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Gear Hobbing and Why It Is Used Today

January 29, 2021

Gear Hobbing and Why It Is Used Today

There are many ways to make gears. Most methods use a subtractive process in which material is removed in small shavings and cuts. One of the most effective methods is called gear hobbing. It is a machining process that requires a special type of milling machine that progressively cuts into the material by a series of small cuts made by a tool called a hob.


As one of the most common methods currently used to create gears, a hobbing machine is also one of the most effective tools used to create splines.


A flat cylindrical piece of metal is first placed on a spindle perpendicular to the cutting tool. As the hob rotates on the vertical axis, removing small shavings from the gear blank, the spindle rotates horizontally ensuring that the cutting tool makes contact around the entire blank. As the cutting continues, gear blank slowly moves vertically against the cut, deepening the grooves of the gear. This process is done slowly to ensure the cuts are smooth eventually forming the shape of a gear. Multiple gear blanks can be stacked during the same cutting process, increasing production efficiency. The main limitation of hobbing is that it is primarily used to form external gears.


There are different variations to a gear hobbing machine. Cutters of different sizes can be used depending on the desired depth of the grooves in the gear. The orientation of the cutter and spindle can change depending on the machine, whether to cut horizontally or vertically. CNC technology has also made hobbing machines more precise during operation opening the possibilities of cutting more variations of gears as well as the standard gear and spline.


This method of manufacturing gears is a relatively inexpensive process which is one of the reasons why it is very common among gear manufacturers. This allows the production of gears to be done in a broader range at a higher quantity than many other methods.


Gear hobbing is one of the methods used here at True Gear & Spline Ltd to ensure high-quality production of each gear. Contact us today to learn more about our services.