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Lesson 08 – Changing Direction: Bevel Gears

Read About Bevel Gears


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Bevel Gear

A bevel gear has teeth that are slanted.


A gear is a wheel with teeth around it that slot together with other gears.

Spur Gear

A spur gear has a wheel with teeth around the outside and works when gears are in a straight line.


A windmill is a tall tower with blades that uses wind to produce electricity.

Changing Direction: Bevel Gears

A spur gear has a wheel with teeth around the outside. Spur gears work when gears are in a straight line. They can be horizontal or vertical. A can opener uses a spur gear.

Some gears can change the direction of the motion. A bevel gear can turn a vertical motion into a horizontal motion.

Horizontal bevel gear
Vertical bevel gear

The teeth on a bevel gear are bevelled (slanted). This lets the teeth of two bevel gears fit together at an angle. The bottom gear has a horizontal motion. The top gear has a vertical motion.

The pot below uses a bevel gear. A person turns the handle vertically. The gears change the direction of motion to horizontal. That makes the paddle inside turn horizontally.

Windmills were once used to grind grain. Wind turned the blades. This turned a bar attached to a stone. Below that stone was another stone that did not move. The grain was placed between the stones. The heavy, turning stone crushed the grain.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.