For an ergonomic control mechanism, look no further than T-handles. They feature a T-shaped design that’s natural and easy to use. You can grip the top of a T-handle, and then you can turn it to engage the machine to which it’s connected. While all T-handles feature this same design, they are available in different types.
Studded T-handles are characterized by their use of a stud insert. The stud insert is a threaded rod that’s attached to the bottom of the handle. You can see an example of a studded T-handle in the photo above. Studded T-handles such as this are designed for use with machines or other workpieces that feature a threaded hole.
There are tapped T-handles as well. Tapped T-handles don’t have a stud insert. Rather, the bottom of the handle is tapped, meaning it has a threaded hole. Tapped T-handles are used in applications where the machine or workpiece has a bolt or other threaded fastener. You can twist a tapped T-handle onto a threaded fastener.
You may come across locking T-handles. As the name suggests, locking T-handles have a built-in lock. The lock is typically found within the center of the handle. In their default and unlocked state, you can turn a locking T-handle. Once it’s achieved the correct position, you can then lock it. Most locking T-handles feature a key lock. You can insert a key into the center, and after turning the key, it will be locked in place.
Another common type of T-handle is extra clearance. Extra-clearance T-handles are designed for use in applications where there’s a limited amount of space. All T-handles consume space. Extra-clearance T-handles are simply smaller, so they consume less space than their counterparts. They still have a T-shaped handle, but the handle is shorter in length than that of most other T-handles.
Finally, there are through-hole T-handles. Through-hole T-handles have a threaded hole that runs completely through them. They are similar to tapped T-handles. Both through-hole and tapped T-handles have a threaded hole. Tapped T-handles, though, only have a partially threaded hole. The threaded hole in a tapped T-handle is found below the handle itself. The threaded hole in a through-hole T-handle, conversely, runs completely through the handle itself.
As you can see, T-handles are available in many different types. Some of the most common types of T-handles include studded, tapped, locking, extra-clearance and through-hole.