Last edited 16 Mar 2021


An ‘appliance’ is a piece of equipment designed to perform a specific task, often used to refer to powered equipment such as a gas appliance or an electrical appliance. It generally associated with performing domestic or kitchen functions, such as a washing machine, boiler, microwave, toaster, kettle and so on. Generally appliances are of standardised sizes and types.

Where an industrial function is being performed, the terms ‘equipment’, ‘machinery’, ‘plant’ or ‘tool’ might be more appropriate. Very broadly, the term ‘tools’ refers to instruments that are used by hand, ‘equipment’ refers to a set of tools used for a single purpose and ‘plant’ refers to heavy machinery. At the smaller scale, there may be some overlap between what is considered to be plant, small plant, tools, small tools, light equipment or equipment.

The term appliance may also refer to a fire engine.

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