Classes of Levers - First, Second and Third

Levers are probably the most common simple machine because just about anything that has a handle on it has a lever attached. The point on which the lever moves is called the fulcrum. By changing the position of the fulcrum, you can gain extra power with less effort.

A good example of a lever is a see-saw. Let's say that you're really light, and you want to lift a really heavy person on the opposite side. If you put the fulcrum in the middle, you won't have a chance. But if you slide the fulcrum closer to the heavy person, it will be easier to lift. Where's the trade-off? Well, to get this helping hand, your side of the see-saw is much longer (and higher off the ground), so you have to move it a much greater distance to get the lift.

Levers are used to:


First Class Levers: