How to Draw a Sprocket

Written by darrin koltow
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How to Draw a Sprocket
You can draw sprocket teeth with a ruler for a more machined look. (shut-off sprocket valve image by Andrew Kazmierski from

A sprocket is a gear wheel with teeth that holds a chain. It's used frequently in machining, but you can find a sprocket on your multi-speed bike, in the form of the gear holding the chain rings centred between the pedal's crank arms. Drawing a sprocket is essentially the same as drawing a circle, with a few additional lines to help you place the teeth. Drawing a sprocket enables you to draw more complex shapes made with sprockets, such as entire gear assemblies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil compass
  • Paper

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  1. 1

    Draw a circle on paper with a compass set at about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. This circle will help you space the sprocket's teeth.

  2. 2

    Draw another circle inside the first, with a radius about 1/4 inch less than the first circle. Use the same centre that you used for the first circle. This second circle is the main hub that the teeth sit on top of.

  3. 3

    Draw another circle whose centre is the same as the other circles, and whose radius is about 1/2 inch. This represents the hole that a hypothetical fastening mechanism would use to fix the sprocket in place.

  4. 4

    Mark lightly with a pencil a point on the outer circle. This will be the first tooth of the sprocket.

  5. 5

    Mark another point about 1/4 inch away from the first point on the outer circle. Continue marking points on this circle, spacing each 1/4 inch from the previous one, until the circle is filled. These points show you where to draw the sprocket's teeth.

  6. 6

    Place your pencil midway between two adjacent points from the series of points you just made. Lightly draw a straight line from where your pencil point is sitting toward the circles' common centre. Stop drawing the line when your pencil point reaches the second largest circle, and then mark a point there. This point is another guide to your drawing of the sprocket's teeth.

  7. 7

    Mark a series of points that surround the second biggest circle in the same way you made the first point in the previous step. When you're done, both the biggest and second biggest circles will have guide points to draw the sprocket's teeth with.

  8. 8

    Draw a curve that smoothly connects a point on the outer circle, the second biggest circle's point immediately clockwise to that point, and the next outer circle point immediately clockwise from the starting point. This step forms the first tooth. Repeat this step for the remaining guide points on the outermost circles to finish the teeth and the complete sprocket.

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