While there is a wide range of elevators to fit every need, they fall under three basic types: machine-roomless, gearless traction and geared traction.
Traction elevators are the most common type of elevators. Elevator cars are pulled up by means of rolling steel ropes over a deeply grooved pulley, commonly called a sheave in the industry. The weight of the car is balanced by a counterweight. Sometimes two elevators are built so that their cars always move synchronously in opposite directions, and are each other's counterweight.