If you love making popcorn at home, you’ve probably interacted with or thought of getting yourself a Whirley Pop popcorn maker.

If you fall in the latter group, having to decide between metal or nylon gears is a decision you’ll have to make. Thankfully, this article dissects Whirley pop nylon vs metal gears to help you understand the two better.

Whirley Pop Nylon Vs Metal Gears-Which One To Choose?

Whirley Pop Metal Gears.

A few sources mention that the original Whirley pop poppers came with nylon gears and that metal gears were only introduced after a while.

The metal gears come with both stainless steel and aluminum poppers and are designed with an eye toward durability. 

One of the main advantages of metal gears is that they are very efficient at agitating the kernels. They are able to turn the stirrer with ease, which helps to ensure that all of the kernels are evenly heated. This means that you can make a large batch of popcorn quickly and efficiently.

Whirley Pop Metal Gears Pros.

So, what are the advantages of whirley pop metal gears?

  1. Durability: the gears are made of more sturdy materials that can withstand high heat and constant movement required for making popcorn. This makes them more durable than their counterparts.
  2. High heat resistance: typically, metal gears can resist high temperatures better than their counterparts. The popcorn making process requires a high amount of heat, and metal gears are just perfect for the job.
  3. Better gear ratio: The metal gears are combined with the patented stirring system that prevents sticking and burning. This ensures perfectly cooked popcorn by moving and rotating every kernel.
  4. Strength: metal gears are strong enough to not only handle thicker gooier popcorn recipes like kettle corn and caramel corn but also stand up to higher temperatures and repeat usage over time. 

Whirley Pop Metal Gears Cons.

  1. Prone to rust: all metals tend to rust over time. Metal gears are not an exception. They can rust over time if not properly maintained.
  2. Expensive: the gears are cast in more sturdy albeit costly material. This makes them a more expensive option.
  3. Not as flexible as nylon gears: they do not whirl as smoothly as the nylon gears so the whole turning mechanism is not as smooth. 
  4. Metal gears make more noise while in use.

Whirley Pop Nylon Gears.

The original models of the Whirley Pop poppers are designed with heavy-duty nylon as the gears of choice.

The gears are flexible enough and can be easily swapped out if there is an issue with the gears. The nylon gears are versatile with high temperatures and are designed to withstand the constant movement required to make popcorn.

Because of its flexibility, this gear assembly is more favorable for a smoother turn when popping the kernels. This is partly due to its patented stirring system involving a floating stir wire that helps every kernel pop every time up to 42 times its original size.

Whirley Pop Nylon Gears Pros.

  1. Flexibility: Nylon gears expand and contract when in contact with heat. This  makes for smooth turning when you turn the crank while making popcorn.
  2. Low friction:  these gears have low-friction, making them able to operate smoothly and with less resistance.  This reduces tear and Wear not only on the gear but also the other parts of the machine
  3. Pocket-friendly: Nylon gears are less expensive compared to their counterparts
  4. Rust-resistance:  Nylon is resistant to corrosion. This makes it suitable to be used in environments where the gears  may be exposed to moisture and other corrosion elements 
  5. Nylon is a dishwasher-friendly material. This makes them Dishwasher safe, although you are advised against using them in the dishwasher.

Whirley Pop Nylon Gears Cons.

  1. Most likely to break: The Nylon gears may boast of their superior flexibility, but ultimately the gears can break if they are subjected to too much heat over time and too much torque when cranking.
  2. More likely to warp or melt:  when nylon gears are subjected to higher temperatures, they may not be able to resist the heat, making them likely to melt.

Whirley Pop Nylon Vs Metal Gears: Price Comparison.

The original Aluminum Whirley-Pop popcorn poppers with Nylon gears and a capacity of 6 quarts cost about $36 on Amazon while the same popper with metal gears goes for $39. 

A Stainless Steel popper with Metal gears and a capacity of  6-quart costs about $49. 99. It’s basically the only choice you have in this category since there are no options for Nylon gears.

Of course, these prices keep changing.

How Do The Nylon and Metal Options For a Whirley Pop Compare In Terms Of Durability? 

When we compare the durability of Whirley pop nylon vs metal gears, the metal gears definitely have the durability advantage.

Metal gears are designed to withstand high temperatures and constant movements while on the other hand, nylon gears are more geared(pun intended) towards flexibility. They expand and contract when subjected to heat. This prevents wear and tear.

If you wanted to opt for the most durable Whirley-Pop out there, you’ll do just fine with the Stainless steel version with metal gears. The material is often more durable and heavier than aluminum poppers.


Although the Whirley-Pops were originally made with Nylon gears, having the option of using metal gears instead is one of the best things about the poppers. They offer different perks like cost benefits, efficiency, and durability.

For most people, either gear could make no difference to them but the two are quite different in more ways than one. Be sure to do your due diligence before deciding which of the two would better suit your popcorn needs.