Best Motor for 180 Mini Quad – 4 inch propellers

by Oscar

As 180 Size mini quads are getting more and more popular, many people ask what is the best motor for this type of small quadcopters that runs on 4 inch props.

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Here we have the thrust data from some motor tests I did recently. The most commonly used mini quad motors on the 180’s are 1306 3100KV, 1806 2300KV and 2204 2300KV motors. I have also seen people using Cobra 2204 1960KV with good result, so I have done the test on them with 4 inch props as well.

This is my motor testing setup.

cobra 2204 motor testing thrust data measure

Sunnysky 1306 3100KV

3S 12V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 257 7.6 94.2 2.7
Gemfan 4045 Carbon 286 7.8 96.7 3.0
HQ4045 Bullnose 285 13.5 167.4 1.7
Gemfan 5030 420 11.5 142.6 2.9

4S 16V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 367 10.8 172.8 2.1
Gemfan 4045 Carbon 382 10.8 172.8 2.2
HQ4045 Bullnose 363 16.1 257.6 1.4
Gemfan 5030 540 14.26 228.2 2.4

EMAX 1806 2300KV

3S 12V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 216 4.7 58.3 3.7
HQ4045 Bullnose 300 9.1 112.8 2.7
Gemfan 5030 370 7.2 89.3 4.1

4S 16V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 313 6.6 105.6 3.0
HQ4045 Bullnose 414 12.8 204.8 2.0
Gemfan 5030 520 10.2 163.2 3.2

Cobra 2204 2300KV

3S 12V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 270 4.9 58.8 4.6
Gemfan 4045 Carbon 252 4.8 57.6 4.4
HQ4045 Bullnose 355 9.6 115.2 3.1
Gemfan 5030 404 7.5 90.0 4.5

4S 16V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 351 6.7 107.2 3.3
Gemfan 4045 Carbon 345 6.7 107.2 3.2
HQ4045 Bullnose 515 13.7 219.2 2.3
Gemfan 5030 596 11.2 179.2 3.3

Cobra 2204 1960KV

3S 12V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 166 3.4 40.8 4.1
HQ4045 Bullnose 294 7.2 86.4 3.4
Gemfan 5030 370 6.0 72.0 5.1

4S 16V

Props Peak Thrust – g Peak Current – A Max Power – W Efficiency – g/W
Gemfan 4045 ABS 281 5.7 91.2 3.1
HQ4045 Bullnose 466 10.7 171.2 2.7
Gemfan 5030 533 8.8 140.8 3.8

For more Cobra 2204 1960KV and 2300KV motor thrust data on other propellers, check out this post.

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Jan Lemonte-Elwoth 25th March 2019 - 10:37 am

Always nice to read on your site.
I am having a Diatone Tyrant 180 frame with GoolRC 1806 2300KV that’s under-powered with 3S.
Am I totaly out of line, if I consider the following
Emax RSII 2206 2300KV and 30A BLheli ESC’s with 6S 1050mAh and 3-blade 4045
Emax RSII 2206 1900KV and 30A BLheli ESC’s with 6S 1050mAh and 3-blade 4045?
Third is to target 4S
Emax RSII 2206 2300KV and 20A BLheli ESC’s with 4S 1000mAh and 3-blade 4045?


Janne 25th March 2019 - 10:51 am

I decided to go for Emax RS2205 2600KV with 30A ESC’s and 4S.

stephan roy 4th April 2018 - 9:11 am

Hi Oscar,
I recently crashed my vortex 150 and am upgrading it to a 180. What motors would you suggest running 4s with stock 16a esc.
I’m open to 24a esc.
Vortex is using xnova 1407 3500 kv with bi blade hq props.
I have all the parts but the motors.
I want it to be wicked fast?

S0berlin 7th December 2016 - 12:20 am

If you were to redo this article today. What would the best motor at the moment be for a 4′ setup running 4s. While trying to be as light as possible.

Alex 29th May 2018 - 6:43 pm

Quattuor v2 frame, cobra motors 1407 4100kv, KK or HQ 4045×2 props, hglrc 28a stack with included 2.4gram 350mw vtx, caddx sdr1 1200tvl fpv cam. Titanium screes throughout. My auw without lipo is 126grams. Youd be hard pressed to make a lighter or faster 4 inch than that imo. Those cobra motors produce close to 900grams static thrust on the bench with 4s and 4045×2 props. 1407 motors are the sweet spot with this size quad.

nitro 16th October 2016 - 2:35 am

i built a 160 diatone tyrant with dys se1806 2700kv and 16 amp esc 3045bn tri blades DAL ..i tryed it out with a 35c 3s seems to not have a hole lot of recovery power.. flips are scary. bigger esc???.20 amp high kv esc?? what i dont get is i just built a 180 tyrant w/ 2800kv red bottoms 20esc dys V1. same batery 5045bn tri dal..even thought the battery dies fast the 3-4 minutes are a blast..thing rips…so what the deal with my 160?

seth 17th October 2016 - 3:53 am

“even though the battery dies fast”

Oscar 17th October 2016 - 2:51 pm

i think it’s just your motors has not enough KV, for 3″ props i think it’s more common to run 4000KV motors nowadays to get decent power. By increase ESC current rating isn’t going to increase your quad’s power.

seth gunter 16th February 2017 - 10:42 pm

i am back to my 160..need to make it i forgot to say that i did have 1306 4000 dys motors on there before and it had no what if i go with dys v2 high kv 20amp esc, and dys 1306 4000 kv, i think the little bee 16 amps just wont let any current threw..what do you think..i dont want to run around wasteing any more

mike louis 18th May 2018 - 3:53 am


ANDY 19th June 2016 - 9:01 pm

Hi Oscar,
I have just built a 180 Tweaker using 1806 2700kv motors would i be ok to use 1000 mAh 65c packs, using DAL TJ 4045 props
or should buy some 3S 1300mAh packs and use HQ 4x4x3G props, what would you sujest looking for more flight time than fast race setup as its my first build.

Oscar 19th June 2016 - 10:57 pm

I have never used 1806 2700kv… but i reckon it will draw quite a bit of current with triblades…
I would probably stick with 4S with bi-blades 4045…

Jakub 9th March 2016 - 11:38 pm

Hi Oscar, thanks for this awesome test.

So, ultimately – what would be a better option on 4S – 2204 2300kv with BN, 1306 with normal 4045, or maybe 2204 1960kv with BN?
Is it OK for 2204 2300kV motors to run a 4″ BN prop?

Oscar 11th March 2016 - 11:03 am

since I written that post, there more more and more options for quadcopters that runs 4″ props… like those 2205/2206 2600KV-2800KV motors…
I reviewed a couple recently:
Dragon Fly 2206 2800KV motor
Emax RS2205 2600KV
They are the go-to motors now for 4″ quads.

Play2win70 (RCG name) Brian (real name) 7th January 2016 - 5:22 pm

I”m running Sunnysky 1306 3100kv motors with the gemfan 4045’s but the propellers do not sit correctly on the shaft. There is a lot of play in them. The propellers do no come with an insert to center the propeller on the shaft. How do you overcome this issue?

Thomas H. 31st December 2015 - 10:33 am

> My quote (was typing text this night / early morning): RCX motors seem to be balanced ……BUT those China rules and customer support which they are talking in forums about gets me away.

Actually this in the night written sentence was meant in a different way. is the vendor of the RCX motors which I have seen pictures from which seem to be dynamically motion balanced in factory as well as?!?

The 2nd part I was refering to is not the vendor RCXHobby itself but one China dealer M*R*M*** which has those weird customer / warranty rules on homepage, provides no address and it is the company which they talk about on forums.

Both companies (RCX, M*R*M***) seem to be created in 2008 according to their homepages.
I have no clue if they are the same China company or different. Do they relate to each other?
RCX H1306 motors are not very much listed on different dealers??!??

Just to get it right in your comments as I am really not interested to bash against any company.

I was just thinking what 1306 / 3100kv motor would be best as not all forum feedback seem to be the best for all China motors according to improper balancing, defects, warranty claims???

On the other side Armattan seems to resale (DYS??) motors, one quad UK stores sells DYS directly, so they can not be THAT bad? :-)



Thomas H. 31st December 2015 - 5:13 am

Hi Oscar,

Very cool blog. Frame and motor compares rock!

I had the Blade 200QX with 2s 3100kv motor.
Have been using 2s 500mah lipos (have 10).
Flytime about 4 minutes.

Got the Armattan morphite 180 frame.
Now the 200QX ESC died because of motor stutter.

I have no idea if it is best to try DYS 3100kv with those 2s 500mah on that frame as 1000/1300/1500mah lipos may be supported (vs 200qx 850-950mah).

Local dealer has more expensive Juki motors of 2300kv (3s…).

DYS has 2x motor set and are cheaper.

RCX motors seem to be balanced but those China rules and customer support which they are talking in forums about gets me away.

If I go the 3100kv way the end result may be that I have to drop the V120d02s 2s 500mah lipos because of Morphite frame weight and reduced flight time.
The microheli 200qx frame may have already reduced it a little bit too?! (IMHO ~0,5-1min less flight time).

I could not make the decision either to go for 2s 1000-1500mah on 3100kv which also supports 3s or to go for 2300kv on 3s or 4s with at least 1000mah.

I read about 1350mah about a lipo size which may be acceptable on 3s for weight on Morphite 180.

So the question: Which way should I go?

The local park is limited, has electric power tower thru the field in the middle and free room is a bit limited.
Was fine for 130x, 200qx, Invertix 400.
So a 180 quad speed racer is probably not that thing which I am looking for…200qx was fast enough.

I fear to get DYS motors which do not work, are unbalanced…just may get me into trouble.
But motor price for Juki or Tmotors are out of scope really.

So what are the more quality motors 3100kv vs 2300kv?

I really want the option for 2s to 3s and I do not want to be fixed pinned to 1s-2s like Tmotors eithers.
3s++ would be OK too (drawback new lipos).

What route would you guys take? Try and error 2s with 3100kv, 3s, 3s + 2300kv vs 4s? Step by step?

Package from UK to DE is not really cheap and may be more expensive than some “good“ motors.
Only armattan site has 5$ package but +19% Vat
Gets added outside EU.

I would have loved to share V120d02s lipos with morphite 180 as I get away from 200qx.
Those eflite motors can not be screwed onto the frame arms so windings easily brake.

Greetings from Germany


Oscar 6th January 2016 - 11:17 am

i would recommend going 4S 1000mah on your 1306 3100kv :) I am also running that setup at the moment…
It’s a lot more fun flying on 4S i know because I have tried 2S/3S and 4S :)
but don’t use bullnose props on that setup, it’s too much for your motors :)

Thomas H. 7th January 2016 - 6:08 pm

Hi Oscar,
Thanks for your 4s reply :-)

I found out current / ratings are to be considered as well as:
Comparing my 2s 500mah (25C) vs new 2x 1000-1350 vs new 3s 1000mah or new 4s 1000mah lipos I would also have to check max ratings to do the max ampere rate calculation. The more mah the better even on lower C ratings.
I can remember e.g that the Hype Miss America motor current was way over 12,5A so the 2s lipo broke down and telemetry alarm showed voltage 4,10V/cell.

2s 500mah x 25 C = max 12,5A current (WhiteLine lipos I have lying around)
2s 500mah x 45 C = max 22,5A current (45C would be new Yuki Brainergy lipos for reusing on V120d02s too)
2s 1000mah x 45C = max 45A current (45C would be new Yuki Brainergy lipos)
2s 1350mah x 45C = max 61A current (45C would be new Yuki Brainergy lipos)
3s 1000mah x 45C = max 45A current (45C would be new Yuki Brainergy lipos)

The DYS 3100kv motor is rated for continuous 7,8A current and the DYS 2300kv motor is rated for 7,6A current too.

How would you calculate the total current for 4 motors to see if a lipo can do it?
The 200QX motors where of course not powered with max 8A x 4 motors = 32A max current (each ESC mosfet can do no more than 8A). 500mah 25C lipos where working fine on the 200QX.

I guess I would really have to test those old / available 25C 500mah lipos and see if it is enough power for Armattan frame and different motor/ESC set than Blade 200QX electronics.



Thomas H. 26th April 2016 - 6:28 pm

There is a newer 1806 2700kv motor (V1 with M2, V2 with M3) available:

Hadn’t viewed the 2700kv version (vs 3100kv vs 2300kv) when writing above comments.


Indy 1st December 2015 - 8:20 pm

Hi Oscar,
Thanks, again, for your work.
It’s really helpful (to say the least) for a beginner like me.
So according to your test, the 1306 with 4045 Gemfan is the real deal.
I’ve a few question: forgive me if they are naive.
1) 1306 are a even better deal since they save weight. Your test doesn’t care about the motor weight isn’t it?
2) how come so moch people are building 180 with 2204 motors these days?
3) I’ve a 150 with 3 inches gemfan, it’s fun but not that powerful. Is it because of the props or because it’s Eachine motors?

Anyways, I’m a big fan of your blog,

Go on :)

Oscar 1st December 2015 - 8:58 pm

1) not it doesn’t. But you can take that into account when considering motors on your own.
2) because they can work much better on 4S, and with 4045 bullnose even 4045 triblades. Ultimately they are much more powerful than 1306.
3) mainly due to the prop size i think.

Garth Williams 14th November 2015 - 11:01 pm

Hi Oscar, would 2206 T-Motors be too much for a 180 quad?
My 250 quad is in need of a new pdb so i was thinking of putting my 2206’s onto my 170
with 20A esc’s and the 4045 props. My thoughts were that the 2206 might be too powerful for the 170?

Oscar 16th November 2015 - 9:38 am

i guess you need to work out if the additional gain in thrust is worth the extra weight… and how efficient they are with 4045 props… I haven’t used those motors so cannot comment..

Starpoc 30th October 2015 - 1:19 pm

Hi Oscar,

I was wondering if you or anyone else has any thrust test data for Cobra 2206/2100kv on 4″ props? I can’t seem to find any good information on these motors specifically using 4″ props.

EngineerX 18th September 2015 - 11:55 pm

Excellent thrust test information.
I’m noticing those EMAX 1806 motors are very weak! Confirmed by a RCGroups guy who was complaining about his 180 being too sluggish. I tested DYS and AirBot MicroTitan 1806-2300 motors and they performed very close to Cobra 2204-2300 motors. Also tested EMAX 1804-2480 and it had disappointing performance, so the 1806 could possibly share components with the 1804, namely stator winding and wire. EMAX makes really good motors, but their 1804/6 are weak.

Tim 8th January 2016 - 9:22 pm

Did you actually compare a DYS 1806/2300kV motor with a cobra 2204 2300kv on 4045BN probs? I think THAT would be very interesting. I assume that the additional torque of a 2204 motor isnt’t really an advantage unless you use props bigger than 4″.

Rick 16th September 2015 - 4:45 pm

Hi Oscar,
Thanks for the hard work Oscar. I’ve been following your blog for a while, and your work has improved tremendously. Cool to see your project evolving. Keep it up.

Oscar 21st September 2015 - 12:36 pm

thanks Rick for the kind words :)

Jocelyn Da Prato 5th September 2015 - 12:21 pm

Thx Oscar, that is usefull.
Just a little precision, 5in props will touch themself on a 180, it should start with a 190, but, little details here.
Also, don’t know if it’s the same with “mini-mini under 200 brushless build”, but with my micro printed frames I tested props to props (2mm distance) on a 80mm frame, against more decent distance in-between props (half props and more) on a standard micro size 120mm, and even if the frame 120 was heavier, a “half props lenght and more distance” in between props fly way better than a light frame that close the props too much. I’m building actually an X acro frame build 200mm DYS 1306-3100, with 3S, 20a esc, will test in flight HQ5045 (props to props) against 4045.

Steven Hamonou 15th September 2015 - 2:16 pm

Hi Oscar

Jocelyn, you could “stack” the motors and have the props turn on different planes, as long as they clear the center part.


Matt 3rd September 2015 - 10:18 pm

Would have liked to see the 150g thrust numbers for each setup.

michael lee 2nd September 2015 - 8:05 pm

thanks man ! you saved me sh!t load of testing time and money.

Gino 31st August 2015 - 5:09 pm

Hi Oscar,

It looks like 1306 motors + GF 4045 are the sweet spot for quads in this class.

I used your thrust numbers to calculate the thrust-to-weight ratio on a 180 running 2204 2300kv motors + HQ BN props with a larger 4S 1300 mAh pack, and the ratio is actually worse than running the smaller 1306s + GF4045 with an 850 mAh pack. There’s a law of diminishing returns here with the added weight of larger motors and the requisite larger batteries…

Oscar 1st September 2015 - 11:25 am

yes 1306 on 4S is pretty nice :) i have a friend running this setup and she’s FAST! :)
anyway i want to try 2204 2300 on this size see how they peroform :)

EngineerX 21st September 2015 - 5:29 pm

It should be plenty fast on 2204-2300 but you’ll need 4045BN with a 1300-4S-45C minimum I think. I run a 65C and it’s just about right.
1806-2300’s are also a viable option, they can handle 4045BN props on 4S but the advantages of 2204’s are that they’re much stronger in terms of crash survival, their 3mm shafts resist bending much better than the 2mm shafts of the 1806’s -except the Airbot MicroTitan 1806s and the 3mm hollow shaft which I’m assuming should be stronger than standard 2mm shafts. 1806’s & 2204’s are actually very close in weight.
Some “news” about 4″ props: it looks like GemFan will be getting into the 4″ BN segment. I asked GemFan over in RCG and said they’re working on their 4045BN version. Hopefully it delivers about same thrust as HQ’s but more efficiently, so everyone head over to GFan’s RCG blog and tell them that indeed we would like to see their 4045BN become available. Typically GFan props perform well and they’re a much cheaper option to HQ’s

Oscar 22nd September 2015 - 11:04 am

Yes that’s a very good point about motor shaft :)
If Gemfan can produce 4045BN, it would be a very good news, personally i prefer their 5045BN over HQ due to cheaper price and similar performance :)

Atakorn 10th September 2015 - 12:10 am

I cut down HQ 6×4.5×3 to 4″ and put that on Shendrones Tweaker (180mm quad) with HK beatup multistar elite 2204/2300kv motors and run it w/ Lumenier 4s 60c. Seems pretty fast to me (and I’m not a good pilot by any stretch):

Also got GoPro Hero4 Silver on it, so this is not the ‘fastest’ it can go. :) Loving the sound tho.

Oscar 10th September 2015 - 11:13 am

awesome :) have you done any thrust testing with this motor?

Tsouni 28th August 2015 - 8:05 am

Hi Oscar

Are you sure of your measurements? You’re getting more thrust on 2300KV motor than 3100KV with same battery & same propeller (HQ4045 Bullnose, 3S 12V)?

Sunnysky 1306 3100kv 285gr
Cobra 2204 2300KV 355gr ??

Oscar 28th August 2015 - 12:12 pm

yes, pretty sure. The 1306 just hasn’t got enough torque to turn that prop… I could hear the RPM was a lot lower than GF4045…

EngineerX 21st September 2015 - 5:38 pm

Yep – 1306-3100kv doesn’t have enough grunt – torque to drive that heavy propeller.
BN props also create a lot drag-turbulence that requires power to be overcome.
the 3100kv doesn’t mean the motor will reach those high RPM with all props. Most hobby motors don’t reach their theoretical rpm’s when loaded with props. Here’s my test with similar results to Oscar’s

Great blog! lots of useful info for people to make good selection of components for their 180 rigs :)