Pulley: Definitions, Types, Working, Examples, Advantages and disadvantages, Uses, Importance

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This blog post is going to discuss all about ”Pulley” which includes Pulley: definitions, parts, types, Working, formula, Examples, functions, Diagrams, Advantages and disadvantages, applications(uses), Importance, and much more down the road.

So, Stay with me and scroll gently while I am taking to the mainstream of this blog post.

So, Without further delays let’s dive into the mainstream…

What is Pulley?

A pulley is a simple machine with a collection of axle, and rope wrapped around the rim of the wheel to transmit the power from one end to another end.


When transmission of power goes from one place to another place through the wheel via a rope, known as a pulley.


Types of Pulley-

There are mainly Eleven types of pulleys in this world and those are-

  1. Fixed Pulley
  2. Movable Pulley
  3. Single Pulley
  4. Compound Pulley
  5. Fast and Loose Pulley
  6. Step or Cone Pulley
  7. V Groove Pulley
  8. Ideal Pulley
  9. Split Pulley
  10. Drum Pulley
  11. Round Pulley

Now, Let’s look at these different types of pulleys one by one down the road…

1. Fixed Pulley-

Fixed pulleys are those that have fixed wheel and axle and doesn’t move from their place or if the axis of rotation of any pulley is fixed meanwhile it changes the direction of force applied, known to be a fixed pulley.


fixed pulley

2. Movable Pulley-

When one end of the rope is attached to the fixed point and effort is applied at the other end while the pulley is hanging between both ends carrying the load, known as a movable pulley.

Although, This movable pulley is used in Cranes, Elevators, and gym equipment.

movable pulley

3. Single Pulley-

Single pulleys are those that have a fixed angle of rotation with a fixed wheel and axle arrangement with rope over the pulley groove, known as a single pulley.

This pulley arrangement is also known as a single fixed pulley and is used mostly in drawing water from a well.

4. Compound Pulley-

A compound pulley is a mixer of both movable and fixed pulleys to multiply the mechanical advantage.

The multiple numbers of pulleys can be used to make the compound pulley system which further reduces the applied force even with heavy loads, giving so much of mechanical advantages along the load lifting.

Meanwhile, Compound pulleys are commonly applied in sailboats.

compound pulley

5. Fast and Loose Pulley-

Fast pulleys are those which is connected to the driving shaft while loose pulleys are those that are not connected to the driving shaft.

When transmission of power is needed, the belt will be on the fast pulley wheel and when not needed, the belt will be shifted to the loose pulley.

fast and loose pulley

6. Step or Cone Pulley-

Stepped or cone pulleys are installed to make the change in speed between the two shafts(Driving and Driven Shafts). These pulleys are arranged in sets of steps in increasing or decreasing diameter.

Stepped or cone pulley is named because of the arrangement of pulleys in steps and is similar to cone design.

step or cone pulley

7. V- Groove Pulley-

This type of pulley is similar to a step or cone pulley, the difference is that the wheel of the pulley is grooved into the V-shape and runs via a V-shape belt.

This pulley arrangement is also used to increase or decrease the rotary motion between two shafts.

This pulley system is also known as the V-belt pulley system.

v-belt pulley

8. Ideal Pulley-

The Ideal Pulley is –

  • Frictionless
  • Massless

Due to the frictionless movement of rope over the pulley, the Ideal pulley does not rotate and the tension created on both sides of the pulley is the same.

This pulley is also known as Jockey Pulley.

Ideal Pulley

9. Split Pulley-

A split pulley is made up of two pieces of semi-circle metal further assembles together on the shaft with the help of a nut and bolt.

The split pulley is helpful when frequent assembling and disassembling of the pulley is needed.

Split Pulley

10. Drum Pulley-

Drum pulleys are the types of pulleys that are used for conveying purposes. When the movement of objects is needed from one place to another place, then the drum pulleys are used.

These pulleys are drum in shape, that’s why they are known as drum pulleys.

Conveyor Pulley”- Another name for this pulley.

Drum Pulley

11. Round Pulley-

Round Pulleys are uniformly grooved in semi-circular shape and further runs via the round belt, that’s why this pulley is called round pulley or round belt pulley.

Round Pulley

Now, Let’s move to another segment of this discussion where you will know about parts of this pulley…

Parts of a Pulley-

There are four parts of the pulley and they are-

  1. Wheel
  2. Axle
  3. Rope
  4. Grooved Area

1. Wheel

One of the major parts of the pulley is- Wheel, which is assembled on the axle.

2. Axle

Axle is the another major part of the pulley which holds the wheel and rope.

3. Rope

Rope is the also another major part of the pulley which runs over the wheel’s groove and further supports carrying load and effort.

Working of a Pulley-

Pulleys work on the basis of the transfer of the reduction of load and weight.

When effort is applied at the one end via a belt or rope over the groove of the wheel assembled on the axle.

Another end is bound with the load, when the rope is pulled from one direction, the direction of force changes toward the load which further provides the mechanical advantage to the load with lessing gravity applied on the load, and thus load moves up with less effort or less force application.

More Pulleys mean more mechanical advantages and thus less effort needed.

Examples of the Pulley System-

There are multiple examples are there which use the pulley system to make our life easier and much more effortless in our day-to-day life. These examples are elaborated on in the link down below-

Importance of the Pulley system-

We can move objects much more easily thanks to simple mechanisms called pulleys as they can change the force’s direction.

When we combine several pulleys, they additionally boost mechanical advantage. By using this method, less force is needed to raise something heavy.

Advantages of the Pulley-

Some of the major benefits of the pulley system are-

  1. Pulleys make our work easier
  2. Pulleys are a great source to use mechanical advantage
  3. Economical
  4. Less or no need for Lubrication

Disadvantages of the Pulley-

Some of the major drawbacks of the pulley system are-

  1. Less reliable than gears
  2. Lengthy assembling process in case of compound pulley system
  3. Regular observation is needed to check the condition of the belt or rope
  4. Slipping of rope may happen, if not handled properly

Applications and Uses of the Pulley-

  1. Drawing water from the well
  2. Cranes
  3. Transmission of power between shafts
  4. Elevators
  5. Cargo lift system
  6. Engines
  7. Flagpoles
  8. Bulldozers
  9. Military Tanks
  10. Sails on sailboats
  11. Escalators


Wrapping Up-

Pulleys is been around for thousands of years allowing people to lift large weights with minimal amount of effort using mechanical advantages.

This is all I have for now. I hope you loved landing here and gained some value in return. If so, share with your near and dear ones and also on social media platforms to spread the valuable knowledge out there.

Till then, This is Abhishek, Signing off for now while hoping to see you in the next blog post.

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Here are some related articles, You must read to further enhance your knowledge bowl-

What is Mechanical Pin?: Classifications, Types, Uses with Pictures

What are Compound Machines? Working, Uses and More


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