High strength vs regular strength shafts - metal management

It looks like VEX is settling in on making everything high strength (motor support, gears, etc.) and now offering some awesome new adapters to support the use of high strength gears on regular shafts.

I’m wondering if teams will not continue on with doing regular shafts but just switch over to drilling holes in metal to just be able to use the larger shafts.

I see this as being a long term issue for metal like c-channel. Once you’ve cut to length and drilled it, it’s hard for another team to harvest the metal the following year (or in the same season as design iterates).

Are you and your team going to stick to regular strength shafts except for when it’s really needed, or is you next big team purchase that drill press so you can start making those bigger holes?


I feel as though high strength axles are necessary in some circumstances, but not always. I’ll be trying to use both regular shafts and hs shafts when they are necessary.

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well, there are lots of things to consider with low strength vs high strength shafts, and different use cases for both. Generally, if a low strength shaft is adequate for an application, than it makes no sense to use a HS shaft, which are bulkier, heavier, and require much more work to use. Examples of applications like this are on drive shafts, where you really only need one shaft per motor, and the rest of the gears and wheels can be on free-spinning screw joints. These are low stress enough where a LS shaft should never bend under normal conditions.

But once you start gearing up for things like lifts, high strength shafts do make a lot of sense. Especially with the power of v5 motors, and the high demand teams put them through, trying to transfer power down a LS shaft at any substantial torque is just not going to work out well.

So both yes, and no. Yes, you should invest in proper drilling tools (a drill press can be useful for more than just boring out HS shaft holes, but a hand drill will suffice), but no, you shouldn’t be spamming HS shafts everywhere they do not need to be.


Given that getting low friction HS shaft mechanism is so much harder that with regular, my teams only use HS shafts when strictly necessary, mostly in those low RPM, high-torque cases.

But they also prefer long screws (RoboSource 2" shoulder) as axles for all the idlers and would love to see “shoulder nut” to perfectly center the other end (using motor standoffs for this purpose is somewhat costly, as you are likely to destroy the nib).