Gear Manufacturing Part II: Types of Gears

Last month, as part of our Gear Manufacturing series, we shared the resources that are available to those new to the gear industry as well as seasoned pros. This month we thought it would be fitting to highlight the different types of gears and what a gear is/does. Let’s read on.

What is a Gear?

So, a circular gear is a mechanical component consisting of a toothed wheel attached to a rotating shaft that when paired together transmit rotary motion (speed) and torque without slippage at which point the teeth of one gear engage the teeth of a mating gear. In the gear industry one size does not fit all. Gears are classified based on teeth configuration, use and direction of motion, so let’s dive into the different types of gears.

Types of Gears


Spur Gears

Spur gears are the most common form of gears that have applicationsSpur Gear in the automotive industry, small conveyor systems as well as clocks. Spur gears are cylindrical with a tooth line which is straight and parallel to the shaft, transmitting power as they move in parallel paths.

Helical Gear

In contrast to the Spur gear, Helical gears have their teeth positioned at an angle to the shaft Bevel Gears manufactured by Gear Motionsand have multiple teeth in contact during transmission. As a result, to the teeth position, Helical gears can carry larger loads and produce less noise and vibrations as loads are better distributed. There are different types of Helical gears. There is the single or double Helical gear, herringbone gear and screw gear. Helical gears are used in water pumps, mixers, and automobiles.

Bevel Gear

Like Helical gears, there are several different types of Bevel gears, however the Bevel gear is shaped like a cone with teeth around the cone which allows them to transmit force between perpendicular shafts, intersecting at a 90-degreeBevel Gears Manufactured by Gear Motions angle. The most common configuration is the Straight Bevel gear due to the simplicity and ease of manufacturing. Bevel gears can be found in mixers, watering systems and crushers.

Worm Gear

Worm gears utilized in farm machines, small conveyors and packing equipment consist of a screw-shaped cut on the Worm Gear exampleshaft, the worm, and the matching gear, the worm wheel. Worm gears transmit power in non-intersecting shafts that make right angels. Unlike the above-mentioned gears, worm gears work by making sliding contact with less friction, creating smooth and quiet rotations.

Tune back in next month for Part III of our Gear Manufacturing series as we discuss the difference between stock and custom gear manufacturing.