A method for the determination of the optimal polynomial functions for the conduction of machine-tool setting variations in pinion teeth finishing in order to reduce the transmission errors in spiral bevel gears is presented. Polynomial functions of order up to five are applied to conduct the variation of the cradle radial setting and of the cutting ratio in the process for pinion teeth generation. Two cases were investigated: in the first case the coefficients of the polynomial functions are constant throughout the whole generation process of one pinion tooth-surface, in the second case the coefficients are different for the generation of the pinion tooth-surface on the two sides of the initial contact point. The obtained results have shown that by the use of two different fifth-order polynomial functions for the variation of the cradle radial setting for the generation of the pinion tooth-surface on the two sides of the initial contact point, the maximum transmission error can be reduced by 81 %. By the use of the optimal modified roll, this reduction is 61%. The obtained results have also shown that by the optimal variation of the cradle radial setting, the influence of misalignments inherent in the spiral bevel gear pair and of the transmitted torque on the increase of transmission errors can be considerably reduced.