A worm is used to reduce speed. For each complete turn of the worm shaft the gear shaft advances only one tooth of the gear. In this case, with a twelve tooth gear, the speed is reduced by a factor of twelve. Also, the axis of rotation is turned by 90 degrees. Unlike ordinary gears, the motion is not reversible, a worm can drive a gear to reduce speed but a gear cannot drive a worm to increase it. As the speed is reduced the power to the drive increases correspondingly. Worm gears are a compact, efficient means of substantially decreasing speed and increasing power. Ideal for use with small electric motors.
Make your own working worm gear model.
Turn the handle and the worm turns! The 24 tooth gear turns at 1/24 of the speed of the handle.