I was roasting coffee using a Whirly Pop manual crank popcorn popper when one of the cheap plastic gears broke (luckily, I have 2 poppers).

Bottom gear broke off!

Does anyone know where to get metal gears that could be installed in the "machine" to prevent this from happening again?

I searched and found that you can possibly get Whirly Pop to send a replacement plastic gear (which is just going to break again). I also found that Whirly Pop sells entire new covers with metal gears, but would prefer to fix it myself (yeah, $10 isn't that much to buy one, but it would also be fun to fix for me, I just don't know where to get the gears from). I tried to search for places that sell gears, but feel pretty lost in this area.

I understand that this is a slightly ridiculous question because a used Whirly-Pop can be purchased for under $5 (although you need to search around thrift stores or estate sales to find one for this price).

I also understand that using a hot air popper is probably a better idea and also not very expensive, and that further getting a real roaster isn't super expensive and will probably get one eventually. I enjoy roasting coffee on a grill outside using a manual popcorn popper. I have gotten great results doing this, so am hoping someone may already have a solution to this issue.

  • High prob those gears are not off the shelf items. Maybe you could 'carve' a new gear out of a block of plastic - like from a cutting board. I really do think that is doable, but not practical.
    – Jim
    May 17, 2017 at 18:22
  • @Jim Yeah, that probably isn't too practical. I actually found someone that made blueprints for 3d printing and you can order it made, but that's still plastic. I'd really like to replace it with metal. Maybe I'll cross-post this on Engineering and someone will know. I thought someone here might have managed to do this already :)
    – OpiesDad
    May 17, 2017 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Don't think you can replace only the gears, but I found lots of places selling replacement lids with heavy duty gears. Check the link out below:


I googled 'metal gears for whirley pop' and got a ton of options. By the way, it appears that the gearing on the lid in the link above is held together by allen wrench tap screws so you 'might' be able to scavenge the gears off the lid and put them on your own, although, if the lid itself works well, then I don't see why you would want to do that.

  • Thanks for looking into this. I pointed out in the question that I could just purchase the whole top with metal gears, but wanted to try to replace the gears. Part of the reason I'd want to do this would be so that I could replace it on more than one of them, as I already have 2 poppers. I suppose it's not so expensive to just buy a new top, but part of the fun for me is in the search for the items and repairing if necessary (as it is in this case). I could actually just keep buying more of them more cheaply than buying a metal geared top :)
    – OpiesDad
    May 18, 2017 at 22:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.