Difference between Axle and Shaft

Axle Vs Shaft:

Axle and shaft are quite different from each other. The shaft is usually used to transmit power from one part to another. For example, the drive shaft of a vehicle transmits torque and rotation from the drive train to different other components of the vehicle. Whereas on the other hand Axle is referred to as shaft for rotating wheels of the vehicle. The axle is designed in a way to take bending loads from the wheels or other rotating components which it supports.

shaft vs axale


Axle refers to a central shaft which is used for rotating wheels or gear. In wheeled vehicles such as cars, jeeps etc an axle is fixed to the wheels and rotates with them or it can also be fixed to the vehicle along with the wheels of the vehicle which rotates around the axle.


Shaft refers to a rotating machine element basically circular in cross section and is used to transmit power from one part to another or it can also be used to transmit power from machine which produces power to a machine which usually absorbs power. Two main components such as pulleys and gears are usually mounted on the shaft.

Main difference between Axle and Shaft:

The following are some of the major differences between axle and shaft.

  • Axle usually refers to a nonrotating element whereas on the other hand shaft is a rotating component of the vehicle.
  • Axle usually provides support to wheel and pulley of the vehicle while shaft primary function is to transmit torque.
  • Axle is used for bending and to absorb power while shaft is used to absorb bending, torque, and vibration.
  • Axle is usually a component of the vehicle with simple design whereas shaft have a much more complex design while comparing to axle.

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