What are the key differences between torsion and compression springs?

Have you ever wondered what are the differences between a torsion spring and a compression spring? It is crucial to understand these two types of springs as they are used in many different engineering and mechanical projects.

Each type of spring has its own unique function and purpose, so let’s take a closer look at the differences between them.

What are torsion springs?

Torsion springs, characterised by their helical or coiled design, are engineered to resist torque by storing mechanical energy through twisting or rotation around a central axis.

Typically made of durable materials like high-carbon steel or alloys, they generate rotation between surfaces by allowing parts to move around the centre of the spring and push them back into their original position.

Commonly employed in various applications and mechanical systems, torsion springs are vital in providing controlled rotational force where their ability to absorb and manage angular forces is essential.

What are the advantages of torsion springs?

Torsion springs possess several advantages that make them highly valuable in various applications:

Tailored for rotation

Specifically designed for controlled torque, they are used in garage doors, lids, or machinery components needing precise rotational force.

Precise angular control

Offering controlled and predictable movements, they are essential for applications requiring specific rotational forces.

Efficient torque management

Torsion springs excel in handling rotational or twisting forces crucial in applications like garage doors and mechanical systems needing controlled rotational energy.

Durable in rotational applications

Torsion springs endure repeated rotational stress without significant wear, ensuring longevity in systems with frequent rotational movements.

Compact energy storage

They efficiently store significant energy in confined spaces by twisting around an axis, ideal for applications with space limitations.

What are the industries where torsion springs are commonly used?

Torsion spring manufacturing considers several factors to produce a quality product. Size and shape are vital, as are spring rate, maximum deflection, pitch, and ends. Some common industries where torsion springs are frequently used include:


They play a pivotal role in the automotive sector, particularly in components such as doors, trunk lids, and fuel doors. Their use ensures controlled and precise rotational movement, contributing to the reliability and safety of these essential vehicle parts.


Machinery components, including doors and gates, often incorporate torsion springs to provide the necessary controlled twisting forces. This use ensures the smooth and reliable operation of construction equipment and systems.

Consumer goods

These springs are prevalent in the realm of consumer goods, finding application in everyday items. Clothespins, retractable pens, and various household products utilise torsion springs to deliver controlled rotational force, enhancing the usability and longevity of these common items.

Electronics and electrical systems

The electronics industry commonly incorporates torsion springs in devices and appliances with moving parts. Hinges in laptops, retractable mechanisms in small electronic gadgets, and other applications benefit from the controlled rotational forces provided by torsion springs, contributing to the durability and functionality of these electronic products.

Industrial manufacturing

They are employed in systems that involve rotational movements, contributing to the efficient operation of various manufacturing processes. From conveyor systems to packaging equipment, torsion springs play a crucial role in ensuring controlled and precise rotational forces.

What are compression springs?

Compression springs, commonly found in various applications, are constructed in a helical or coiled design to absorb and retain energy by shortening along their axis when compressed.

Crafted from sturdy materials such as high-carbon steel or alloys, these springs store potential energy by absorbing force through compression, compacting in length when subjected to external pressure, and then restoring to their original form upon force release.

Their helical structure enables efficient storage of potential energy as they compress and expand, providing controlled linear force essential in applications like shock absorbers and machinery components where the controlled release of stored energy is crucial.

What are the advantages of compression springs?

Compression springs offer several advantages over other types of springs, making them a preferred choice in various applications:

Versatile force handling

Compression springs efficiently manage linear forces, making them adaptable in various applications such as shock absorbers and switches.

Wide applicability

With the ability to handle linear forces, they find use in a broad range of systems, suitable for various applications from heavy machinery to common items like pens or switches.

Space efficiency

Compression springs store substantial energy in limited spaces due to their linear nature, advantageous in applications with space constraints.

Simplicity and ease of implementation

Their linear compression design is simpler to integrate into systems compared to the complex motion management required by torsion springs.

Cost-effective manufacturing

They are more cost-efficient to produce, enabling mass manufacturing without compromising quality.

What are the industries where compression springs are commonly used?

Compression springs are incredibly versatile and can be easily manufactured in different sizes and diameters, depending on their end-use. Some of the industries where they are commonly used include:


These springs are extensively used in the automotive sector for various applications, including suspension systems, valves, and engine components. They provide reliable and controlled linear force, contributing to the overall performance and safety of vehicles.

Consumer Goods

Compression springs are prevalent in the production of consumer goods, contributing to the functionality of everyday items. They are used in products such as pens, toys, and various household items where controlled linear force is crucial for proper functioning.


The electronics industry frequently incorporates compression springs in devices and appliances. These springs are used in switches, connectors, and various mechanisms where controlled linear force is necessary for proper operation. Their reliability and compact design make them suitable for use in electronic gadgets and equipment.

Manufacturing and Machinery

In the manufacturing industry, these springs play a crucial role in machinery and equipment. They are utilised in applications where linear force absorption and controlled expansion are essential, contributing to the efficiency and reliability of manufacturing processes.

Medical devices and equipment

Compression springs are commonly found in the medical industry, particularly in the manufacturing of medical devices and equipment. They are used in components such as surgical instruments, diagnostic devices, and various medical tools that require controlled linear force.

How can you choose the right spring?

Selecting the appropriate type of spring depends entirely on the requirements of the application.

For instance:

  • If the application involves rotational movement or requires torque, torsion springs would be the better choice.
  • If the application needs linear resistance or shock absorption, compression springs would be more suitable.

It is important to evaluate the specific needs of the system or mechanism and choose the type of spring that best aligns with those requirements.

Sometimes, a combination of both types may be used within a single system to fulfil different functions. There is no universal "better" spring type; the suitability of torsion or compression springs depends entirely on the context and demands of the application at hand.

Consulting with a mechanical engineer or a spring design specialist can further help in making the right selection. They can provide expertise in understanding your application's needs and recommending the most appropriate spring type and design.

Looking for the ideal spring?

It is crucial to be able to tell the difference between these springs so you can use them correctly and avoid potential problems in various mechanical systems.

If you do not know what the differences are, you could end up using the wrong spring type for your needs, resulting in wasted resources and compromised functionality. That is why we at Elite Springs are here to guide you through the selection process.

Contact us now for expert support in choosing the perfect spring type for your unique application, guaranteeing efficiency and effectiveness.