Scissors mechanism

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An example of a simple scissor lift.
A pantograph mirror.

A scissors mechanism uses linked, folding supports in a criss-cross 'X' pattern,[1] known as a pantograph.


Extension is achieved by applying pressure to the outside of a set of supports located at one end of the mechanism, elongating the crossing pattern. This can be achieved through hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical or simply muscular means.

It may require no power to return to its original position, but simply a release of the original pressure.


This mechanism is used in devices such as lift tables and scissor lifts.


  1. ^ "Scissor Lift Jack Review & Equations". Engineers Edge, LLC. Retrieved January 2, 2012.