Airsoft Gear Sets: High Speed and High Torque - What's the difference?

Airsoft Gear Sets: High Speed and High Torque - What's the difference?

Airsoft AEG Gears 

All standard AEG gear sets include 3 gears which are named for their shape which interact to pull the piston, spring and tappet plate back and fire your AEG using power from the motor.

The Bevel Gear, as it is known, is the gear which sits at the bottom of the gearbox and interfaces with the Pinion Gear of the motor and the Anti Reversal latch, which prevents the gears from spinning backwards. 

The Spur Gear, shaped like a spur from a cowboy boot lives in the middle, and transfers the power from the Bevel Gear to the Sector Gear. 

The Sector Gear controls the cycle of the piston, tappet plate and nozzle, with the "sector" of extended teeth interfacing with the piston teeth and a small protrusion which pulls the tappet plate back under its spring to retract the nozzle and load each BB before firing. 

Gear Ratio

Put simply, the "Ratio" of an Airsoft gearset is the number of motor turns: piston cycles. The higher the number of motor turns to piston cycles, the higher the torque. A standard Airsoft gearset has a ratio of 18:1, which means for every 18 motor turns the piston cycles once, which is a perfect middle ground between high speed and torque. 

An example of a high-speed ratio is 13:1, which means the piston cycles faster, completing a full cycle every 13 motor turns as opposed to every 18 turns, as it would be in a standard gearset. This type of gearset works well with low powered springs, such as those used at UK legal velocity, and should provide a decent improvement in rate of fire, but high speed gears will struggle with stronger springs and may fail when used with DMR power levels. 

A high torque gear set will generally have a higher ratio and will require more motor turns to cycle the piston. This helps the motor to pull stronger springs, and spreads the load over a greater number of teeth to prevent the gears from failing. This type of gearset comes into its own when using M120 springs and above, and would be an essential upgrade for a DMR rifle to avoid the risk of the gears failing under the added stress of stronger springs. 

High Speed


High speed gears have a lower motor turn: gearbox cycle ratio, and thus generally have more teeth than high torque gearsets. This means you will get a higher rate of fire from the same motor than using standard 18:1 ratio gears. 

Gears are often marked with a stamping to indicate their ratio, and you should not mix gears of different sets unless you are an advanced user with significant tuning knowledge. 

High Torque 


High torque gears have fewer teeth than standard and high speed sets, but generally have a slightly deeper engagement to allow the gears to deliver the torque necessary to pull high strength springs without failure.

Installing high torque gears will reduce your rate of fire when using the same motor, but will allow a standard motor to pull stronger springs without being overstressed. 

If you want a snappy trigger response with high torque for a DMR AEG build, we recommend pairing high torque gears with a high torque motor and a piston with a steel tooth rack. 

There you have it, our brief guide to the differences between high torque and high speed Airsoft AEG gears. You should now know what type of AEG gear set you need for your build, no matter what level of performance you seek and in what aspect.

All that is worth remembering is that like with most things, you cannot have your cake and eat it too, and if you are going for a high speed or DMR style setup you will have to compromise on either FPS or rate of fire, though specialised motors can help alleviate this. 

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