How Does the Wheel and Axle Make Work Easier?

Glory Cycles/CC-BY 2.0

According to Mediahex, a wheel and axle makes work easier by changing the amount of force applied to a load. The object that is being moved is a load located at the axle. A force applied at the outer edge of the wheel moves the load. This allows the user to apply the force over a greater distance with less effort than applying force directly to the axle, explains Mediahex.

The wheel and axle is a simple machine consisting of a circular object called a wheel and a shaft known as an axle, which is attached to the wheel. All simple machines change the amount of effort needed to work and are the basis for all other machines, according to Mediahex. Two examples of a wheel and axle are a doorknob and a round water facet. In a doorknob, a larger handle turns a much smaller axle to move the door latch. In addition, a faucet has a larger handle that turns a much smaller axle to open a water valve. Another example of a wheel and axle is a car steering wheel, where the driver exerts a force on the outer edge of the wheel to cause the front wheels to turn.