Simple Machine Examples From Around the House

A simple machine is a basic mechanical device that helps you perform work. All six types of simple machines can most likely be found around your house. Explore simple machine examples to see which types of machines you use every day.

Simple machine wedge axe splitting wood Simple machine wedge axe splitting wood

Inclined Plane Simple Machine Examples at Home

An inclined plane is fairly easy to spot because it is “a surface that is at an angle against a horizontal surface.”

  • ladder
  • sidewalk curb ramp
  • slanted roof
  • slide
  • stairs
  • wheelchair ramp
Incline plane simple machine slide

Pulley Simple Machine Examples at Home

While home pulley examples are hard to come by, you probably have at least one of these at home. A pulley is “a small fixed wheel or a group of such wheels with a rope or chain in a grooved rim that is used to lift something up.”

  • clothesline
  • curtains (with string to open and close)
  • dog run
  • extension ladder
  • flag pole
  • garage door
  • universal weight machine
  • well
  • window blinds
Simple machine pulley well

Screw Simple Machine Examples at Home

Aside from actual screws, there are many examples of screw machines in most homes. A screw is “any of various devices operating or threaded like a screw.”

  • bolt
  • car jack
  • drill
  • end of a hose
  • end of a light bulb
  • faucet
  • gas tank cap
  • jar lid
  • wine corkscrew
Screw Simple Machine Example lightbulb

Wheel and Axle Simple Machine Examples at Home

You might be surprised how many everyday wheel and axle examples you can find in your house. As the name implies, a wheel and axle is “a larger wheel or pulley that is fixed to a shaft, a smaller wheel or pulley, or a drum, to increase mechanical advantage or speed.”

  • analog clock
  • bicycle gears
  • door hinge
  • doorknob
  • electric fan
  • office chair wheels
  • pizza cutter
  • pocket door
  • screwdriver
  • toilet paper roll on a spinning holder
Wheel and Axle Simple Machine Example Bicycle Gear

Wedge Simple Machine Examples at Home

Wedges are one of the most common types of simple machines you can find around your house. A wedge is “a tool used to split something into pieces or the shape of anything that has two edges that meet at a point.”

  • ax (pictured at top)
  • cheese grater
  • chisel
  • door stopper
  • fork
  • knife
  • nail
  • needle
  • shim
  • shovel
  • snowplow attachment for tractor, truck, or ATV
  • staple
  • tack/pushpin
  • vegetable peeler
  • zipper
Wedge Simple Machine Example Nail

Lever Simple Machine Examples at Home

A lever is “a device consisting of a bar turning about a fixed point, the fulcrum, using power or force applied at a second point to lift or sustain a weight at a third point.” Explore a few lever examples you probably see on a daily basis.

  • balance scale
  • bottle opener
  • broom
  • claw end of a hammer
  • door
  • fishing rod
  • handheld garlic press
  • handheld juicer
  • handheld nutcracker
  • light switch
  • nail clippers
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • seesaw or teeter-totter
  • stapler
  • toilet seat
  • tongs
  • tweezers
  • water pipes (not all)
  • wheelbarrow
Lever Simple Machine Example Fishing Rod

Simple Machines That Help You Every Day

Did you know there were so many simple machines making your life easier at home every day? Take a walk around your house and see what other great examples of simple machines you can find.