Compression Springs vs. Tension Springs

Draw-bar Springs

Springs have so many varieties and so many purposes.

When you need to purchase spring steel or stainless steel springs, it can be difficult to determine just which type you want! As an Australian spring supplier and manufacturer, Boynes can answer those tough questions for you.
In this blog series, we will be diving into some of the major spring models and unpacking what they
are used for and what the key differences are between them.
This week, we begin with compression springs and tension springs.

First things first – what are they?

What is a compression spring?
Compression springs are made from various grades of spring steel wire and are designed to be ‘at rest’ when they are in a fully extended position. Compression springs shorten in length when they are – you guessed it – compressed! The best way to think of a compression spring is as the clicking top of a ballpoint pen. They are the most common type of spring and can be found in a range of everyday objects, including:

  • Clocks
  • Door locks
  • Mattresses
  • Watches
  • Mobile phones
  • Pogo sticks
  • Railways
  • Cars

Our compression springs can be manufactured from a range of metals, but are mostly commonly made using a range 2 steel spring wire to the Australian standard 1472.

What is a tension spring?
A tension spring, on the other hand, functions by increasing in length. The best way to think about a tension spring is in a trampoline or in a spring-loaded garage door. The taught spring steel or stainless steel spring will allow the door to open or allow the trampoline mat to stretch and bounce. When a tension spring is tightly coiled, it is ‘at rest’. You can usually find tension springs in:

  • Doors
  • Trampolines
  • Construction components
  • Washing devices
  • Farm machinery
  • Toys
  • Levers

What are the differences?
As you can probably tell, compression and tension springs are opposites. While compression springs function when they are ‘compressed’ by external forces, tension springs function when they are expanded by external forces. The former is pushed, while the latter is pulled. These are the two fundamental reasons you would need to use a coil spring mechanism. 

How do I order compression or tension springs?
Boynes Springs is a primary manufacturer of spring steel and stainless steel springs in Australia. Our springs are coiled right here in our Perth, WA factory – and then they undergo a rigorous testing process for total quality assurance. Our range of springs, wire and flat material forms are primarily used for the automotive, electronic, mining, engineering, agricultural and bedding production industries.

Alongside compression and tension springs, we also supply die and clock springs which are cut and formed from our spring steel sheets

Reach out using the form below to find out what Boynes can do for you!