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Speed Reducers: Types, How Do They Work, and Methods

Understanding the various types of speed reducers is crucial when optimizing machinery performance. This comprehensive guide delves into the world of speed reducers – what they are, how they operate, their applications, and the benefits they offer.

YD Force is your ultimate resource if you’ve ever wondered how these mechanical wonders function and the diverse types available.

types of speed reducers

Table of Contents

What is a Speed Reducer?

A speed reducer, often known as a gearbox or gear reducer, is a vital component in machinery that does exactly what its name suggests. It is a mechanical device that reduces rotational speed while increasing torque. But in retrospect, it’s much more complicated.

In general, speed reducers perform two tasks. First, speed reducers double the torque the power source (the input) produces. Second, as their name suggests, speed reducers lower the input speed so that the output speed is accurate.

Different types of speed reducers mediate between the power source, often an electric motor, and the driven machinery. The overarching goal? Enhancing efficiency and precision in a multitude of industrial applications.

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How Does a Speed Reducer Work?

So how does a speed reducer work? The principle is ingenious yet straightforward. It operates on the basic principles of gears, using a combination of gears with varying sizes. As the input shaft spins, it engages with the first gear.

Subsequent gears, each smaller than the previous, create a cascading effect that decreases rotational speed while amplifying the torque output. This speed reduction enables equipment to function optimally without compromising power.

Speed Reducer Applications

Speed reducers appear hidden from the general public, and most individuals have only recently heard the phrase. But they are closer to our life than we initially realized.


The scope of speed reducers extends across numerous industries. They facilitate seamless movement in intricate machinery, ensuring precision and durability. These versatile tools empower industries to operate efficiently and maintain consistent production. Here are some of the applications of the types of speed reducers:

  • Machine tools
  • Industrial equipment
  • Automation
  • Aerospace industry
  • Energy industry
  • Transportation
  • Medical industry

Types of Speed Reducers

The realm of speed reducers is a diverse landscape catering to a wide array of industrial needs. At YD Force, we take pride in offering various cutting-edge solutions that cater to various needs. Here are the main types of speed reducers with their speed reduction methods:

Cyclo Reducers

A cyclo reducer, often referred to as a cycloidal speed reducer, is a component that lowers an input shaft’s speed by a specific amount. Cycloidal speed reducers provide very low backlash while providing high ratios in a tiny package.

To reduce the input speed and bring it down to a more manageable level, cyclo reducers use a round disc that rotates off-center. This process is advantageous or essential for the components that receive the output.

Thanks to their remarkable durability and resistance to shock loads, Cyclo reducers shine in heavy-duty applications. Industries often require rugged performance and turn to these reliable workhorses to keep their operations running smoothly.

excavator final drive diagram

Gearbox Speed Reducer

On the other hand, gearbox speed reducers offer a different kind of versatility. Gearbox speed reducers, often called gearboxes or gear reducers, are small mechanical devices that employ gear trains to increase torque and reduce speeds on a drive between a motor and a piece of machinery.

As the gearbox speed decreases, the output’s torque (turning force) increases, and vice versa. They can easily adapt to the unique requirements of varied machinery thanks to their adjustable gear ratios. And because of their adaptability, they are a mainstay in sectors where flexibility is essential.

Magnetic Speed Reducers

Magnetic speed reducers introduce innovation into the mix. Using magnetic attraction, these speed reducers effectively replace traditional gear reducers to ensure speed and torque multiplication. By leveraging magnetic fields to reduce friction, these reducers ensure efficient operation and a longer lifespan for the components involved.

Hypoid Speed Reducers

Hypoid speed reducers find their niche in applications where space is at a premium. A spiral bevel gear known as a hypoid has an axis different from the meshing gear’s axis. The gear has a conical shape, whereas a hypoid gear has a revolving hyperboloid shape (i.e., the hypoid gear’s pitch surface is a hyperbolic surface).

Their compact design allows them to thrive in setups where traditional reducers might struggle. This efficiency in a confined space is a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of modern engineering.


Numerous types of speed reducers have numerous applications, and you can categorize each into different factors. Here are some of the other categories:

  • Kind of transmission (i.e., planetary)
  • Transmission stage (i.e., single or multi)
  • Gear shape (i.e., cylindrical)
  • Transmission configuration (i.e., coaxial or split)
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Benefits of Speed Reducers

The advantages that speed reducers bring to the table are far-reaching and exceptionally impactful. These benefits reverberate across industries, optimizing operations and enhancing overall productivity. Here, we unveil the exceptional benefits offered by the various types of speed reducers:

Energy Efficient

The types of speed reducers highly contribute to energy efficiency and are one of their most important benefits. We at YD Force also recognize the value of energy efficiency.

Our speed reducers maximize speed and torque while using the least energy possible. By enhancing power transmission and minimizing unneeded strain, these gadgets assist you and your business in reducing energy usage. And this results in lower operating expenses and a smaller environmental impact.


Cost-effectiveness is another notable benefit. Investing in our speed reducers is an investment in the longevity of your machinery. By extending the lifespan of equipment and reducing the frequency of replacements, speed reducers directly contribute to a reduction in maintenance expenses. The initial investment in quality speed reducers pays off through enhanced durability and reliability in the long run.

Protects the Motor

The torque multiplication characteristic of speed reducers is a protective measure for the motors they’re connected to. By spreading out the load and reducing the strain on the motor, speed reducers ensure that these critical components enjoy a longer lifespan, resulting in fewer downtimes and maintenance interruptions.

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Speed Reducer Maintenance

Maintaining speed reducers is paramount for their longevity and consistent performance. There are many ways you can properly maintain speed reducers. We highly advise that you replenish the lubricant when it runs out. A decrease in lubricant is partly due to mechanical pressure and heat.

Ensuring enough lubrication is always available in all regions of the speed reducer can significantly help maintain them. And even when the speed reducer is not operating, the lubrication cycle must be kept up.

Another way to keep your speed reducers in tip-top shape is to mount them correctly. This results in a reduction in vibration and stress. Third, always ensure that the alignment errors between the motor and the gearbox are within the gearbox’s permitted limits. You must also check these parameters between the gearbox and the driven load.

Lastly, speed reducers should be kept in a clean, dry, and climate-controlled environment. You must put covers, vents, and drains and ensure they are closed and sealed.

Making Speed Reducers More Efficient

Proper selection based on the application’s requirements is crucial to enhance the efficiency of the types of speed reducers. Here are some of the ways to make your speed reducers more efficient:

Vibration-Dampening Components

Vibrations can be reduced using a variety of techniques. Some examples are using plain bearings, washers, and rolling bearings. Utilizing these things will improve the gear motor’s efficiency over time. Lower vibration levels will make it more accurate, quieter, and longer.

Measuring Mechanical Noise Levels

Before releasing speed reducers to the market, it’s imperative to conduct frequency measurement tests. Ensuring a harmonious frequency and minimizing discomfort from mechanical vibrations is paramount. Equally essential is having a gear motor provider, such as YD Force, well-versed in utilizing vibration monitoring tools.

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Harnessing Efficiency and Precision with Speed Reducers

Understanding the types of speed reducers and their functionalities is pivotal for any industry relying on intricate machinery. The diverse range of speed reducers caters to many needs, from high-torque applications to space-constrained setups.

As technology advances, speed reduction methods play a pivotal role in shaping industries, ensuring seamless and optimized operations. And by grasping how does a speed reducer work, businesses can harness increased efficiency, reduced costs, and extended equipment lifespan.

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