Category Archive: Worm Gears

Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears: What’s The Difference?

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Understanding the differences between gear types is critical for achieving the necessary power transmission in mechanical applications. There are a lot of  factors to consider when picking a suitable gear  for your parts,  such as precision grade standard, proportions, permitted efficiency and engine power, need for heat treating and teeth grinding, and more. But first, what is a gear?

A gear is a machine element with teeth that are cone-shaped or cut around cylindrically with equal spacing. By meshing two of these components, they can transmit forces and rotations from the main shaft to the driven shaft. Gears come in various shapes and sizes, such as spur gears, helical gears, bevel gears, worm gears, gear racks, etc. These gears can be categorized based on the orientation of their axes, such as parallel shafts, intersecting shafts, and non-intersecting shafts.

This article focuses on two well known gears – worm gear and bevel gear.Let’s know their differences in terms of benefits, downsides, and applications. In order to fully comprehend how they differ, let us first define what those two gears are.

What Is A Worm Gear?

A worm gear, also known as a worm drive, is a gear structure consisting of a shaft with a spiral thread, or a (screw that looks like a worm) that engages with the drives a toothed wheel or the worm wheel. Worm gears are commonly used when significant speed reductions are required. The manufacturer can adjust the rotational speed of a worm gear configuration, which is ultimately determined by the number of threads or starts and teeth on the gearbox.

Worm gears use a sliding effect to transmit movement force at right angles. It changes the rotational movement by 90° and the plane of movement also changes due to the position of the wheel. Frequently, the two components are made of different materials, typically a steel worm and a brass wheel.

What is a Bevel Gear?

Bevel gears have tooth-bearing faces that are conically shaped, and the axes of the two shafts intersect. They are typically mounted on shafts 90° apart, but they can also be designed to work at other angles.

Bevel gear units have two main components: the pinion and the gear, which transform right-angle movements. It makes use of angular gear teeth. Several teeth make contact simultaneously, and the entire tooth width of the interlocking teeth transmits force as the gears turn.

Pros & Cons: Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of using worm gears and bevel gears units:

Advantages Of Worm Gears

  • Worm gears are used when a high gear ratio is required.
  • A worm gear unit’s highest ratio is approximately 100:1.
  • Because of the high self-locking based on the sliding result of the worm shaft, an extra brake is either unnecessary or only necessary to set a less expensive, small brake. However, this feature depends on the friction angle and the inclination angle.
  • Worm gears are typically more favorable than bevel gears, especially in industrial applications.

Disadvantages Of Worm Gears

  • The sliding contact of the gears causes significant friction, resulting in an extremely high operating temperature and low efficiency.
  • The worm wheel, mostly made of bronze, wears out quickly.

Advantages Of Bevel Gears

  • Operating noise is low.
  • It has a higher torque capacity when compared to worm gears of the same size.
  • It has high efficiency
  • A hollow shaft is possible.

Disadvantages Of Bevel Gears

  • Bevel gears are significantly more expensive than worm gears.
  • Bevel gears are produced in pairs. In case of maintenance and repair, you must replace both gears.
  • They need to be positioned precisely to achieve high efficiency
  • Their translation range is limited, with a maximum ratio of 6:1 per bevel gear set.
  • Not advisable to use for high-speed reduction because they make noise at high speeds.

Applications: Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears

Both gears are used in various applications, but they specialize in different areas.

Worm Gears Applications

Worm gears are used in many applications requiring low speed and relatively high power amplification. They can be found in everyday household items as well as heavy machinery. Worm gears have numerous advantages over other modes of transmission, especially when speed reduction is required. Here are a few examples of products and appliances that use worm gears:

  • Tuning instruments
  • Lifts and elevators
  • Cranes
  • Mining industry machines
  • Small engines
  • Rolling mills
  • Automatic security gates
  • Conveyors

Bevel Gears Applications

Bevel gears are typically used in mechanical settings since they can transfer energy from linear to sheer power. The following are some examples of items and products that used bevel gears:

  • Hand drills
  • Automobiles
  • Printing presses
  • Marine applications
  • Power plants
  • Steel plants
  • Cooling towers
  • Railway track inspection machines

High-Quality Engineered Gear Products By Superior Gearbox Company

Worm gears are one of the most common and cost-effective methods of reducing rotational speed, and they are used in a wide range of simple and complex mechanisms. Meanwhile, bevel gears are power transmission components used to reverse the direction of shaft rotation, reduce speed, and increase torque between non-parallel rotating shafts. To achieve the precision required, you must find a company that can accommodate your specifications.

Superior Gearbox Company custom-designs  high-quality gear drives and gear boxes that meet even the most stringent clients’ requirements for various industries and applications for over 45 years. From high performance manufactured bevel gear drives, worm speed reducers, helical gear motors, and other gearbox components, you can count on our team to deliver only the superior output for the product you need when you need it.

Our outstanding engineering and design, sourcing, turning, machining, assembly and testing capabilities as well as our excellent customer service and tight teamwork, can ensure that we can find you the best solutions for you gearbox or gear drive needs for any application.

To know more about our superior capabilities, feel free to contact us, or request for a quote for your upcoming project!

Choosing the Right Gearbox Lubricant

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Most individuals rely heavily on maintenance manuals and qualified product lists (QPLs) to determine the best lubricant. However, this strategy does not constantly deliver optimal lubrication for a specific gear system or maximum productivity in oil inventory management. It doesn’t help either that some OEMs only provide general specifications without particularizing operating temperatures, forcing you to choose one. Therefore, to select the suitable gearbox lubricant, you must first understand how they differ.

This article will discuss the factors to consider when selecting a lubricant, including its three basic types.

Factors To Consider in Lubricant Selection

Aside from choosing a gearbox lubricant from the maintenance manuals, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few examples:


Lubricants serve a variety of purposes, including stabilizing the following:

  • Friction: Reduction of heat and energy consumption
  • Wear: Lessening of mechanical and corrosive wear
  • Corrosion: Protection of surfaces from corrosive substances
  • Contamination: Transportation of particles and contaminants to filtration and separation systems
  • Temperature: Absorption and transfer of heat

You must first understand your application’s specific challenges, then choose the lubricant accordingly. For example, determine whether it will be constantly subjected to environmental conditions, such as high pressure, low temperature, and exposure to saltwater.


Lubricants may not appear to contain many ingredients, but there are multiple additions to the base oil that are carefully chosen, depending on how and where users will apply them.

Greases are oils with additional thickeners composed of fibrous particles that act as sponges to retain the oil and increase its viscosity. Moreover, each type of thickener has distinct advantages and disadvantages, like shear stability, permeability, and water and heat resistance.


You must recognize and understand the terms used to make the best lubrication selection. The following are words you might encounter:

  • Viscosity: This characterizes how thick or resistant the oil or grease is to flow. Greater viscosity equals more excellent flow resistance.
  • Kinematic viscosity: This refers to a fluid’s internal resistance to flow under gravitational forces.
  • Weight: This pertains to how viscous an oil is or how it flows at a given temperature.
  • NLGI consistency: This indicates the hardness and softness of grease. The numbers usually range from 000 (like cooking oil) to 6 (like cheddar cheese).
  • Runout: This points to the ability of grease or oil to withstand higher temperatures, which generally makes lubricants less viscous.
  • Shear stability: This characterizes the oil’s resistance to an adjustment in viscosity triggered by mechanical stress.
  • Metal on metal: This refers to a circumstance when no lubricant is left in a bearing or other application.

Ease of Use

The specific equipment determines a gearbox lubricant’s method of application. For instance, an aerosol lubricant is enough for a simple hinge, whereas an accessible gearbox can be easily greased by hand.

On the other hand, automatic dispensers are recommended for complex or difficult-to-reach locations and must only be refilled every six months. Meanwhile, a continuous dispenser may be the best option for chains that require regular lubrication.


Gearbox lubricants have a limited lifespan and must be replaced when it expires. Failure to do so can lead to runout, metal-on-metal contact, ruined bearings, and other problems that cause downtime and increased costs. Furthermore, monitoring the thermal performance of your equipment is a crucial way to track the lubricant’s lifespan. For example, oils are destroyed by excessive heat; therefore, it is recommended to perform heat tracking with digital calibration tools for thermal imaging and vibration analysis.

Lastly, consider knowing more about predictive maintenance (PdM). This scheduling trend is proving to be highly effective at saving costs significantly while keeping equipment operating at peak performance levels.


Some lubricants are more expensive than others, but this is because they have different ingredients and serve varying functions. Don’t just look at the container’s price tag to determine the lubricant’s actual cost. Instead, compare that figure to the cost of downtime or replacement, product loss due to halted production or contamination, labor hours, and other considerations that may be an issue for you.

Types of Gearbox Lubricant

While there are numerous variations, the types of lubricating oil used in gearboxes are generally categorized into R&O, anti-scuff, and compounded.


Rust and oxidation-inhibited (R&O) gear lubricants do not have anti-scuffing and lubricity additives, making them suitable for applications requiring chemical stability, corrosion prevention, and foam suppression.


Anti-scuff gear lubricants contain special additives that improve film strength or load-carrying capacity. Heavy loads, slow speeds, and shock loading are machine conditions that necessitate using these lubricants.


The compounded gear lubricant is combined with a synthetic fatty acid to improve lubricity and film strength. The most common use for this type is worm gear applications.

Choose Superior Gearbox Company for Exceptional Gear Products

For over 45 years, Superior Gearbox Company has customized high-quality gear products that fulfill our customers’ requirements for various applications and industries. Our excellent engineering and design, sourcing, turning, machining, assembly, testing capabilities, and top-notch customer service guarantee that we can find the best solutions for your needs.

Contact us to learn more about our superior capabilities, or request a quote now!

How to Source Custom Gear Reducers

Gear reducers—also known as speed reducers or gearboxes—are mechanical devices used to reduce the input power source speed to achieve the desired output speeds and raise the output torque to appropriate levels for the application. They consist of an input gear with fewer teeth than the output gear. This design causes the output gear to rotate slower than the input gear, which decreases the output speed and multiplies the amount of torque generated by the input source. 

Since gear reducers are available in many shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to choose one for a particular application. Fortunately, the gear drive experts at Superior Gearbox Company have put together the following guide to sourcing custom gear reducers. It highlights the steps to take to ensure the component you select is right for your needs. 

Identify the Application of the Custom Gear Reducer

Gear reducers are used to decrease speed and increase torque of a variety of industrial and household machines. Examples of equipment in which they are commonly found include: 

  • Agricultural equipment
  • Carts
  • Conveyor systems
  • Mining tools
  • Presses
  • Pumps

Each of these applications has different needs that affect the optimal design for the speed reducer. It is important to consider these unique requirements and restrictions before going into the design and prototyping stages. 

Design and Prototype the Custom Gear Reducer

Once you’ve identified the demands of the application, we can design a gear reducer that can achieve and accommodate the necessary speed and torque levels. Additionally, our team of experts will work with you to ensure your custom gearbox design meets the other requirements and restrictions of the application, including with regard to environmental conditions, transfer accuracy, output style and modifications, and size/fit. Creating prototypes of each design helps ensure you create a component with the proper form, fit, and function. 

Choose a Supplier That Can Meet Your Needs

Working with a custom gearbox manufacturer ensures the design of a product that meets your exact design requirements for power, speed, and torque.  The manufacturer you choose for your custom gear reducer project can significantly affect the success of your project. You should partner with a company that has the knowledge and skills to help you identify what type of gear reducer you need for your application and design, prototype, and manufacture an appropriate solution. 

Superior Gearbox Company: A Reliable Supplier of Custom Gear Reducers

Looking for a manufacturer you can rely on to provide a custom gearbox that meets your application demands for form, fit, and function? Superior Gearbox Company is the ideal partner! Equipped with over 45 years of gear drive manufacturing experience, we have what it takes to deliver gear drives for nearly any customer need.   Our skilled team with work with you from every step of the way to develop cost-effective solutions for even the most demanding applications.

We are superior in more than just name:

  • We provide superior products. We supply right angle, bevel, worm gear, and spindle drives for various on- and off-road applications. We can also custom-design gear drives for unique applications. 
  • We maintain superior advantages. We utilize state-of-the-art engineering software to produce consistent and economical products that offer reliable performance throughout years of use.
  • We offer superior services. We can take products from design to prototype to final testing. Our team ensures each component is carefully manufactured, tested, and inspected to ensure it meets the highest quality standards every time. 

Ready to experience The Superior Advantage? Contact us today.

What Is a Worm Gear?

A worm gear, also called a worm drive, is a gear configuration in which a screw or worm meshes with the teeth of a gear. Worm gears are typically used when substantial speed reductions are required. A worm gear configuration enables the rotational speed to be adjusted, which is ultimately determined by the number of starts and teeth on the worm gear.

Applications of Worm Gears

Worm gears are used in many applications where low speed and a relatively large amplification of power is required. They appear in simple, everyday home devices as well as heavy machinery. Worm gears have many advantages over other transmission methods—especially for applications that require speed reduction.

Here are just a few examples that show how worm gears are commonly used today:

Elevators — Worm gears are standard to use in applications that require fast braking or stopping, such as an elevator. In addition to their compact size, worm gears are used in these applications because, in the proper size and ratio, they can stop and hold a load and won’t go in reverse. These properties help ensure that the load cannot free fall, and they help to regulate the elevator’s speed.

Tuning Instruments — One of the most common uses of a worm gear is the tuning mechanism found on stringed instruments such as guitars, banjos, and violins. Often referred to as a machine head and usually located on the instrument’s headstock, the worm gear allows the user to adjust the strings and lock the gear into place when the desired tightness is achieved. The worm gears used for tuning instruments are unique because they can be used to tighten or loosen the strings, whereas most other types of gears move only in one direction.

Conveyors — Conveyors are used extensively in industrial applications to move products from one place to another. Worm gearboxes are an economical way to provide the required torque increase and speed reduction required from electric motors to move the products efficiently.

Automatic Security Gates — Automatic security gates lock when closed and will not run in reverse. Security gates typically use two separate worm drives to open and close a gate. The ability of a worm drive to lock in place ensures that the gate remains in position and cannot be forced or breached.

Why Use a Worm Gear Speed Reducer?

Worm gears are commonly used for speed reduction because multiple conventional gear sets are needed to achieve the same effect. Rather than installing more gear sets, worm gears have an increased reduction ratio, which makes them more effective. The ratio increases depending on the number of teeth on the worm gear and how many threads are included on the pinion. Worm gears are also more cost-effective than conventional gears because they have fewer components and a lower risk of mechanical failure.

Learn How Superior Gearbox Company Can Help Reduce Speed on Your Work Gears

Worm gears are one of the most common and economical methods available for reducing rotational speed, and they are integral to many mechanisms, both simple and complex. They’re more practical for many applications than conventional gear kits because they require less space and operate quietly. They’re also more mechanically stable and have anti-reversing properties needed for some applications.

At Superior Gearbox, we have manufactured high-quality gear drives for power transmission systems since 1975. We offer our clients many gear drives designed for various applications and can also create custom designs to meet your specifications.

To request a quote or learn more about worm gears, contact us today.