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Planetary vs Spur Gear Motor

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Planetary and Spur gear motors are the two most common types of gear motors used in industrial applications. When trying to decide which gear motor is best suited for your application, there are a few key aspects to keep in mind. Both gear heads have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, based on the intended usage and requirements.

Planetary Gear Head

  • As sun gear meshes with multiple outer gears at once, planetary gear motors are able to sustain higher loads.

  • The ability to distribute the load over multiple contact points makes planetary gear motors optimal for high torque, and high RPM applications.

  • In planetary gear systems, the gear lubrication tends to stay within the teeth of the gears at higher speeds as they are being able to retrieve some oil that is lost from the sun’s gear.

  • Planetary gear motors provide higher efficiency than spur gear motors.

  • Due to the construction of a planetary gear head, the length of a planetary gear motor is usually longer and narrower than spur gear motors.

Spur Gear Head

  • Spur gearheads have a single contact point at any time. This means that any load is held entirely by a single point of contact between two gears.

  • A spur gear motor is a cost-effective solution, suited for low torque and low RPM applications.

  • The less complex construction of a spur gear head results in them not being able to hold as much of a load as their planetary counterpart.

  • In spur gear systems, the lubrication tends to disperse from the gears at higher speeds as the oil continues to fly off the gears.


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