A wedge is a simple machine that is designed to split things into two separate pieces. A wedge is wide at the base and pointed on the edge. This characteristic structure of a wedge simple machine reduces the force required to split things into parts, thereby making the task easier. In other words, the triangular or trapezoidal edge of a wedge simple machine provides the user with a mechanical advantage. It minimizes the force required to perform the task of splitting, breaking, or cutting an object. For instance, a flat nail takes much more force to get fixed into a piece of wood, whereas a wedge-shaped nail easily penetrates the wooden block.
Examples of Wedge Simple Machines
A knife is one of the most commonly used wedge simple machines. It consists of a blade with a sharply tapered point with a metallic, wooden, or plastic handle. When the user applies force to the knife, the mechanical force gets transferred to the fruit or the vegetable in contact with the blade, causing it to split into two pieces.
If you observe a fork closely, its tines are constructed in a wedge shape. It helps cut the food items into smaller pieces with ease. Hence, a fork is a good example of the most frequently used wedge simple machines in real life.
3. Cheese Grater
The cheese grater helps shred the cheese into fine pieces. The structure of a grater consists of wedge blades that help split the block of cheese into multiple pieces. Hence, a cheese grater is a prominent example of a wedge simple machine.
The working of a peeler is very much similar to that of a grater except for the fact that a peeler consists of a single trapezoidal tapered blade that removes or separates one layer of the fruit or vegetable at a time. Since the peeling off the skin of the object would have been much difficult without the tool, it is necessarily a wedge simple machine.
Wedge-shaped heels are very popular amongst women. They are super comfortable to wear as compared to other types of heels. This is because the wedge type construction of the shoes enables a balanced transmission of force to the ground and provides a stable and even surface to walk on.
A shovel is a great example of a wedge simple machine. Removing snow or soil with the help of a shovel is easier as compared to a flat metallic plate. This is because the structure of a shovel is carefully designed in a tapered triangular form, thereby making it yet another example of a wedge simple machine.
A needle does not work to separate things into two parts, but it is used to sew or join two separate pieces of fabric together. A needle is one of the chief examples of a wedge simple machine. If you observe the tip of a needle, you will find it has a wedge shape. Hence, there exist some wedge machines that help to hold or join two things together.
The blade of chainsaws, hack saws, hand saws, etc., is constructed in such a way that it is wide on one end, and the thickness gets reduced while moving towards the other end. This wedge-like structure of the blade helps the simple machine to penetrate better in the object and provides a neat slit.
A push pin or a drawing pin is used to fix a piece of paper on the board, or it helps to hold two pieces of paper together. It is yet another example of the wedge simple machines that are used to join two objects together. The tip of a push pin is specially designed in a wedge shape because it is easier for a wedge-shaped push pin to penetrate an object than a blunt pin.
A pair of scissors make use of shear force to cut a piece of paper into two parts. When the force is applied by the user, the blades of the scissors push one part of the paper in a downward direction and the other part in an upward direction. The blades of a scissor are not evenly sharp. The sharpness of the blade increases while moving towards one edge, thereby making it a prominent example of wedge simple machines.