Handwheels: What Are They And How To Choose The Best?

  • Incorporating The Finishing Touches Into Your Product Design

If you need to make manual adjustments to a piece of equipment, or a display cabinet, then handwheels are the ideal design component!

Handwheels are a useful tool in design that primarily allow you to either manually operate machinery, or else they can provide you with access to compartments that are otherwise locked. This versatile component of design is useful across many industries such as the medical equipment field, or in marketing and retail. Read on to learn more about how handwheels are incorporated into an end product and select the right type for your next creation.

Handwheels in Industry

Handwheels are one of those parts of design that almost everyone will have come across at some point, but without realising. Essentially, they’re a small screw-like wheel that you twist in order to obtain a result. In the medical industry, hospital beds are often adjusted manually by twisting a handwheel to be used as a lever of sorts. A similar use can be found in spas or leisure facilities where the position of massage tables or reclining chairs needs to be changed regularly in order to suit the individual patient.

Moving into an entirely separate industry, you’ll also find handwheels widely used in any sector that relies on the use of display materials. This might be in a shop window, in a corporate office lobby or a hotel for example. Where posters or business cards are locked behind a glass or plastic cabinet screen, a handwheel can often be found to the side which will allow you to gain access to regularly change the presentation materials within.

Choosing The Right Handwheels

Whatever the purpose of your handwheel, as a manual component of your finished design, it needs to be user-friendly and easy to operate. As such it’s essential that you work with a quality supplier that stocks a full range of adjustable handwheels so you can find the perfect component for your product.

Handwheels are available with a number of lobes available depending on the amount of grip you wish to work with. You can choose from wheels with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or even 8 lobes, and they’re available in both male or female versions depending on the type of corresponding connector you’re working with.

In terms of material, you can select handwheels in options such as thermoset which provide superior heat resistance and durability, or else you might prefer a lighter weight choice such as the nylon item which is also extremely economical.

How To Incorporate Your Handwheels

When determining how your handwheels will fit in with the rest of your product, it usually helps to begin by looking at the bigger picture of your design and then work backwards. Ask yourself where the handwheels will be placed and how regularly you expect them to be operated. If you expect to use the part frequently then you might possibly choose an easy grip wheel made from lightweight material, whereas if you expect the handwheel to remain quite tightly in place most of the time, then a heavier thermoset design will likely be the better choice.

Handwheels are one of the finishing touches of your product, but as with any other design component you’ll need to take care in both your selection and your measurements to ensure a perfect fit!