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What is a Coil Spring?

A coil spring is a helical-shaped mechanical device that is close-wound or open-wound. Coil springs store mechanical potential energy. They can be made of elastic materials or metal such as hardened steel. You can find coiled springs in many ordinary items—from farm equipment to toys, trampolines and much more.

How Coil Springs Work

A coil spring functions by storing energy in order to release it, absorb shock or maintain force between two surfaces. If you apply too much force, you can stretch a spring beyond its limit which will permanently distort the spring.

3 Common Types of Coil Springs

  1. Compression springs are open-coil springs wound in a helical shape. They are designed to resist compression. When you push on a compression spring, it pushes back. Compression springs vary in shape, from helical and hourglass to conical and barrel.
  2. Extension, or tension springs, are tightly coiled helical devices with hooks or loops on each end. Extension springs are wound with initial tension and work to bring two opposing objects together.
  3. Torsion springs exert a force called torque. They try to push attached mechanisms back to their original position. Torsion springs store potential energy and are commonly used for clothespins, mouse traps, garage doors and vehicle suspensions.

Common Coil Spring Applications

The coil spring has many designs and applications. The first steel coil spring was produced in 1857 for an armchair. Today, you can find coil springs in countless everyday products, including:

  1. Clocks
  2. Automobiles
  3. Retractable pens
  4. Door handles
  5. Toasters
  6. Gates
  7. Toys (e.g. the Slinky)
  8. Garage doors
  9. Mattresses
  10. Firearms

Custom Coil Springs

At Master Spring & Wire Form Co., we work with you to produce a range of spring types for use in a variety of industries. Our ability to design and manufacture various types of coil springs other manufacturers can’t produce is what sets us apart. Whether your industry is automotive, renewable energy, outdoor power equipment or something in between, you can find a custom solution at Master Spring, including:


  • Compression coil springs: Learn more about our helical, conical, barrel and hourglass compression springs for a wide variety of applications.
  • Torsion coil springs: Place a custom order for single and double helical torsion springs with wire diameters from .010” to .250”.
  • Extension coil springs: Find made-to-order extension springs with twist, cross center, side loop, German hook and extended hook ends.
  • Finishing for coil springs: From plastic to coating, choose our custom finishing services. We special pack your coil springs to prevent tangling.

Learn how Master Spring’s custom springs served one power equipment client by exploring this extension spring case study. To get a free custom quote, contact us today with your coil spring specifications.

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1340 Ardmore Ave., Itasca, IL 60143

Phone: 708.453.2570 | Fax: 708-453-6420