In clocks, we have seen a spring device used to engage the winding ratchet. The spring can take the form of a straight or slightly curved piece of springy metal, affixed at one end, with the other end holding the ratchet down into the teeth of the winding gear.

We see this kind of straight spring in other places, like in the clip that can be found on some tools that clip onto your pocket, or springy tabs that hold flat things down against a surface.

Question: what type of spring is this considered?

Maybe it is a torsion spring with zero turns? Not sure about this, because torsion springs seem to usually have coils, and the majority of flexing seems to take place in the middle, whereas a flat piece of metal would flex along its length?

Maybe it is a single-leaf, leaf spring? Classic leaf springs are attached at both ends and experience sideways force in the middle, but there are examples that are attached at only one end, and it seems like a leaf spring could still work if it were sawn in half?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How is the name important? You want to look up some references about it? $\endgroup$
    – nasu
    Mar 4, 2022 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ Helps to know how it's classified, for example, there's formulas for understanding various spring types and arrangements. Also, application-specific design guides, etc... $\endgroup$
    – drone6502
    Mar 5, 2022 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


This seems to be a question about engineering terminology rather than physics. It sounds like you're describing a cantilever spring: "A flat spring supported at one end and holding a load at or near the other end." (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 2003).


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