A camshaft is a shaft that contains a row of pointed cams, in order to convert rotational motion to reciprocating motion. Camshafts are used in piston engines (to operate the intake and exhaust valves),[1][2] mechanically controlled ignition systems and early electric motor speed controllers.

A camshaft operating two valves

Camshafts in piston engines are usually made from steel or cast iron, and the shape of the cams greatly affects the engine's characteristics.

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