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Types of Springs and Their Uses

Revised: 7/25/19
Grainger Editorial Staff

Springs are used in nearly every industry out there. Although simplistic in design, these devices store potential mechanical energy. Springs come in many different shapes and sizes. Learn all about the most common types of springs and their most useful applications with our guide.

What are the different types of springs?

Torsion Springs

Description: A torsion spring is the most common device used in applications. These types of springs are wound tightly into a spiral. Their design is similar to an extension spring except that the ends extend away from the device in a non-helical shape. This device is twisted tight to store potential energy, and they release their load in an arc around the axis.

Use: These springs are found in applications like clothespins, mouse traps and rocker switches. Good for things that rotate less than 360 degrees.

Extension Springs

Description: An extension spring stretches (or extends) to create a load. Both ends of this device typically have small loops or end coils that are pulled out and formed from each end of the body for attaching.

Use: These types of springs are used in any application where extended force is needed. They are commonly found in trampolines, push and pull levers, rocking horses and screen doors.

Compression and Die Springs

Description: These springs are used in any application where extended force is needed. Compression springs are commonly found in trampolines, push and pull levers, rocking horses and screen doors.

Use: These types of springs can be commonly found in switches, automotive suspensions, jacks-in-the-box and pogo sticks.

Other Springs

There are other types of springs that used in particular applications, such as pneumatic springs or plumbing springs. These springs are used in pneumatic and plumbing applications and systems. Constant force springs are less common and much different than any of the former, particularly because they do not obey Hooke’s Law. Instead, they exert a near-constant force from the spool being wrapped tightly around a drum. This type of spring is used in applications that need retraction, like seat belts or tape measures.

Springs are ubiquitous. Whatever force you need in your application, the right spring is out there to do the job.


The product statements contained herein are intended for informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. W. W. Grainger, Inc. does not guarantee the result of product operation or assume any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of such products.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.


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