Difference Between Gear Drive and Belt Drive

Every machine needs a source of energy to perform certain tasks. Electric motors are mainly used as power sources for industrial machinery.

In addition to electric motors, other prime movers such as steam turbines, hydraulic turbines, windmills, etc. are also used in certain applications.

Mechanical power transmission systems derive mechanical power from such prime movers and later transmit it to the machine unit. It can also change the direction of rotation and change the rotation speed to meet the need better.

The transmission system also includes four drives (gear drive, belt drive, chain drive and rope drive) and a few elements (pulley, sprocket, shaft, key, coupling, brakes, clutch, etc.).

Each drive has some advantages over others and is suitable for specific applications. The following four mechanical drives can be classified in several ways.

However, based on the sources of power transmission, such drives can be classified as friction drives and engagement drives. In friction drives, the force is transmitted by the frictional force between the two meeting parts, as in the case of belt drives and rope drives.

In engagement drives, power is transferred through successive engagements and disconnections, as in the case of chain drives and gear drives. Another criterion for classifying mechanical drives is the presence or absence of a flexible element.

A flexible drive is one that consists of an intermediate flexible element between the driver and the moving shaft, as in the case of belt, chain and rope drives. In contrast, a hard drive has no intermediate element. Here two rigid bodies are in direct contact; for example a gear drive.

Difference Between Gear Drive and Belt Drive

What is Gear Drive?

A Gear drive is a type of transmission system where the motor’s output shaft is directly connected to another, larger gear’s input shaft. In most cases, this is achieved by using gears on both ends.

This allows for a smoother and more efficient power transfer between the two rotating shafts as possible with a belt or chain.

Gear is a rotating mechanical part in which the teeth are cut, or cogs, which mesh with the other part of the tooth. Torque and power transmission.

To transfer a certain force from one shaft to another shaft to the projection on a disk and recess. Can be made on another disk that can mesh together.

In the early days, friction disks were used to transmit power from one shaft to another, as shown in the picture.

In this case, power transmission capacity depends on the friction between the surfaces of the two disks. Therefore, this method is not suitable for high-power transmissions as there is a slip between the discs.

gear drive

Advantages of Gear Drive

  1. This is a positive drive (no-slip) meaning it transfers the correct speed ratio from one shaft to the other.
  2. It can transmit great power.
  3. High transmission efficiency.
  4. It needs less space.
  5. This drive is more reliable.

Disadvantages of Gear Drive

  1. Manufacturing costs are high.
  2. The cost of maintenance is also high due to the lubrication requirements.
  3. Tooth decay can cause vibration and noise during operation. This requires proper alignment of the shaft.

Types of Gear Drive

  • Spiral gear
  • Rack and Pinion gear
  • Spur gear
  • Helical gear
  • Worm and worm wheel
  • Bevel gear

What is Belt Drive?

A Belt drive is a system in which the motor’s power source drives a belt, instead of directly driving the axle. It has many advantages over conventional motors and gears. The belt is a flexible element of the mechanical system. It is used to transfer power from one system to another.

belt drive

Advantages of belt drive-

  1. Belt drive costs less.
  2. Simple in construction.
  3. Maintenance costs are low.
  4. No extra lubricant is needed.
  5. It can also transmit power vertically, horizontally, and inclined.
  6. Power consumption is low.

Disadvantages of belt drive

  1. Loss of power due to slipping and crawling.
  2. Not used for very short distances.
  3. And the speed is somewhat limited.
  4. It’s calmer.
  5. Long life is not possible.
  6. The chances of breaking are high.
  7. Operation temperature is limited to -35 to 85 degrees Celsius. If it is above the temperature, it causes wear.
  8. The ratio of the velocity of the angle does not necessarily have to be equal to or equal to the ratio of the diameter of the pulley due to slipping.

Types of Belt-Drive:

  • Open belt drive
  • Closed or crossed belt drive
  • Fast and loose cone pulley
  • Stepped cone pulley
  • Jockey pulley drive

Difference Between Gear Drive and Belt Drive-

                                    Gear Drive                                       Belt Drive
Gear drive is a type of engagement drive.The belt drive is a type of friction drive.
In the gear drive, the driver and the driving shaft are connected by tight links. There is no intermediate elastic element between the two shafts.In a belt drive, the driver and the driving shaft are connected by a flexible element between the belts.


This is a positive drive; Therefore the ratio of velocity remains constant.This is a non-positive drive because slipping and crawling are common.
Gear cannot protect the drive system from impacts and overloading.Helps protect the slip system in the belt drive from impact and overloading.
In the gear drive, the driver and the driving shaft are connected by tight links. There is no intermediate elastic element between the two shafts.In a belt drive, the driver and the driving shaft are connected by a flexible element between the belts.
This driver cannot separate the shaft from the vibration on the moving shaft.The medium elastic element can absorb vibrations and thus protect the driver shaft.
It can transmit large torque and power.Belt drives are not preferred for large torque and power transmissions.
 The rapid reduction can be easily achieved.It cannot provide rapid reduction.
The gear drive cannot tolerate small amounts of local or angular misalignment.A small amount of local or angular misalignment does not cause a problem with the belt drive.
The gear drive needs to be fully lubricated. Its initial cost and maintenance costs are also high.Belt drives rarely require lubrication. In addition, its initial cost and maintenance costs are low.
There is a line connection between the two meeting gears, resulting in less friction and less power loss. Therefore it provides high efficiency. There is a connection between the belt and the pulley. Therefore, due to high friction, the power loss is high, which results in low efficiency.
Small changes in ambient temperature do not affect gear drive performance.As the temperature rises, the length of the belt increases, and slipping is undesirable.


The driver and the driven shaft rotate in opposite directions. Extra gear is needed to get in the same direction.The driver and the moving shaft can be rotated in the same or opposite direction using the flat or closed belt system.



That’s it for now for the Difference Between Gear Drive and Belt Drive. I hope you liked the way is presented to you. If so, consider sharing with your friends and colleagues.

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