Speed Reducer Selection

How should I select a gear reducer?

  • The kind of reducer you need will depend on your application.  The first information you should have handy is your input horsepower and speed, the output speed you need, and the method of mounting to the motor or equipment.  From there, we can help you determine the style that best suits your needs.
  • WORM GEAR reducers usually have the lowest up-front price tag. The input is at a right-angle to the output. However, since horsepower is transmitted by the wiping action of the worm across the face of the wormwheel, worm gears are high-friction and very inefficient. In a 50:1 reduction, less than 70% of the input horsepower is converted to output horsepower, and the rest is converted to heat.  Depending on your reduction, then, you might want to consider whether the initial cost savings is worth the higher energy costs down the road.
    • McGuire has an in-house assembly center for building modular worm gear reducers for drives from 1/3 HP to 20 HP and from 30 to 350 RPM (at 1750 input RPM).
  • HELICAL GEAR reducers are more expensive, but are far more efficient than worm gear reducers, up to 96%. Input is parallel to the output. They can also handle greater horsepower in a smaller box, because multiple gear sets can achieve cumulative reduction in the same space. (Helical gears are used in car transmissions, for example.)  Therefore, you may decide that the higher up-front price is worth the energy savings.
    • McGuire has an in-house assembly center for building modular inline helical gear reducers for drives from 1/6 HP to 30 HP and from 7 to 630 RPM (at 1750 input RPM).

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