When shopping for a handwheel, you’ll need to consider the style. Handwheels are commonly used to control machines. Turning a handwheel will engage the machine to which it’s connected. While all handwheels feature a circular, wheel-like handle, they are available in different styles. Some of the most popular styles of handwheels include the following.
Also known as dished handwheels, offset handwheels are characterized by an offset shape. The outside diameter of the hub is offset to that of the wheel itself. In other words, offset handwheels become deeper towards the center, resulting in a sunken and dish-like shape.
Spoked handwheels feature spokes between the outer rim and the center. They are similar to bicycle wheels. Both spokes handwheels and bicycle wheels have spokes. Each spoke is a rod that runs between the outer rim and the center. Some spoked handwheels have two spokes, whereas others have three or more spokes. Regardless, they all have spokes connecting the outer rim to the center.
Some handwheels are flat. Flat handwheels are exactly what they sound like: handwheels that feature a flat top. Other types of handwheels may have a sunken shape. Flat handwheels, conversely, are flat. Unlike offset handwheels, the outside diameter of the hub isn’t offset to that of the wheel itself. Rather, it’s on the same plane. Flat is one of the most common styles in which handwheels are made.
You may discover that handwheels feature a handlebar. Handlebars consist of a raised bar that runs perpendicular to the handwheel’s outer rim. With a handlebar, you’ll have more options to turn the handwheel. You can still turn the handwheel by gripping the outer rim with your hand. Alternatively, though, you can grip the handlebar.
We can’t talk about the different types of handwheels without mentioning disk. Disk handwheels are characterized by a spokeless design. They are also known as solid handwheels. Regardless, disk or solid handwheels don’t have any spokes. They feature a solid design where the outer rim is integrated directly into the center of the wheel. Disk handwheels work well for applications in which you want to avoid axial access.
While choosing a handwheel in the right material is important, you still need to consider the style. Handwheels are available in a variety of styles. Common handwheel styles include offset, spoked, flat, handlebar and disk.