The available sources and procedures for determination of AGMA geometry factor J are tables, charts and semi-analytical methods. When computerized gear design is considered, usage of tables requires a number of interpolations; usage of charts requires curve fitting; and usage of semi-analytical methods needs a numerical algorithm and may have convergence problems. As an alternative to these, polynomial equations for direct calculation of AGMA geometry factor J are derived for external spur gears. Thus, it is made possible to evaluate the J factor easily and with minimum process time. J factors are determined being independent of the highest point of single tooth contact (HPSTC). Derived equations can be used to calculate the tooth root stresses corresponding to loads acting on any point on the involute tooth profile. Thus, cases where the center distance is increased for providing backlash or for operating the gears at a desired exact center distance can easily be handled by determining the corresponding new HPSTC. A computer program is developed to demonstrate the usage of the derived equations. The method can also be used for determination of the J factors for gears with non-standard proportions. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.