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Helical bevel gears have inclined or twisted teeth on a conical surface and the common types are skew, spiral, zerol, and hypoid bevel gears. However, this study does not include hypoid bevel gears. Due to the geometric complexities of bevel gears, commonly used methods in their design are based on the concept of equivalent or virtual spur gear. The approach in this paper is based on the following assumptions, a) the helix angle of helical bevel gears is equal to mean spiral angle, b) the pitch diameter at the backend is defined as that of a helical gear, and c) the Tredgold’s approximation is applied to the helical gear. Upon these premises, the contact stress capacity of helical bevel gears is formulated in explicit design parameters. The new contact stress capacity model is used to estimate the contact stress in three gear systems for three application examples and compared with previous solutions. Differences between the new estimated results and the previous solutions vary from -3% and -11%, with the new estimates being consistently but marginally or slightly lower than the previous solution values. Though the differences appear to be small, they are significant because the durability of gears is strongly influenced by the contact stress. For example, a 5% reduction in contact stress may result in almost 50% increase in durability in some steel materials. The equations developed do not apply to bevel crown gears.