Types   |  Accessories  |  Direct Drive Motors  |  Characteristics


A gearmotor is basically a combination of a gear reducer and an ac or dc electric motor, with the gears and the motors combined into one unit. Most industrial gearmotors use ac motors, typically fixed-speed motors. However, dc motors can also be used as gearmotors, particularly in automotive applications.

Likewise, the gear reducers themselves can be different types such as helical, bevel gears or planetary types. And the physical configuration of gearmotors can differ as well including inline types, right angle, and shafted or hollow-shaft configurations.

In this installment of Motion Control Classroom, you’ll find resources covering the basics of gearmotors and gearmotor accessories, but also how to select the right gearmotor to meet your particular application’s requirements. You’ll also find information on gears and gearboxes, including gearbox service factor and service class.

You can find these and many more resources on motion control components and systems, including other MC Classroom installments, at www.designworldonline.com/mc2/.

Miles Budimir

Senior Editor, Motion Control

Design World Magazine

Gearmotors Classroom Sponsored by


Selection • Summary • Types • Performance

How does the performance of parallel and right-angle gearmotors compare?

How to Select a Gearmotor in Four Simple Steps

What is a gearmotor? Technical Summary

What kinds of housings are there for gearmotors?

A common way to classify gearmotors is by the output shaft orientation, and two of the standard types are parallel and right-angle arrangements.

Consider key design parameters when selecting a gearmotor for a motion control application

A gearmotor is a type of gear reducer based around an ac or dc electrical motor. The gear and the motors are combined into one unit.

Aside the quality and type of gears in the gearmotor, housing material also plays a role in determining gearmotor quality and performance.

What are shaft kits, face adapters, and mounting bases for gearmotors?

Accessories for gearmotors are usually not the first thing most people look to when selecting a motor for an application. That’s because more important parameters like output torque, horsepower, and speed ratings usually (and rightfully so) take precedence.

How to Size and Select a Gearbox: A Motion Engineer’s Guide

Application-tailored and custom gearboxes are increasingly common, mainly because they’re easier than ever to manufacture to specification.

That’s not to say that the design work isn’t challenging. However, modern manufacturing lets some suppliers make gearboxes and components to meet specific application requirements.

How do direct-drive (torque) motors compare to gearmotors?

Comparing gearmotors to direct-drive (torque) motors means comparing a number of metrics including efficiency and cost.

In some regards, the two are fairly comparable. Both gearmotors and direct-drive torque motors eliminate the need for other power transmission components between the motor and load that add compliance. This includes components such as belts and pulleys, chains and sprockets, and external gearing such as gearboxes. 


Characteristics • Efficiency • Stepper Motor • Service

What are characteristics of planetary gearmotors?

What are efficiency requirements for continuous vs. intermittent duty gearmotors?

Gearbox service factor and service class explained

Why use a gearbox with a stepper motor?

Gearmotors can incorporate different gear types. Common types include spur gears, worm gears, helical gears, planetary gears, even harmonic gears. 

Sizing a gearbox (or gearmotor) for an industrial application typically begins with determining the appropriate service factor.

Adding a gearbox to a stepper motor system can improve the motor’s performance.

It’s now mandatory that continuous duty motors for integral gearmotors be Premium Efficient. 

The Leading Global Electric Motor Manufacturer 

Over 70 years' experience creating the perfect combination of motor and gearbox to match our customers’ applications and we offer thousands of standard AC, PMDC and BLDC electric motor options. We can easily customise any motor or gearbox to meet your exact requirements and we can do this at no or minimal extra cost. Our design team can help you choose, customise or design from scratch, geared motor solutions, ensuring you gain a competitive advantage in your market.

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