The design of gears with a minimum weight is an optimization problem that has been widely discussed in the literature. Various recent metaheuristic optimization methods, along with the conventional methods, have produced successful results for design optimization problems. In this study, a comprehensive investigation was conducted into the solution of the spur gear design problem in metaheuristic optimization methods. The artificial algae algorithm, artificial bee colony and whale optimization algorithm were applied to the problem for the first time. The grey wolf optimizer and particle swarm optimization were also applied. The results were compared with the performance of the genetic algorithm, simulating annealing and particle swarm optimization, applied in previous studies. A statistical evaluation of these methods applied under the same conditions was carried out in terms of stability. It was shown that the new methods demonstrated significantly improved performance in solving the gear design problem compared to existing methods.