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Hobbing is a machining process for gear cutting, cutting splines, and cutting sprockets using a hobbing machine, a specialized milling machine. The teeth or splines of the gear are progressively cut into the material (such as a flat, cylindrical piece of metal or thermoset plastic) by a series of cuts made by a cutting tool called a hob.
Hobbing is relatively fast and inexpensive compared to most other gear-forming processes and is used for a broad range of parts and quantities. Hobbing is especially common for machining spur and helical gears.