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What are Gear Hobs?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Many of the devices that we rely upon for goods and services we use every day rely on the creation and proper construction of gears. From the machinery that is used to make out clothing all the way through to heavy machinery that is used to construct building, gears play an important role. By association, that means that the gear hob is an essential tool in our society. Here is some information about gear hobs, what they do, and why we need them.

Basically, gear hobs have one essential role to play. The hobs are tools that are used in the cutting and shaping of the teeth found on gears. Without them, the interaction of gears to drive everything from elevators to the inner workings of sewing machines would have to be rethought.

Creating a gear today is much easier than in times past. The earliest example of the hob was a manual tool that would be used in sculpting teeth for a gear that were completely uniform in size and proportion. Over the years, gear hobs that were larger and had the ability to utilize a semi-automated method for producing gears came into being. With the use of a cylindrical mill base and segments that were placed properly on the mill base, the tooth cutters of the gear hobs could cut into the metal, making exact duplications all the way around the gear. The result was identical teeth that would allow the gear to easily fit into operation with another gear.

Today, a number of manufacturing companies use fully automated gear hobs to produce quality gears. Since the demand for gears continues to grow each year, improvements in the production of gear hobs that will turn out more gears per hour also continues to be enhanced. The production of gear hobs is almost as large an industry as the production of gears themselves.

Many manufacturing firms that maintain museums of how products were produced in times past will have examples of manual gear hobs that helped to produce gears prior to the 19th century and earlier. Along with these completely manual gear hobs will be samples of some of the first semi-automated gear hobs, and finally examples of more recent technology that demonstrates the fully automated process that modern gear hobs use to produce gears today. A few producers of gear hobs also have interesting literature on the history of gear hobs, including details about how modern gear hobs can produced thousands of gears in a single hour.

As long as society requires machinery, there will be a need for gears as part of the operation. And as long as gears are around, gear hobs will be busy turning out perfectly sculpted gears with a full set of uniform teeth.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon157755 — On Mar 04, 2011

Capital tool industries is a long established company producing quality gear cutting tools.

By mdt — On Jun 03, 2008

Datta, you may want to frame your request as a topic suggestion for an article. To submit a topic, go to the wiseGEEK features drag down menu at the top of the page and choose the option "suggest a topic".

By datta — On Jun 03, 2008

i want the exact difference between the gear hobbing, gear shaping, gear saving machines with animation.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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