Gearsets - which to buy?

Some people are wondering - what gearset should I buy? Does it matter what brand? How come some gearsets are $100 and others $30?

Gear Ratios

A lot of players and techs are still stuck in the age where they think they should be using torque-up gears to power an M130 spring. Fact of the matter is, motor technology or rather the availability of neodymium magnets in the recent years has made available a new age of high torque and high speed airsoft-speicfic motors. Whereas before we were limited to using ferrous magnet motors (circa EG1000 days) which pumped out very low levels of torque and we were forced to maximize that torque through torque-up gears, now there are high-torque and super high-torque motors that can pull an M150 spring on a standard ratio gearset with ease.

Having said that it ultimately depends on the setup you are trying to achieve. Typically we start with a standard ratio gearset (18:1) and a high-torque motor (Lonex Orange or SHS High Torque) and see what our FPS and ROF is with our chosen spring. This particular setup typically yields acceptable rates of fire (~18-22 rounds per second) provided you are feeding these batteries sufficiently (25-50C battery packs). (A lot of different factors come into play for ROF - quality of your compression, friction between nozzle and cylinder head, shimming, etc)

If you are looking for a more crisp trigger response, faster rate of fire and faster semi-auto fire, you can then move up to 16:1 and subsequently 13:1 gears. You will find that longevity and durability will begin to suffer if you are using an M130 spring with 13:1 gears. We are not saying that it is not possible but at that rate of fire and speed of gears, the velocity of the sector gear pickup tooth is very high. Theoretically if you have a quality set of gears (read: Siegetek gears), then it should be able to handle it no problems. We would not attempt to use SHS gears in this configuration for an extended period of time, much less gears like G&P, Marui, King Arms, etc.

For a milder setup, you may want to pair 13:1 or 16:1 gears with a milder spring (M100 or M110) for quite a reliable ROF monster. In our demo G36 gun, using Super Shooter 13:1 gears and an SHS High Torque motor we were able to achieve 420fps @ 35rps - very respectable numbers and quite formidable for CQB play (okay maybe a little hot for CQB) We imagine that the ROF could very well break the 40rps mark if we had used an SHS High-speed motor.

Ultimately in this day and age, there is almost no reason to use torque-up gears unless you are trying to pull an M160+ spring.

Expensive gears vs. Cheap gears

In all fairness, we have to preface this section by stating that gear performance and longevity has a LOT to do with the installation skill of the technician. While there are different "tiers" of gears on the market, a lot of clever marketing would have you buying gears that cost more than what they're worth.

For example, did you know King Arms gears are merely rebrands of SHS gears, but sold at 50% markup? Also did you know that the Modify Quantum gearset is just a clone of Siegetek's Dual Sector Gear but with lower quality materials? As with most parts on the airsoft market, it pays to do a little research on what you're buying. Having said all of that, we've had great success with SHS gears not because they're phenomenal gears, but because they are "good enough" gears for the price. At the price point, we can afford to blow up several sets of SHS gears, but if properly installed, SHS gears can last a long time in an AEG, even longer than some "quality" gearsets. Lonex gears have been phenomenal for us so far and while they're not the best-marketed gearsets or the prettiest-looking, they certainly are absolute tanks of gears. Material and metallurgy do play a large role.

An often overlooked aspect when choosing gears is NOT the material of your gears but the material of your piston. If you have a super hard, tungsten-carbide or "titanium"-coated piston rack going up against simple steel gears, your gears will wear down faster. Conversely, if you have a plastic piston vs. steel gears, the piston wears down faster. Something in the system will wear. It's up to you to choose which one - we think replacing pistons is easier than replacing a gearset.

Bottom line: if your gears are shimmed correctly, they will experience very little wear as the materials used for all of them should be the same and theoretically wear at the same rate.

Hope we've given you some things to think about.