A simple machine is a device that can change the direction or the magnitude of a force, or the point where it is applied. This is done so that the force can be used to do work. All mechanical machines are made by combining simple machines.
- The lever (also called a rope or staff) can move the point at which a force is applied and may also change the magnitude and direction of the force.
- The wheel change the direction in which the force is applied.
- The pulley changes the point where a force is applied, and may also change its magnitude and direction.
- The inclined plane
- The wedge
- The screw that converts rotational motion to linear motion, and a rotational force to a linear force.
A compound machine is made up of two or more simple machines.
- Anderson, William Ballantyne (1914). Physics for technical students: mechanics and heat. New York, USA: McGraw Hill. pp. 112–122. Retrieved 2008-05-11.