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Best electric motor brand?

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Michael Barclay19/02/2019 10:05:44
78 forum posts
36 photos

Just wondering what people think are the best motor brands and what they are using? I have been using NTM and they seem ok but seeing that there are other much more expensive motors on the market I am wondering if they are worth paying extra for?

Don Fry19/02/2019 10:25:09
4384 forum posts
52 photos

One of the problems nowadays is the brand label often belongs to the distributor, not the manufacturer.

An example, I cook, and I use, abuse and burn out spice grinders. The expensive Braun units I used, 2 off, quickly broke, burnt out. That's 40 quid each.

Now I happened to see a good sold looking unit, a couple of bowls, thermal protection, blah, blah, for 14 quid in Aldi. It's stood a couple of years of abuse, no worries. The same unit is also branded by James Martin, less accessories, for 30 quid. And I saw a gushing newspaper review, same unit, another brand again, 55 quid.

So reassuringly expensive is not always the way to go.

and when it hits the ground, I can't imagine a pilot thinking, lucky it was an expensive brand rather that a working cheapo I've just trashed.

Nigel R19/02/2019 10:41:35
3394 forum posts
524 photos

Further to the above.

I buy the orange coloured motors, as sold by the king of hobby.

Cheap, cheerful, no fuss return if it doesn't work.

Usually married to the Plush ESCs, and Zippy / Rhino / Turnigy Blue lipos from the same shop. For all the same reasons. On the small (foamboard, parkfly size) stuff, for me the trend continues with orange coloured receivers and Turnigy servos.

Of course, you can pay three or four times as much for the exact same kit from other outlets.

G194019/02/2019 10:50:02
3523 forum posts
1 photos

Depends what you want to spend. The f3a (International aerobatic) fliers in our club are spending around £500 for a Hacker motor and probably a lot more than most here would spend for speed controller. Are they really that good and would they cope just as well with one of the bigger, motors I would choose for a largish model? I don't know but I do know from my experiences competing in dinghy racing years ago that competition breeds expense.

I know my skills don't justify spending more than I have to. My most expensive motor is the Foxy I've recently taken out of a model I don't fly and fitted in my ARTF Wot4 which cost, when I bought it from Puffin, about £100 including esc.

One of the biggest calumnies is the sentence "You get what you pay for". That may be true but it's often a big con designed to confuse people who are ignorant in the field they're buying into. (I hasten to add that ignorance isn't an insult. No-one is an expert on everything they need or wish to buy. We're all ignoramuses about something - even most things!)


Nigel R19/02/2019 11:15:58
3394 forum posts
524 photos

I'm ignorant of lots of things. My usual approach is "middle market" to avoid the definitely cheap rubbish, and the overpriced.

Competitive types will generally buy whatever the guys at the top of the leaderboard are using, hang the expense. They're too busy practicing to worry about whether they've got the best value from their kit - they just want kit they know for sure will allow them to get up there on the leaderboard. That tactic is all about removing unknowns from your competitive performance. You might get as good scores with unknown, and possibly cheaper, kit - but you might not, and unless you know enough about that particular motor / dinghy / golf club / bike tyre / etc etc, you can't make that call. Those truly at the top of the game will spend time picking and choosing kit as much as practicing the skills side of things, and may be playing their part in researching and developing the kit. That's never cheap either, in time or money or effort, but, they get the best kit first.

Alan H19/02/2019 11:21:33
86 forum posts
2 photos

I think this is a bit like asking what is the best radio gear, everyone has a different opinion and responses are not based on any actual comparison metrics. Anyway for what it's worth I have had good results with Hacker motors and also good results with muuch cheaper SK3 motors from HobbyKing. The only really bad results I have had are with Scorpion motors where I have had several cases of premature bearing failure.

Bob Cotsford19/02/2019 11:26:18
8146 forum posts
449 photos

I've got a couple of E-Flite motors that came in second hand models and in my opinion they look to be pretty much the same design and build quality as the Turnigy branded SK3 and Propdrive motors that I buy from Hobbyking. As I haven't yet worn out a HK motor I personally wouldn't pay roughly double the price for what looks to be the same motor with an American brand name. I don't consider my flying 'serious' enough to warrent Axi/Hacker/OS prices though I do believe that these motors may be built to higher standards, eg sturdier bearing housing and bell, better bearings etc..

As I said, I'm just a club flier, I don't push the motors by running at their maximum rated current so the cheap brands work well enough for me on 3S to 6S setups.

If you would prefer to buy from a UK supplier then 4-Max, BRC/Robotbirds and the like can supply the Turnigy style motors with their own labels and prices.

Buy dear buy once, buy cheap buy twice may be true but if cheap is less than half the price of dear - well it ain't rocket science is it?

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 19/02/2019 11:29:07

Michael Barclay19/02/2019 12:42:19
78 forum posts
36 photos

Ok. Thats much as I thought. Just wanted to make certain I was not missing something. Will stick with Hobby King motors. Just fitting the Propdrive 42-38 750kv to my new 60" Depron DH2. Probably too much power for a plane which looks like coming in at 2000g. but we will see.

Edited By Michael Barclay on 19/02/2019 12:46:52

Dickw19/02/2019 12:46:43
555 forum posts
79 photos

I once bought a couple of Feigao inrunners that from look and spec seemed to be a cheap copy of a Hacker B50.

Once I had replaced the noisy bearings and pinned the front and rear housings to stop them falling out, the motors probably performed as well as the Hackers smiley.

Cheaper motors seem to perform OK and the most obvious place to save costs is on the mechanical bits.


Don Fry19/02/2019 13:02:01
4384 forum posts
52 photos

And the other big thing where top end kit is better, it is looked at, and tested, and inspected by someone who actually understands it. And sometimes top end stuff is simply the stuff which sits in a known magic circle of component tolerance.

Or as above, an impecunious modeller.

Cuban819/02/2019 13:10:51
2831 forum posts
1 photos

Turnigy from HK - must of had a dozen of them over the years ranging from a few hundred watts to 1KW. Had a couple of 'Thumpers' from Overlander as well, Never had an issue, never had a magnet come loose or a bearing fail. I do take care to spec the motor and ESC correctly to its intended application though and spend a few moments balancing props - I shudder at some of the guesstimates that some are still making in the posts I read here. None of my motors ever get more than barely warm - I've got burn  blisters from some club mates' motors!

I'd dearly love to see a direct performance comparison between an expensive 'branded' motor and ESC and equivalent setup from HK or wherever - say 500W and 1KW examples, same prop the same battery of course. I have a feeling that the results may prove very interesting and not what the big brands would wish to be publicised too much. We used to get very in depth tests and performance data from the likes of Peter Chinn on his IC tests years ago, dead easy to to produce curves for 'leccys. Even a simple static thrust and rpm test would be enough to make a useful comparison - never seems to happen though.

Has such a test ever been published?



Edited By Cuban8 on 19/02/2019 13:25:45

kc19/02/2019 13:14:48
6207 forum posts
169 photos

The Turnigy 3536/9 in one of my planes has done over 1500 flights and still going the same as ever this morning. At around 6 minutes a flight that's about 150 hours flying, and if it was 30 mph average it would be about 4500 miles by now. Whether more expensive motors would do more than that we won't know until someone informs us!

Percy Verance19/02/2019 13:43:39
8108 forum posts
155 photos

It's a virtually impossible question to answer, because the *best* is simply what works for you. For the guy whom doesn't have a huge modelling budget then cheapie motors are the best for him. Likewise, the bloke whom wishes to participate in F3a flying at high levels might well choose Hacker or similar motors. Both have chosen what they feel is the best......

As with most things, cost doesn't seem to come into the equasion. Witness kc's experience of Turnigy motors....

I used to know a chap whom worked for a breakdown recovery company, frequently tasked with removing broken down cars from the M6 and other local roads. He often commented on the numbers of BMW's, Mercs and Audis - often costing 30k or more, which broke down........ One wonders if the drivers of the said cars believed they'd bought what they felt was the best?

I have several E Flite motors here, and although they certainly look and feel like they're a cut above most other motors, they're still made in China. That said they do seem powerful. You'd have to ask me in 5 years time whether they lasted though.......



Edited By Percy Verance on 19/02/2019 13:54:00

Edited By Percy Verance on 19/02/2019 14:00:11

G194019/02/2019 14:50:52
3523 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 19/02/2019 13:10:51:

I'd dearly love to see a direct performance comparison between an expensive 'branded' motor and ESC and equivalent setup from HK or wherever - say 500W and 1KW examples, same prop the same battery of course. I have a feeling that the results may prove very interesting and not what the big brands would wish to be publicised too much. We used to get very in depth tests and performance data from the likes of Peter Chinn on his IC tests years ago, dead easy to to produce curves for 'leccys. Even a simple static thrust and rpm test would be enough to make a useful comparison - never seems to happen though.

Has such a test ever been published?

There used to be lots of reviews of glow engines but there seem to be fewer now. I've suggested several times that it would be useful if there were some independent reviews as well as comparative tests of electric motors but I've never seen one.

I remember when I bought the Foxy 4020/10 motor and R65B esc which Puffin sold as a good but not absolute top quality motor/esc combination I wondered how much better (and it what ways better) they were compared to the 'cooking' versions sold by HK et al. It's a very nice motor, smooth and so far reliable and I have no complaints but in its new home in my Wot4 it's being run well below its maximum. A proper review using kit I have no access to would have been useful, especially if it had been compared to a cheaper alternative.

If it's merely bearing quality then they're easily and cheaply replaced.


Piers Bowlan19/02/2019 14:54:58
1993 forum posts
53 photos

As I recall, when the early BL motors appeared on the scene they were all fiendishly expensive and akin to male jewellery. Kontronics, Plettenberg, Hacker and Astroflight were the available brands until AXi Model Motors came on the scene with their range of quality out-runners. They are still quality motors with bearings that last, magnets that stay glued and motor shafts that generally don't break or bend. However, as we all know, some of the Chinese motors are often of high quality, silly cheap and will last unless you are unlucky. It is sometimes difficult to justify spending a lot more because the budget alternative can be nearly as good and even if you do get a dud it won't cost much to replace. Alternatively, if you do find that you made a poor choice of motor for your model, then a better replacement won't break the bank. Some brands seem to shed magnets judging by some of the reviews, however this may be down to not balancing propellers perhaps or simply trying to get a quart out of a pint pot? (I don't know what the metric equivalent is!)

I still have my AXi and Jeti BL motors going strong after all this time.

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 19/02/2019 14:56:27

G194019/02/2019 15:25:40
3523 forum posts
1 photos

Funnily enough the only motor I've had that shed magnets was a fairly early AXI 2820/10. I attempted a repair but those magnets have a mind of their own and I somehow managed to get them in the wrong orientation and gave up.


Nigel R19/02/2019 15:58:21
3394 forum posts
524 photos

"I wondered how much better (and it what ways better) they were compared to the 'cooking' versions sold by HK et al. "

I've collected several of the Mega inrunners. They scream quality. Made with the finest of unobtanium rare earth magnets, coils hand wound on the thighs of virgins, etc. Three figure retail.

A £12 orange outrunner from Hobbyking weighs less and spins the same prop. I imagine the bearings won't last as long... I can buy more.


Former Member19/02/2019 16:27:36
1322 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Nigel R19/02/2019 16:33:52
3394 forum posts
524 photos

Not obsolete Dave, just not available.

Cheap, powerful, reliable. Just when you find something that does all three, sales stop because the manufacturer realises that way lies penury.

kc19/02/2019 16:40:37
6207 forum posts
169 photos

My view is that one should save money on the motor and spend a bit more on a quality ESC especially if it's used to power the Rx too. I have had 3 ESC fail - one on it's first flight - but none of my motors have failed or played up far.

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