The Difference between Compression and Tension Springs

Tension springs and compression springs look similar therefore it is understandable to confuse the two however they are actually designed to do very different things. Here at European Springs we're going to reveal how can springs that look so similar can be so different?

Main Differences

Tension springs are mainly used to hold two components together whereas compression springs are used to keep components from meeting. Both springs have a coil spring design for strength and elasticity however they used in entirely different ways.

Tension Springs

The design difference between compression springs and tension springs is that the latter are usually have a loop or a hook attached at either end – these are for attachment purposes. Tension springs can be found in garage doors but a trampoline is a better example of this type of spring in action. The primary function of this type of spring is to allow an outside force to create tension then use energy to pull components back together. Tension springs are usually wound very tightly and this spring in a state of rest when it is coiled closely together. If the coils of a tension spring are damaged it will not be able to return to its original state of tension.  

Compression Springs

Although compression springs are too a form of coil spring, it is designed to work differently to the tension spring. Compression springs are more often than not manufactured from a much larger gauge wire and are not wound as tightly as the tension. The compression spring is the most common type of spring and can be found in many different products and machinery such as; mattresses, pogosticks, watches and mobile phones. The compression spring is at rest when it appears to be in an extended position and is designed to resist a compressive force.

Compression and tension springs work in opposite ways however they are both exceptional inventions that are a necessary to many different products. They are two magnificent examples of the coil spring. If you require any more information in regards to spring technology, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us here at European Springs by phoning +44 (0) 208 663 1800 or email

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