Worksheet: Mechanical Advantage of Machines

In this worksheet, we will practice calculating the mechanical advantage produced by machines that apply forces over distances, such as pulleys and gears.


A system of pulleys is used to lift a load of 45 N a distance of 1.5 m by applying a force of 15 N. What is the mechanical advantage of the pulley system?


Which of the following is a correct definition of the mechanical advantage provided by a machine to which an input force 𝐹 I N is supplied and which produces an output force 𝐹 O U T ?

  • A ( 𝐹 + 𝐹 ) 2 I N O U T
  • B 𝐹 𝐹 O U T I N
  • C 𝐹 𝐹 I N O U T
  • D 𝐹 𝐹 I N O U T
  • E ( 𝐹 𝐹 ) 2 I N O U T


Two gear wheels have lever arm lengths of 𝑑 and 𝑑 , as shown in the diagram. The larger wheel is used to turn the smaller wheel. The input force used to turn the larger wheel is 35 N and the output force from the smaller wheel is 70 N.

What is the mechanical advantage of using the larger wheel to turn the smaller wheel?

What is the ratio of 𝑑 to 𝑑 ?

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