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Key words: Simple machines, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, lever, distance, force, speed, mechanical advantage, fulcrum, effort, load, physical science, Ron Kurtus, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

Three Lever Classes

by Ron Kurtus (20 November 2014)

There are three types or classes of levers, according to where the load and effort are located with respect to the fulcrum.

Class 1 has the fulcrum placed between the effort and load. Class 2 has the load between the effort and the fulcrum. Class 3 has the effort between the load and the fulcrum.

Each has its own uses and advantages.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions. Useful tool: Units Conversion



Class 1 lever

A Class 1 lever has the fulcrum placed between the effort and load. The movement of the load is in the opposite direction of the movement of the effort. This is the most common lever configuration.

Class 1 lever

Class 1 lever

The effort in a class 1 lever is in one direction, and the load moves in the opposite direction.

Note that the length of the effort arm can be greater than, equal to or less than the length of the load arm in a class 1 lever.

Examples of class 1 levers include:

Double class 1 lever

A scissors and a pair of pliers are considered double Class 1 levers.

A pair of pliers is a double class 1 lever

A pair of pliers is a double class 1 lever

Class 2 lever

A Class 2 lever has the load in-between the effort and the fulcrum. In this type of lever, the movement of the load is in the same direction as that of the effort. Note that the length of the effort arm goes all the way to the fulcrum and is always greater than the length of the load arm in a class 2 lever.

Class 2 lever

Class 2 lever

The load in a class 2 lever moves in the same direction as the effort.

Examples of Class 2 levers include:

Class 3 lever

A Class 3 lever has the effort in-between the load and the fulcrum. Both the effort and load are in the same direction. Note that the length of the load arm goes all the way to the fulcrum and is always greater than the length of the effort arm in a Class 3 lever.

Class 3 lever

Class 3 lever

The load in a Class 3 lever moves in the same direction as the effort.

Examples of Class 3 levers include:

Summary

There are three types or classes of levers, according to where the load and effort are located with respect to the fulcrum. Class 1 has the fulcrum placed between the effort and load, Class 2 has the load in-between the effort and the fulcrum, and Class 3 has the effort in-between the load and the fulcrum.


Be curious and observe things around you


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

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Books

Top-rated books on Simple Machines


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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