In a given size of symmetric involute gear designed through conventional approach, as the load carrying capacity is restricted at the higher pressure angle due to tipping formation, the use of the asymmetric toothed gear to improve the fillet capacity in bending is examined in this study. Non-standard asymmetric rack cutters with required pressure angles and module are developed to generate the required pinion and gear of a drive with asymmetric involute surfaces and trochoidal fillet profiles. The respective profiles thus generated are optimized for balanced fillet stresses that are equal and possibly the lowest also. For this study of optimization, several non-standard asymmetric rack cutters are designed to accommodate different combinations in the values of pressure angle, top land thickness ratio, profile shift, speed ratio and the asymmetric factors. However for any drive with a given center distance and a speed ratio, only two non-standard asymmetric rack cutters, one for the pinion and other for the gear are used to generate a required numbers of pinion and gear with different cutter shift values for the purpose of optimization. The influence of these parameters on the maximum fillet stress has been analyzed to suggest the optimum values of these parameters that improve the fillet capacity in bending. The optimization of the asymmetric spur gear drive is carried out using an iterative procedure on the calculated maximum fillet stresses through FEM for different rack cutter shifts and finally the optimum values of rack cutter shifts are suggested for the given center distance and the speed ratio of an asymmetric gear drive. Comparisons have also been made successfully with the results of the AGMA and the ISO codes for symmetric gears to justify the results of the finite element method pertaining to this study. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.