- from Simple Machines
Think of a long, strong stick (a lever). The stick is propped up on a small object (the fulcrum).
Now imagine that you are holding one end of the stick, and that a heavy rock (the load) is on the other end. By pushing down (effort) on the stick, you will be able to lift the rock. In levers, the effort is applied at a different point from the load. And the position of the fulcrum makes all the difference in the amount of effort (push or pull) that is needed to move a load. For example, the closer the load is to the fulcrum, the less effort you will need to lift it. But your effort will move a greater distance than when the load is farther from the fulcrum. In that case, your effort will be greater, but it will move a shorter distance.