A connecting rod, also called a 'con rod',[1][2][3] is the part of a piston engine which connects the piston to the crankshaft. Together with the crank, the connecting rod converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotation of the crankshaft.[4] The connecting rod is required to transmit the compressive and tensile forces from the piston. In its most common form, in an internal combustion engine, it allows pivoting on the piston end and rotation on the shaft end.

Typical design of automobile engine connecting rod
Typical aluminium rod (left), oil drip rod (centre), steel rod (right)

The predecessor to the connecting rod is a mechanic linkage used by water mills to convert rotating motion of the water wheel into reciprocating motion.[5]

The most common usage of connecting rods is in internal combustion engines or on steam engines.