Leading Speed Reducer Manufacturers

Speed reducers are mechanical devices found in the housing of almost all-mechanical equipment. They are important components that give operators ability to regulate the output based on different needs. Contrary to what their name suggests, speed reducers do not just reduce speed. Read More…

Speed Reducers Speed reducers are mechanical devices found in the housing of almost all-mechanical equipment. They are important components that give operators ability to regulate the output based on different needs. Contrary to what their name suggests, speed reducers do not just reduce speed.

We offer premium speed reducers and motion control components. These deluxe parts are designed for a wide range of purposes and our engineers are willing to assist you with determining the best speed reducer.

DieQua Corporation $$$

Cleveland Gear Co. has specialized in speed control technology including a variety of quality manufactured speed reducers since 1912. We have successfully developed speed reducers for material handling, mineral processing, and more. You will find that our products have uncompromising quality, making all others less than the best. We will fulfill your exact requirements and that's what continues...

Cleveland Gear Company $$$

At JHFOSTER, we pride ourselves on our commitment to excellence in engineering and innovation. Our company specializes in designing and manufacturing high-performance speed reducers that cater to a wide range of industries. Our products are crafted with precision and reliability in mind, ensuring they meet the rigorous demands of modern industrial applications.


Apex Dynamics, Inc. is a worldwide leader in manufacturing of planetary gearboxes. Based on more than twenty years of accumulated manufacturing and marketing experience, plus the highest level of technical production capabilities, Apex Dynamics, Inc. designed and built a technically advanced, high speed, low backlash servo application planetary gearbox.

Apex Dynamics, USA $$$

We manufacture highly advanced cyclo reducers which utilize new modifications which allow for 2-speed capabilities. This new technology efficiently provides a high amount of torque at a low speed. Our engineers put a focus on developing the most innovated and cost efficient solutions. We take pride in saying that we are an industry leader that is a global supplier. Feel free to give one of our...

Redex USA, Inc $$$
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Speed reducers are mechanical devices found in the housing of almost all-mechanical equipment. They are important components that give operators the ability to regulate the output based on different needs. Contrary to what their name suggests, speed reducers do not just reduce speed. Rather, they carry on two functions: reducing rotational speed from the source into more manageable speeds, and with the concerted efforts of the gears, simultaneously increasing torque, so output can be used for mending, milling, and many other processes.

While speed reducers are utilized by several industries, the most common industries in which they have applications are aerospace, automotive, material handling, construction, food and beverage processing, recreation, oil and gas, and textiles. Specific applications they serve include conveyors, pumps, printing presses, compressors, automation equipment, generators and robotics, metallurgy, and mine and construction machinery.


The first person to ever record a description of anything like a speed reducer was a Muslim polymath named Ismail al-Jazari. In a book that he wrote around 1206 AD, called The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, al-Jazari talked about gearbox arrangements.

After that, no one really talked about or attempted to use gearboxes until the 19th century. This started in 1817, when a British manufacturing and engineering company called Watt & Boulton Engine designed a gearbox featuring two gears and a rotational speed governor. Around 60 years later, in 1881, engineers at de Dion-Bouton, a French company, started manufacturing gearboxes to be installed in steam-powered cars. Just seven years later, another set of Frenchmen, Emile Levassor and Louis-Rene Panhard, invented the gear and drive shaft assembly. Its goal was to generate the power needed for mechanical transmission.

In 1904, a set of American brothers, the Sturtevant brothers, invented what they called the “horseless carriage gearbox.” What they invented was actually an early automatic power transmission speed reducer. Unfortunately, because they did not have access to adequate metal technology, the gearboxes could not thrive. Instead, they often broke down because they could not handle gear ratio shifts. In 1908, Henry Ford rolled out his Model T automobile. It shifted gears using planetary gearbox speed reducers.

For the first part of the 20th century, manufacturers mainly focused on developing speed reducer gears for use in the automotive industry. Over time, as technology evolved, this changed. Today, manufacturers produce speed reducers in a wide range of sizes for a wide range of applications, from sophisticated robotics to conventional bottling and beverage practices. Modern speed reducers boast high precision, energy efficiency, improved reduction ratios, complex design possibilities, and versatility. As the years go on, we expect engineers to only advance these qualities.


Speed reducers service various devices, and they are offered with a variety of specific loads and torque capacities, though they are all made from strong, durable metals like steel.


To make speed reducers, manufacturers must start by making the gears and gear shafts. They make gears using cutting and forming processes like blanking, broaching, form milling, and/or hobbing. They make gear shafts using metal forming processes including forging, extrusion, casting, and the like.

Once they have made the gears and gear shafts, manufacturers move on to the gear housings. Generally, they make these with CNC die casting equipment.

Next, they put together the gear motors, which are made up of a number of parts, including an electric power source (AC or DC). Then, they take all the parts and assemble them to make one speed reducer. As a final touch, manufacturers often add lubrication to the speed reducer to help it resist abrasion and corrosion from heat and friction.


Manufacturers fabricate speed reducers using steel, hardened steel, or plastic. Steels are popular because of their durability, abrasion resistance, and corrosion resistance. Plastic is a good substitute for metal when a customer is looking to reduce the product’s weight or cost. Plastic speed reducers also have the added benefits of low speed meshing and dirt tolerance.

Considerations and Customization

When designing speed reducers, manufacturers consider a number of different application requirements and specifications, such as gear pitch, gear output, input and output torque capacities, and load capacities. Based on these, they can choose the details of product features, including its reduction ratio (the ratio of input speed to output speed), its size, and its total number of gears.

To make your speed reducer work at optimum level for your application, manufacturers can customize it in a number of different ways. In addition to customizing your speed reducer size, reduction ratio and gear numbers, they may also outfit them with extra speed control elements, like sheaves, v-belts, sprockets, or chain drives.


A speed reducer consists of several key features, each playing a crucial role in its functioning. The input shaft receives the initial power input, typically from an electric motor or engine. The output shaft transmits the reduced speed and increased torque to the driven system. Gears are the primary components responsible for speed reduction and torque amplification. They come in various sizes and configurations, with the smaller gear (pinion) driving the larger gear to achieve the desired speed reduction.

The gearbox is an enclosure that houses the gears and provides protection, support, and lubrication to ensure smooth operation. Gearboxes come in different designs, such as spur, helical, worm, or planetary, each suitable for specific applications. Planetary gear systems, for instance, provide high torque and compact size. Worm gears are ideal for high reduction ratios. The gear motor combines the electric motor and the gearbox into a single integrated unit, simplifying installation and reducing maintenance. The motor provides the initial power, and the gearbox reduces its speed and increases its torque before transmitting it to the output shaft.

In addition to these primary features, speed reducers might incorporate other components depending on their specific application and requirements. Some speed reducers may have additional bearings to support the shafts, ensuring smooth rotation and reducing friction. Lubrication systems, such as oil baths or grease fittings, are essential for proper gear functioning and longevity. Some advanced speed reducers might include sensors for monitoring temperature, vibration, or load, enabling condition monitoring and preventive maintenance. Overall, the collaboration of input and output shafts, gears, gearboxes, and gear motors, along with potential supplementary components, allows speed reducers to efficiently transmit power at controlled speeds and higher torque for a wide range of industrial applications.


Sometimes, more general speed reducers are referred to interchangeably, though they are different. Such types include gear reducers, gear drives, gearboxes, and gearmotors.

Gear reducers handle heavy shock loads and minimize total power and machine size. They offer the advantages of low consumption and a light weight, coupled with a steady startup and heavy transmission torque.

Gear drives increase the torque of a variable speed power source or glean a variable output speed from a constant speed power source. They do so by, with the help of gear ratios, changing the direction, torque, and speed of rotating shafts. (Gear ratios represent the relation between a gearmotor input speed and a gear head output speed.)

Gear boxes, which contain input and output shafts, plus a set of gears, only offer the service of lowering motor speed. They do so via a decrease in output speed and an increase in torque. Gearboxes are also known as gearbox speed reducers or gearheads.

Gearmotors work in conjunction with gear boxes or gear heads to increase or decrease motor speed. They acquire access to this speed by turning the electrical energy of either an AC motor or a DC motor and turning into mechanical energy.

In addition to generalized motors, speed reducers are available to meet a variety of specialized needs. Specialized speed reducers include shaft mounted speed reducers, cyclo reducers, planetary gearboxes, parallel shaft speed reducers, inline gear reducers, right angle gearboxes, variable speed reducers, worm gearboxes, and right-angle gearboxes.

Shaft mounted speed reducers (shaft mount reducers) are mounted directly onto the drive shaft and for that reason, as well as the fact that they’re compact, do not require a foundation or coupling.

Cyclo reducers, also known as cycloidal speed reducers, slow input shaft speed by using rolling elements at a chosen ratio. Typically, these reducers, which include many types of RV gearboxes, consist of a circular disc that rotates off center.

Planetary gearboxes get their name from their composition. They consist of a sun gear, planet gears, and a ring gear. By revolving around the sun gear, different planet gears can produce a variety of reduction rates. Their goal is to lower the torque or speed of a rotating input shaft.

Helical gear reducers, or helical speed reducers, work using helical gears. These gears feature shafts on parallel axes, and teeth cut on the helices. Helical gearboxes offer smooth and quiet gear ratio shifts and work best in high-speed applications.

Bevel gear reducers feature intersecting shafts. They are useful in a wide variety of settings, from cars to printing presses.

Parallel shaft speed reducers slow things down using gears. They get their name from the position of their speed reducer shaft and motor which are on parallel planes. Parallel gear shaft reducers are perfect for small spaces because they can be very flat.

Inline gear reducers decrease incoming speed, direction, or torque of larger systems, with the goal of helping other system parts handle its power and operate well. They influence the input shaft using gear ratios that are aligned along the centerline of the input shaft, or, to put it another way, they align the output shaft with the input shaft.

Variable speed reducers, or drives, control the rotational speed and conserve the energy of electric motors. Depending on the application, variable speed reducers can be mechanical, hydraulic, electronic, or electromechanical. Often, they work in conjunction with speed variators, which are devices that allow for continual gear ratio shifts. Also, they may work with direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) motors, though most often they work with the latter.

Worm gearboxes, also known as worm speed reducers or worm gear reducers, are compactly designed gearboxes. They are used in applications requiring low horsepower, along with the maintenance of high shock tolerance and high gear ratios.

Right angle gearboxes are impressive speed reducers that have up to 98% efficiency levels. The “right angle” in their name refers to the position of the input shafts, which are perpendicular to the output shafts. Right angle boxes are commonly found in glass cutting equipment and printing presses.


Speed reducers offer several benefits and have distinct advantages over similar devices, making them essential components in various industrial and mechanical systems. One of the primary advantages of speed reducers is their ability to convert high-speed, low-torque power sources, such as electric motors or engines, into low-speed, high-torque outputs suitable for heavy-duty applications. This torque amplification allows speed reducers to handle heavy loads efficiently, making them ideal for machinery like conveyor belts, cranes, and industrial equipment.

Another key advantage of speed reducers is their versatility and adaptability. They come in various designs and configurations, including spur, helical, worm, and planetary gear systems, allowing engineers to select the most appropriate type for specific applications. This flexibility extends to the range of reduction ratios they can achieve, accommodating diverse speed requirements across different industries.

Moreover, speed reducers help enhance the operational efficiency of machinery by optimizing the relationship between input power and output speed. By reducing the rotational speed of a driven system, speed reducers can improve precision, control, and safety. They can also aid in reducing energy consumption, as they allow power sources to operate at their most efficient speed while still providing the required output performance.

Compared to other mechanical devices like pulleys and belts or chain drives, speed reducers offer better efficiency and more compact designs. They can transmit power over longer distances without significant losses, ensuring smoother and more reliable operation. Additionally, their enclosed gearboxes provide protection from external elements, reducing wear and extending the lifespan of the system.

In conclusion, speed reducers stand out for their ability to convert power efficiently, their adaptability to various applications, and their capacity to enhance machinery performance. Their advantages over similar devices, such as higher torque output, precision control, energy efficiency, and more compact designs, make them indispensable components in modern industrial processes and mechanical systems.


Accessories for speed reducers play a crucial role in ensuring their proper functioning, longevity, and performance. One essential accessory is lubricant, which is vital for reducing friction and wear between gears and other moving parts within the gearbox. Proper lubrication ensures smooth operation and prevents damage to the components, enhancing the overall efficiency and lifespan of the speed reducer.

Oil pumps and oil coolers are critical accessories when dealing with high-power and heavy-duty applications. The oil pump circulates the lubricant through the gearbox, maintaining consistent lubrication and preventing overheating. The oil cooler helps dissipate heat generated during operation, ensuring that the gearbox remains within safe temperature limits. These accessories are especially important in applications where speed reducers experience continuous or heavy usage.

Belt housings serve as protective enclosures around the speed reducer’s belts and pulleys. They shield the transmission components from contaminants, dust, and other environmental factors, reducing the risk of damage or malfunctions. Belt housings also enhance safety by preventing accidental contact with moving parts.

Paddle shifts and shift levers are accessories commonly used in applications where manual control over the speed reducer’s gear ratio is required. They allow operators to change gears easily, providing flexibility in adjusting the output speed and torque based on specific operational needs.

Slip yokes are essential components in speed reducers that are part of drive shaft assemblies. They provide flexibility in accommodating angular misalignment between the input and output shafts, reducing stress on the system and improving its reliability.

Gear position displays are useful accessories for monitoring the gear ratio or output speed of the speed reducer. They provide operators with real-time information about the system’s performance, aiding in efficient control and maintenance.

To determine which accessories are necessary or beneficial for a specific speed reducer, one should consider the application’s requirements and environmental conditions. For heavy-duty applications with continuous use, oil pumps and coolers are essential to manage heat and maintain lubrication. In cases where manual control over gears is necessary, paddle shifts or shift levers would be valuable additions. For drive shaft applications, slip yokes become important for accommodating misalignment. In critical or high-precision operations, gear position displays can provide valuable insights into the system’s performance. Overall, selecting the appropriate accessories for a speed reducer involves evaluating the application’s demands, desired functionalities, and the need for enhanced protection and control.


In the United States, standards for speed reducers are set by various organizations, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) playing a prominent role. ANSI, a private non-profit organization, oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards across multiple industries, including mechanical and industrial equipment like speed reducers. Other organizations, such as the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), also contribute to the establishment of standards specific to gear drives and speed reducers.

Standards for speed reducers are essential for several reasons. First and foremost, they ensure the safety and reliability of these devices, protecting both operators and the surrounding equipment. By adhering to established standards, manufacturers can design and produce speed reducers that meet specific performance and quality criteria, reducing the likelihood of accidents and failures in industrial applications.

Moreover, standards promote interoperability and compatibility among different speed reducer components, enabling seamless integration into various systems and machinery. This fosters efficiency and versatility, as components from different manufacturers can work together harmoniously.

Additionally, having well-defined standards helps establish a level playing field in the industry. Manufacturers can compete based on product quality, innovation, and customer service, rather than compromising safety or reliability to reduce costs.

Non-compliance with speed reducer standards can have serious consequences for manufacturers. The products may pose safety hazards, leading to accidents, injuries, or damage to equipment. Such incidents can result in costly lawsuits and damage to the manufacturer’s reputation. Moreover, failure to meet industry standards may lead to legal consequences, regulatory scrutiny, or penalties imposed by relevant government agencies. Ultimately, non-compliance can severely impact a manufacturer’s business, leading to financial losses and potential closure.

In addition to private organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), several government agencies in the United States may also play a role in setting standards involving speed reducers. One such agency is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA sets and enforces workplace safety standards, which include regulations pertaining to industrial machinery and equipment, such as speed reducers. These standards are designed to ensure the safety of workers operating or working near speed reducers, as well as the overall safety of the workplace.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is another organization that collaborates with both private manufacturers and government agencies. NEMA sets standards related to electrical equipment, including electric motors often used in conjunction with speed reducers. These standards ensure the performance, efficiency, and safety of electrical components in speed reducers and other systems.

Furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may have regulations related to certain aspects of speed reducers, especially in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, for example, sets guidelines for energy-efficient equipment, encouraging manufacturers to produce energy-saving speed reducers that meet specific efficiency criteria.

In summary, standards for speed reducers in the United States, overseen by organizations like ANSI and AGMA, are crucial for ensuring safety, reliability, and efficiency. By adhering to these standards, manufacturers can produce high-quality products that meet industry requirements and perform optimally in various applications. Compliance fosters consumer confidence, facilitates fair competition, and helps manufacturers avoid legal and financial repercussions associated with non-compliance. Additionally, the involvement of government agencies in setting standards alongside private organizations is essential to create a comprehensive regulatory framework. By combining industry expertise from organizations like ANSI and AGMA with government oversight from agencies like OSHA, NEMA, and EPA, standards for speed reducers can be well-rounded, addressing safety, performance, and environmental considerations. These collaborative efforts result in higher-quality products, improved workplace safety, and enhanced environmental responsibility within the speed reducer industry.

Things to Consider

There are many different types of speed reducers, so the best way to approach speed reducer selection is by considering your application. The application is what dictates which type of speed reducer will satisfy your needs.

Once you know the application, the next step is looking into the specifications, including mounting position, efficiency, torque, horsepower, speed, and service factor. Among them, the most important factors are torque and service factor.


You need to know how much torque is needed for a machine to work optimally. For application in simple machines, determining torque is easy. However, if you do not have the handbook for a machine it can get difficult. You need to consider many factors, such as coefficient of friction, gravity, inertia, as well as acceleration and deceleration. If it is too much of a task you may need the help of an engineer to figure out the right torque. Alternatively, you can deduce the torque by noting the ampere of the motor from which horsepower can be calculated. Further, with the use of the relationship between horsepower and torque, you can deduce the torque required.

Service Factor

A motor does not perform uniformly, over time its performance goes down, and if the motor is run above its overload capacity, it can break down. Therefore, to protect speed reducers, they come with a service factor inscribed on them, which is a measure of overload capacity a reducer can operate at over a period without being damaged. The service factor usually is a number, for instance, 1.15, which means the speed reducer can manage 15 percent of overload than the rated capacity without aberrations. Anything above that amount will damage it. When making a decision regarding the service factor, you need to consider a number of things, including load characteristics, power sources, starts and stops, and length of workdays. To put it simply, if you put a heavier load than what the service factor says, the life of the gearbox goes down. Therefore, it is important that for different purposes, you choose the appropriate service factor. If not, your speed reducer will fall apart soon.

Choosing the Right Manufacturer for You

No matter how much information you gather, you will not get a superior speed reducer, and possibly not even a good speed reducer, unless you work with the right manufacturer. Who is the right manufacturer? The right manufacturer is the one that understands your requirements, has the capability to meet your requirements, can work within your budget and timeline, and can deliver to you. In addition, the right manufacturer will provide high quality customer service. Find a company like this by checking out those speed reducer manufacturers we have listed on this page. You’ll find them wedged in between these bits of information. Check out their profiles to get started. Good luck!

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