how to make cardboard gears


How to Make Cardboard Gears

Cardboard gears are essential components in the functioning of many machines and devices. While the outside world is filled with metal gears and shafts, cardboard gears can also be used to construct and power basic mechanisms. Making your own cardboard gears is a great way to test various applications without having to buy more traditional parts.

Materials Needed

To make your cardboard gears, you will need the following materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Circle template or some type of compass
  • X-Acto knife or cutter
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Creating a Template

The first step to making your cardboard gears is creating a template of the desired size and shape. You can use a circle template or some type of compass to create the geometry of the gear. It is important to use a circle template or compass as this will ensure the accuracy of your design. Use the template to trace a circle onto the cardboard, then use a pencil to draw spokes of the desired angle.

Cutting the Gear

Once you have the shape of your gear drawn, the next step is to cut it out of the cardboard. Be sure to use an X-Acto knife or similar cutter to ensure accuracy. You will want to make sure that the blade is sharp, as it will make for a cleaner cut. Once the shape is cut out, use a ruler to mark divisions of the circle if desired.

Finishing Touches

The last step is to refine your gear. You can use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges and buff the gear to a fine finish. You can also use a drill to create precision holes in the gear. Be sure to follow the appropriate safety protocols when using a drill.


Making cardboard gears is a great way to prototype your invention without having to purchase more expensive metal parts. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to create a functional cardboard gear with ease. Just be sure to use proper safety precautions when cutting and drilling.