For other uses, see Crusher (disambiguation).
Crushers may be used to reduce the size, or change the form, of waste materials so they can be more easily disposed of or recycled, or to reduce the size of a solid mix of raw materials (as in rockore), so that pieces of different composition can be differentiated. Crushing is the process of transferring a force amplified by mechanical advantage through a material made of molecules that bond together more strongly, and resist deformation more, than those in the material being crushed do. Crushing devices hold material between two parallel or tangent solid surfaces, and apply sufficient force to bring the surfaces together to generate enough energy within the material being crushed so that its molecules separate from (fracturing), or change alignment in relation to (deformation), each other. The earliest crushers were hand-held stones, where the weight of the stone provided a boost to muscle power, used against a stone anvil. Querns and mortars are types of these crushing devices.