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A Detailed Guide To Gear Manufacturing

November 21, 2022

A Detailed Guide To Gear Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the process of creating objects or products from raw materials through the use of tools, machines, and processes. The term “gear manufacturing” specifically refers to the creation of gears and other similar components. Gears are an essential part of many machines and mechanisms, and their applications are vast. In this guide, we will explore the gear manufacturing process in detail, from start to finish. We will also touch on the different types of gears that can be manufactured, as well as some common applications for gears.


The Different Types of Gear Manufacturing

There are several different types of gear manufacturing, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common methods are hobbing, broaching, milling, and turning.


  • Hobbing is a gear cutting process in which teeth are cut into the gear blank by a series of rotating cutter blades. This method is very efficient and can produce accurate gears with little setup time. However, it is limited to cutting gears with external teeth only.
  • Broaching is a gear manufacturing process in which teeth are cut into the gear blank by a series of moving cutter blades. This method is more versatile than hobbing and can be used to cut internal and external teeth. However, it is more expensive and requires more setup time.
  • Milling is a gear cutting process in which teeth are cut into the gear blank by a rotating cutter blade. This method is very versatile and can be used to cut internal and external teeth. However, it is limited by the size of the cutter blade and the amount of material that can be removed at one time.
  • Turning is a gear manufacturing process in which a cutter blade removes material from the gear blank to create teeth. This method is very versatile and can be used to create both internal and external teeth. However, it requires more setup time than other methods and can be more expensive.

The Pros and Cons of Gear Manufacturing

Gear manufacturing is a huge industry, and there are many different types of gear that can be produced. Each type of gear has its own unique set of pros and cons that must be considered before gear production begins. In this section, we will take a look at the pros and cons of three different types of gear manufacturing: casting, gear machining, and forging.


Casting is a popular method of industrial gear manufacturing due to its low cost and high accuracy. However, there are some drawbacks to this method as well. One major downside to casting is that it can only be used to produce simple gears with few teeth. Additionally, the strength and durability of cast gears are often lower than those produced through other methods.


Gear machining is another common method of gear manufacturing, and it offers a number of advantages over casting. First, machined gears can be made with much more complex designs than cast gears. Second, they tend to be stronger and more durable than their cast counterparts. Finally, machining allows for greater precision in gear manufacture, which results in smoother operation and less noise overall. However, gear machining is generally a more expensive process than casting.


Forging is the third type of gear manufacturing we will examine here. Forged gears are typically much stronger and tougher than both cast and machined gears, making them ideal for use in high-load or high-stress applications. Additionally, forgings can be made to very tight tolerances, ensuring smooth operation even under extreme conditions

The Different Steps in the Gear Manufacturing Process

The gear manufacturing process generally consists of the following steps:


1. Cutting: The first step in the gear manufacturing process is to cut the gear blank from a larger piece of stock material. This can be done using a variety of methods, such as sawing, milling, or lathe work.


2. Shaping: Once the gear blank has been cut to size, it must then be shaped into its final form. This is typically done by machining operations such as hobbing or shaping.


3. Heat Treating: After the gears have been shaped, they must then undergo a heat treatment process in order to harden them and improve their wear resistance. This typically involves heating the gears to a high temperature and then cooling them rapidly.


4. Finishing: The final step in the gear manufacturing process is to finish the gears to their desired level of precision and smoothness. This can be done via a variety of methods, such as grinding, lapping, or honing.

What Materials are Used in Gear Manufacturing?

There are a variety of materials that can be used in the industrial gear manufacturing process, depending on the specific application and desired properties. Some common materials used in gear production include metals such as steel, aluminium, and brass; plastics such as nylon and polycarbonate; and composites such as fibreglass and carbon fibre.


The choice of material for a particular gear application will be dictated by a number of factors, including the required strength, durability, and tolerance requirements. In some cases, multiple materials may be used in the construction of a single gear to take advantage of the different properties of each. For example, a steel core with an aluminium or plastic coating may be used to achieve both lightweight and high strength.

What are the tolerances for gear manufacturing?

There are many factors that contribute to the tolerances of gear manufacturing, including the type of gear, the size and precision of the gear, and the manufacturing process used. In general, though, there are three main types of tolerance that are typically considered when manufacturing gears: form tolerances, pitch tolerances, and runout tolerances.


Form tolerances refer to the dimensional accuracy of the gear teeth themselves, and are generally measured in millimetres or microns. Pitch tolerances, on the other hand, refer to the spacing between adjacent teeth on the gear; again, these are typically measured in millimetres or microns. Finally, runout tolerances refer to any deviations from perfect cylindricality in the gear's profile; these are usually measured in degrees.


The specific tolerances that are required for a given gear will depend on its intended application. For example, a gear used in a high-precision instrument would need much tighter form and pitch tolerances than a gear used in a heavy-duty industrial machine. In general, though, most commercial gears are manufactured with form and pitch tolerances of +/- 0.1 mm or less, and runout tolerances of +/- 0.5 degrees or less.

How is quality controlled in gear manufacturing?

Gear manufacturing is a process that requires tight tolerances and strict quality control. There are many steps in the custom gear manufacturing process, from raw material selection to heat treatment and final inspection. Each step must be carefully monitored to ensure that the finished product meets the highest standards.


The first step in controlling quality is to select the right raw materials. The composition of the steel used to make gears is critical to their strength and durability. Once the appropriate steel has been selected, it must be cut to size and shape. The cutting process must be precise in order to avoid any distortion of the metal.


After the pieces are cut, they must be machined to create the teeth on the gear wheel. This process is also critical, as even a small error can cause problems with the fit or function of the gear. Once the teeth have been cut, the gears must be heat treated. This step strengthens the metal and prepares it for use in heavy-duty applications.


Finally, all gear wheels must be inspected for defects before they are shipped out. This inspection ensures that each wheel meets the highest standards of quality and performance.

What are some common problems with gear manufacturing?

There are several common problems that can occur during gear manufacturing, including:


1. Incorrectly formed teeth - This can cause the gear to mesh incorrectly with other gears, resulting in noise and vibration.


2. Uneven surface finish - This can also cause the gear to mesh incorrectly with other gears, and can also lead to increased wear.


3. Burrs or sharp edges on the gear teeth - These can damage other parts of the gearbox, or cause the gear to mesh improperly with other gears.


4. Wrong material choice - If the wrong material is used for gear, it may not be strong enough to withstand the loads placed on it or it may be too brittle and break under load.

The role of CNC machining in gear manufacturing

CNC machining is a process where computer-controlled machine tools are used to remove material from a workpiece to create the desired shape. This process can be used to create gears of various sizes and shapes.


Gears are an important part of many machines and devices, and their manufacturing is a critical process. Gears need to be strong and durable in order to function properly, and CNC machining can provide the necessary accuracy and precision.


There are several steps involved in custom gear manufacturing, and CNC machining can be used in most of them. The first step is creating the gear blank, which is a piece of metal that will be machined into the desired shape. Once the blank is created, it needs to be heat treated to make it stronger.


After heat treatment, the next step is cutting teeth into the gear blank. This can be done using a variety of methods, but CNC machining is often the best option due to its precision. Once the teeth are cut, the gear needs to be finished, which typically involves adding a coating for protection.


CNC machining plays an important role in custom gear manufacturing, as it provides the accuracy and precision needed to create high-quality gears. By using CNC machined gears, manufacturers can ensure that their products will function properly and last for many years.


Gear manufacturing is a complex process that requires precision and expertise. In this guide, we have provided an overview of the gear manufacturing process, from start to finish. We hope that this guide has given you a better understanding of the gear manufacturing process and how it works. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about gear manufacturing, you can contact our experienced staff at True Gear & Spline Ltd. We use the latest CNC machining for gear shaping. With decades of experience, we have earned a name for ourselves as one of the best in the industry.