Wagon Wheel

Principle behind the Wheel and axle machine is a principle used in levers i.e. when we apply a small force on rim of wheel that will exert large force on object attached to the axle. That’s the same principle used to move large weights by lever. We can say the wheel axle machine is a system of levers, in which radius of wheel acts like a lever and axle acts like a fulcrum.

In wagon wheel, load of whole wagon is situated on an axle. Imagine that wheel is not yet attached to the wagon, now put a lever below the axle and apply force on it, the mass of the wagon get displaced by some distance. If we put such levers of same length side by side around the axle, we get the wheel of radius equals to the length of lever. Here axle works as a fulcrum.


Doorknob helps us to open or close a door with ease. It is difficult to open a door without doorknob. Doorknob is very similar to that of screwdriver, we are unable to spot the wheel and axle in doorknob but still it is an example of wheel and axle. Let’s see how it works?

In doorknob, the handle is acts like a wheel and, the rod (spindle) embedded in door as an axle. When you turn the knob, the axle (spindle) rotates with it and because of that latch come out of the box and door gets unlocked. With the help of knob we can easily rotate the spindle, because knob provides mechanical advantage so less amount of force on doorknob gets amplified and able to turn the spindle.

Image credit: “Door Knob” by jronaldlee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ferries Wheel

We have seen Ferris wheel many times even rides it quite sometimes. While riding, one question always roaming in mind, how this giant wheel works? What makes it to stand so tall?  What is holding that wheel so it can stand still? Let’s discuss these questions below.

 Ferris wheel is an amusement ride with a large wheel, with cabins attached to the rim of wheel to carry passengers, mounted on an axle. Ferris wheel is a great example of wheel and axle machine; in this the wheel is supported by an axle. A large force is applied on the axle with the help of electric motor or sometimes manually this force causes rotation of wheel. Centripetal acceleration and gravity plays an important role in maintaining the stability of the passengers.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/oktoberfest-bavaria-ferris-wheel-876486/

Car wheels

Axle is the main component of a car; it bears all the weight of a car and also provides torque to the wheels. Here we are going to discuss about the Axle wheel system of car and how it is an example of wheel axle machine

 In a car the wheels are attached to the body through axles. Wheels start to rotate when force is applied on the axle by engine. Different types of axles are used in cars to gain the desired output. Axles can be customized according to the need, for examples if we want a fast car then axles are designed accordingly. Three types of axles are used in the cars namely, rear axle, front axle and stub axle.

Analog clock

Analog clock is also an example of wheel and axle simple machine. The minute, hour and second arms are connected to the pin at the center and this pin works as an axle, while the arms of clock represent the wheel. When force is applied on the pin, arms of clock start to rotate.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/clock-time-alarm-vintage-691143/

Drill machine

Drill machine is yet another example of a wheel and axle simple machine. The bit of a drill rotates with a high speed and makes a hole in solid surface. The bit is attached to the spindle and force is applied on it to rotate the bit.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/vectors/drill-electric-tool-equipment-work-308522/


Windmill is an examples of wheel and axle in which force is exerted on the blades of windmill. When air strikes on the blades of a windmill it rotates the blades and due to which the axle attached to the blades also rotates. Rotation of axel leads to the production of electricity. This is an classic example of wind energy conversion to electricity.

Electric fan

In fan blades represents the Wheel And the hub of the fan is acts like an axle. The hub of electric fan is connected to the motor, when force exerted by the electric motor on the hub then it start to rotate, and as the blades are connected to the hub they also rotate with the hub.

Door hinges

Door hinge is the simple machine that helps to open and close the door as well as help to stick a door to a door frame. Let’s discuss how it is an example of wheel and axle machine

 Door hinges have basic three parts namely leafs, a knuckle and a pin. Leaf is the rectangular part of the hinge, a knuckle is a rounded part attached to a leaf and through which a pin passes, and finally a pin is the one that joins two leafs of hinges together. Leafs are attached to a pin through a knuckle. Here pin is acts like an axle and leafs represents the wheel. Hence, door hinges is the example of wheel and axle simple machine.

Wheels of chair

A lot of time we have seen a chair with a wheels attached to its bottom. Those wheels are attached to the chair so that person can move and adjust the chair with ease according to his requirements. Office chair, wheelchair are some of examples of chairs with wheels.

Wheels are attached to the chair with an axle and the force is applied on the rim of the wheel so that it can rotate on the axle. The axle in a wheel chair is stationary. Most of the times the force is applied on a chair manually but now there are some chairs that are enabled with motors.


A car needs steering wheel to guide its path. Driving a car without a steering is totally impossible. Here we are going to discuss about how steering is a wheel and axle simple machine.

Steering of a car is a rounded wheel attached to a shaft and that shaft is attached to a stub axle by gears assembly. Steering converts rotational motion given to steering wheel into a linear motion that turns the wheels of car and help to guide a path. Hence steering is an example of a wheel and axle machine.

Egg beater

Egg beater consists of one big wheel with teeth’s on its both sides of rim that rotates the beaters. Hand crank is used to rotate the wheel and the wheel is connected to the beaters by a pair of bevel. When we rotate the wheel, it transfers that rotation to the beaters through the bevels. Here we have wheel and a crank as an axle so egg beater is a good example of wheel and axle simple machine.

  Image credit: Mollivan Jon is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Types of Wheel and Axle Machines

Wheel:- Wheel is a circular disc shape or ring shape structure with a hole in its center from which axle passes through.

Axle:- Axle is a rod on which wheel is mounted. Sometime it is fixed with wheel or sometimes it is not.

There are two types of wheel and axle machines

1) Machines in which force is applied to the wheel:- Ex. Screw driver ,drill machine, wagon wheel, windmill, etc.

2) Machines in which force is applied to the axle:- Ex. Bicycle, Car tires , Analog clock, Electric fan, etc.



Is pulley an example of wheel and axle?

Pulley is made from wheel and axle having groove on its rim to hold ropes or cables; but does it really acts like a wheel and axle machine?

Pulley is mainly used to lift and pull the heavy weights. A pulley is a simple machine that support movement of cable and change the direction of force applied on the load. In pulley movement of the wheel is just the side effect while the main objective of pulley is to change the direction of force that we are applying on a load. Pulley is not an example of wheel and axle machine because we use wheel and axle machine to amplify the rotational force and in pulley rotation of wheel is just a complementary effect.

Image credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/pulley-rope-equipment-ship-boat-2655777/

How many axles does an 18-wheeler have, 3 or 5?

 The number of axle in a vehicle is depending upon the size of that vehicle. Larger the vehicle more no of axles it required to support its weight.
It is very easy to find out how many axles used in any vehicle, just count the pair of wheels used in a vehicle, number of pairs of wheels is equal to the number of axles. In 18 – wheeler we have one pair of single tires and four pairs of double tires, therefore total 5 axles eighteen wheeler have.

How does a wheel and axle make work easier?

In wheel and axle, wheel is act like a lever and axle works as a fulcrum. Lever can easily lift the heavy weight with fewer efforts, because of mechanical gain.

 Similarly in wheel and axle machine we can amplify the applied rotational force by gaining mechanical advantage. In wheel mechanical advantage is gain by increasing the radius of wheel. Mechanical advantage is the ratio of radius of wheel to the radius of axle. Wheel and axle also reduces the friction involved in moving an object.

What is mechanical advantage?

Every simple machine has its own mechanical advantage, and each of them have different methods for calculation of mechanical advantage. Here we are going to discuss the general definition and formulae of mechanical advantage

 Mechanical advantage is the ratio of radius of wheel to the radius of axle. It measures how well or how poorly the axle-wheel machine works. Or it is the ratio of output force to the input force, larger the ratio greater the multiplication of force.                                                                                                                                                                     

[latex]\:M.A.= \frac{F{o}}{F{i}}[/latex]

M.A. – mechanical advantage

[latex]{F_{o}}[/latex] -output force

[latex]{F_{i}}[/latex] – input force


Shambhu Patil

I am Shambhu Patil, a physics enthusiast. Physics always intrigues me and makes me think about, how this universe works? I have an interest in nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics. I am very good at problem solving, explaining complex physical phenomenon in simple language. My articles will walk you through each and every concept in detail. Join me over LinkedIn to https://www.linkedin.com/in/shambhu-patil-96012b1a1 . E-mail :- shambhupatil1997@gmail.com

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