Has there ever been any experimental verification of the benefits of designing a gear pair to have a "hunting tooth"?

The idea is to even out wear by having every tooth on the pinion meshing with every tooth on the gear.

Tooth hunting can be achieved by ensuring no common factors > 1 between the pinion and gear.


  • $\begingroup$ Can you add in a sketch? In your last sentence you're missing the sentence subject. Can what be achieved? Wear reduction? $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Sep 12, 2020 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure would a sketch be useful to showing a hunting tooth $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2020 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ I know a little about gears but I'm electrical rather than mechanical. I would have thought that it would be pretty obvious and that no research would be needed. What's behind the question? $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Sep 12, 2020 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Not necessarily. Although theory usually says design gears with prime numbers, I've met a lot of experienced workshop guys with good to excellent engineering background that they swear by integer gear ratios. The reasoning behind is that after a while the gears grind each other and form a proper mate. To be honest I've never managed to put this to the test or seen any experimental testing that validates either theory. $\endgroup$
    – NMech
    Sep 12, 2020 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


Depends on the quality of your finished gear, both micro (surface finish) and macro (tooth runout, spacing, etc). Improper meshes will ultimately cause vibration in your system, if it's bad enough it will be pretty loud. Also, if you have an oversized tooth on your pinion and the mating tooth space on the gear is undersized you'll increase the stresses and likelihood of failure.

For lower quality gears hunting would be preferred so that the pinion and gear wear evenly.

For decent quality gears with respect to load it's less of an issue. And typically everyone else working with them will prefer an integer ratio.


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