Helical Gears are cut at an angle to the face of the gear. When two teeth on a helical gear system engage, the contact starts at one end of the tooth and gradually spreads as the gears rotate, until the two teeth are in full engagement.
The leading edges of the teeth are not parallel to the axis of rotation, but are set at an angle. Since the gear is curved, this angling causes the tooth shape to be a segment of a helix. The angled teeth engage more gradually than do spur gear teeth. This causes helical gears to run more smoothly and quietly than spur gears. Helical gears also offer the possibility of using non-parallel shafts.
A pair of helical gears can be meshed in two ways: with shafts oriented at either the sum or the difference of the helix angles of the gears. These configurations are referred to as parallel or crossed, respectively. The parallel configuration is the more mechanically sound. In it, the helices of a pair of meshing teeth meet at a common tangent, and the contact between the tooth surfaces will, generally, be a curve extending some distance across their face widths. In the crossed configuration, the helices do not meet tangentially, and only point contact is achieved between tooth surfaces. Because of the small area of contact, crossed helical gears can only be used with light loads.