What Is Crank?

Are you curious to know what is crank? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about crank in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is crank?

In the world of mechanical devices and machinery, the term “crank” often pops up. While it may sound like a simple or even archaic term, cranks are actually essential components in various machines, engines, and everyday devices. This blog will delve into what a crank is, how it works, and the diverse range of applications where you can find this ingenious mechanical component.

What Is Crank?

A crank is a simple mechanical component that converts rotary motion into reciprocating motion or vice versa. It consists of a lever attached to an axis, which allows it to rotate. As the crank rotates, it generates linear or reciprocating motion in a connected rod or link. This motion conversion is fundamental in various mechanical systems and has been used for centuries.

How Does A Crank Work?

Understanding how a crank works is relatively straightforward. When you rotate the crankshaft (the lever) about its axis, it creates circular motion. However, when a rod or link is attached to the crankshaft, the circular motion is translated into linear motion. This linear motion can be utilized to drive various mechanisms, including pumps, engines, and more.

Applications Of Cranks

  1. Internal Combustion Engines:

Cranks play a vital role in internal combustion engines, such as those found in cars, motorcycles, and industrial machinery. In these engines, the rotary motion of the crankshaft is converted into the reciprocating motion of the pistons, which drives the engine’s power and generates mechanical work. This process is what enables your car to move and your lawnmower to cut grass efficiently.

  1. Bicycles:

The pedals on a bicycle are directly connected to a crankshaft, which, when rotated by the rider, creates reciprocating motion in the pedals. This motion is then transferred to the chain, driving the wheels and propelling the bike forward.

  1. Pumps and Compressors:

Many pumping and compressing devices rely on cranks for their operation. For example, hand pumps, like those used in water wells, use a crank to transform circular motion into the up-and-down motion of the pump handle. Similarly, air compressors and hydraulic pumps utilize cranks to pressurize fluids or gases.

  1. Reciprocating Saw:

Cranks are also prevalent in tools like reciprocating saws. In this application, the rotary motion of the motor is converted into the back-and-forth motion of the saw blade, allowing it to cut through various materials efficiently.

  1. Printing Presses:

In the printing industry, cranks are integral components of printing presses. The rotary motion of the crankshaft is converted into the reciprocating motion of the printing plate or paper, enabling high-speed and precise printing.

  1. Clocks and Watches:

The escapement mechanism in mechanical clocks and watches often employs a crank-like component to regulate the flow of energy and produce the ticking motion, which accurately keeps time.


In the world of mechanics and engineering, the humble crank serves as a versatile and crucial component. Its ability to convert rotary motion into reciprocating motion or vice versa makes it indispensable in various applications, from engines to hand tools and even timekeeping devices. As technology continues to advance, cranks will remain a fundamental part of countless machines and devices, ensuring that they function efficiently and reliably. So, the next time you ride a bicycle, start your car, or use a hand pump, take a moment to appreciate the simplicity and elegance of the crank that makes it all possible.

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What Is The Definition Of A Crank?

1. : a bent part of an axle or shaft or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft by which circular motion is imparted to or received from the shaft or by which reciprocating motion is changed into circular motion or vice versa. 2. a. archaic : bend.

What Is A Crank In Engineering?

crank, in mechanics, arm secured at right angle to a shaft with which it can rotate or oscillate. Next to the wheel, the crank is the most important motion-transmitting device, since, with the connecting rod, it provides means for converting linear to rotary motion, and vice versa.

What Is A Crank Example?

: a machine part with a handle that can be turned in a circular motion to move something. To open the car window, turn the crank on the door.

What Is A Crank Lever?

A crank is a lever that can be rotated 360º about its pivot, as shown in Figure 9.26. Such a machine may not look like a lever, but the physics of its actions remain the same. The MA for a crank is simply the ratio of the radii ri/r0.

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