Virtually every machine, application, and piece of technology requires the use of a knob. There are many different types of knobs that can be used for the same purpose. They may have a completely different look, feel, and control but depending on what the main requirements of the components are, it can get tricky to evaluate which knob would work best for your needs.
If you are considering standard or custom knobs as a solution to your problem, it is important to understand the various types, as well as what types of applications they are suited for. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the 9 most common types of knobs, along with a material and application breakdown.
Here at Monroe, we offer variety, convenience and quick service on all our knobs. We are constantly expanding and strengthening our product lines with new styles, sizes and thread variations.
The top 9 most commonly used knobs
Ball Knobs: Ball knobs come in a large variety of different materials and sizes and are commonly used on applications that have up-down and right-left directional movement. They are also used for tightening, fastening, and pulling on an object, which makes them a perfect choice for control levers. Their round design makes for an easy and comfortable grip no matter the material.
Soft touch ball knobs feature a soft, yet tough, elastomer coating that also provides a comfortable and positive grip. For an economical alternative, plastic ball knobs are a great choice. They are made from high-quality phenolic plastic, which is smooth to the touch with a glossy finish.
Knurled ball knobs have a clean, attractive cap that features 3 design lines, giving the knob a modern look. With a removable center cap that is available in other colors, the PA6 Thermoplastic material is anthracite gray in color. The knurled ball knob has smooth burr-free belted flutes for a firm gripping surface. Simple operating, comfortable grip, and easily maintained.
Push-pull Knobs: Push-pull knobs are a very simple design and can come in many different shapes and sizes and are made for simple functionality where in-out, forward-backward, and up-down motion is required. These knobs are usually made from high quality phenolic plastic polished to a glossy finish, or stainless steel which is perfect for a heavy-duty solution for any clamping and hand fastening needs.
T-handle Knobs: Although it is often referred to as a handle, the T-handle also falls into the knob category. The T-handle comes in different shapes with rounded, curved, and straight lines. The unique styles give the T-handle many possibilities for different applications. It is commonly used on applications that require high torque where operators must be in complete control and very meticulous with their movements. T-handles allow for powerful clamping and can adjust easily in very small hard to reach spaces.
T-handles are made with a handful of different materials such as phenolic, glass-fiber reinforced technopolymer, thermoplastic, and duroplast. If you are looking for something that has built in security we have a Nylok locking feature or high-security lock system available for multiple handles. We carry heavy duty, light duty, load rated, and extra clearance designs. If there is a small space with a high torque application that needs full control, the T-handle is a great fit.
Knurled Rim Knobs: Knurled rim knobs are made to obtain a firm grip. The small ridge patterns are rolled or cut into the material for a non-slip grip. They come in a wide variety of different styles and are often used on applications where the operator may be in contact with damp or wet surfaces. The knurled rim helps to prevent fingers from slipping to ensure positive tightening. They are also available in a handle form for use with a longer or larger surface area that requires using other directional movements.
Clamping Knobs: Clamping knobs are designed to be able to grasp comfortably to adjust applications that require turning or clamping that may require medium torque. A few different styles of knobs fall into the clamping knob category, such as star knobs which are lobe knobs that are available in a wide range of configurations from 3 to 8 lobes and provide a positive clamping action.
Prong Knobs: The pronged design provides a firm grip for applications requiring fast tightening and strong torque. The shape and design of the prongs allow for powerful a hold and can often be controlled by using just a few fingers if the application requires less torque. Our prong knobs come in various materials including plastic, nylon, and metal. The high-quality phenolic material is resistant to oils and solvents and has no sharp edges: all corners are deburred and radiused.
Tapered Knobs: Due to their length, shape, and grip, tapered knob handles are fantastic for many different applications. While primarily used when the application requires movement in all directions, the forwards-backwards, up-down, and left-right rotation tapered knob handles are best fitted for mechanical controls, machine tools, trucks, industrial equipment, forklifts, and even garden tools.
They have a comfortable grip because of their tapered design, however, if a stronger grip is needed, tapered knobs are also designed with flutes or grooves to increase grip performance. Their insert material is made with plastic or brass molded threads, whereas the outer material is Phenolic.
Wing Nuts/Screws: A clean, no-nonsense knob with ample finger pads for applications with high torque. They can also be used for applications requiring fingertip control and lower torque tightening requirements. Many plastic wing knob styles are designed to be ergonomically correct, which ensures maximum operator comfort and are great for small tight spaces.
Instrument/Control Knobs: Control knobs are very popular in the electronics and medical device industry. As far as materials go, these knobs are available in glass-fiber reinforced polyamide based technopolymer (which resist solvents, oils, greases, and other chemical agents), steel, stainless steel, and even high quality spun aluminum. They are available with or without pointers, and with or without painted indicator lines.
Here at OneMonroe, we stock most standard knobs, which ship same day! Need something custom? No problem! Our custom manufacturing capabilities allow us to take on any project. If you would like to learn more about our knob solutions, both standard and custom, please contact one of our Sales Engineers at 1-888-216-4767 or feel free to shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org we are always here to help!
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