Handwheel Keyways

Handwheels Keyways are not a Bore!

A keyway is one of the oldest methods of locking a handwheel to a shaft. A square cutout is made going into the shaft and a matching cutout is made going out into the handwheel. These matching cutouts are known as the keyway. They typically come in standard sizes. A small piece of steel that fits tightly into the keyway locks the handwheel to the shaft.

The handwheel slides on to the shaft, the cutouts are lined up, and then the “key” is pushed into place. Typically the key requires some force to push into place. This gives equal turning force in both directions, limited by the strength of the key itself. The key and handwheel are meant to absorb the wear and preserve the shaft being driven. Keys are easy to replace.

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