3 Functions of Toggle Mechanism (PDF)

1.) To multiply a hand force at the handle into a high clamping force to hold work.

2.) To create an overcenter lock to prevent the clamp from opening and releasing the work until opened by the operator.

3.) To rapidly open and close the clamp giving a wide clearance in which to load and unload the workpiece

The multiplication of input (hand) force to output (clamping) force is created firstly by the leverage of handle length (A) to link length (B), and secondly by the three pivots of the toggle being pushed into alignment.

A clamp with a handle to link leverage of 3 can multiply its hand force to clamping force as follows:

Link Angle Toggle Multiplier Handle Leverage Multiplier Overall Force Multiplier
2.0° 14 3 42
1.0° 28 3 84
0.5° 57 3 171
0.25° 114 3 342
0.12° 342 3 1026
0.0°  Infinity - limited by the elasticity of the clamp
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