Clutch is a machine member used to connect the driving shaft to a driven shaft, so that the driven shaft may be started or stopped at will, without stopping the driving shaft. A clutch thus provides an interruptible connection between two rotating shafts. Clutches permit a high inertia load to be stated with a small power. Clutches are used whenever the facility to limit the transmission of power or motion needs to be controlled either in amount or over time.
In the simplest application clutches are employed in devices which have two rotating shafts. In these devices one shaft is typically attached to a motor or other power unit (the driving member) while the other shaft (the driven member) provides output power for work to be done.
In a drill for instance, one shaft is driven by a motor and the other drives a drill chuck. The clutch connects the two shafts so that they may be locked together and spin at the same speed (engaged), locked together but spinning at different speeds (slipping), or unlocked and spinning at different speeds (disengaged)