Different Types Of Gears

There are many different types of gears. For the purposes of this section we will focus on different gear geometry and not different quality, materials, etc...


No matter how long I spend working with gears, I seem to always run into some new ones that I have never heard of before. I am focusing on the most common types of gears and if I miss any, or you know of some not listed in this section, please feel free to email us and we will gladly ad them to our list.      info@gearsandstuff.com

Each type of gear has its own purpose as well as unique advantages and disadvantages. We will try to address as much information on each type of gear as possible.

Types Of Gears

Gear Type Description Photo
Spur Gears Spur gears are by far the most common type of gear and with the exceptions of the "cog" the type of gear that has been around the longest.

Spur gears have teeth that run perpendicular to the face of the gear.

Image Of A Spur Gear
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Helical Gears Helical gears are very similar to spur gears except the teeth are not perpendicular to the face. The teeth are at an angle to the face giving helical gears more tooth contact in the same area.

Helical gears can also be used on non-parallel shafts to transmit motion.

Helical gears tend to run quieter and smoother than spur gears due to the increased number of teeth in constant contact at any one period of time.

Image Of A Helical Gear
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Herringbone Gears Herringbone gears resemble two helical gears that have been placed side by side. They are often referred to as "double helicals".

One benefit of herringbone gears is that it helps to avoid issues related to side thrust created with the use of helical gears.

Image Of A Herringbone Gear
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Bevel / Miter Gears Bevel gears are used mostly in situations that require power to be transmitted at right angles (or applications that are not parallel). Bevel gears can have different angles of application but tend to be 90.

Image Of Bevel Gears
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Worm Gears Worm gears are used to transmit power at 90 and where high reductions are required. The worm resembles a thread that rides in concaved or helical teeth.

Image Of Worm Gears
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Internal Gears Internal gears typically resemble inverted spur gears but are occasionally cut as helical gears.

Image Of Internal Gears
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Racks A rack is basically a straight gear used to transmit power and motion in a linear movement.

Image Of AGear Rack
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Face Gears Face gears transmit power at (usually) right angles in a circular motion. Face gears are not very common in industrial application.

Image Of A Face Gear
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Involute Splines Splined shafts and hubs are usually used as connectors in many different types of applications. One of the most common applications is to connect motors to gear reducers. They may also be used in transmissions.

Involute splines resemble spur gears, but tend to have different pressure angles.

Shows The Involute Spline Form
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Straight Sided Splines Straight sided splines often serve the same function as involute splines but have "straight sided" teeth instead of involute teeth.

Shows The Straight Sided Spline Form
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Sprockets Sprockets are used to run chains or belts. They are typically used in conveyor systems.

Image Of A Gear Sprocket
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