In this article we will recommend some of the best mini quad ESC based on my personal experience as well as community feedback and reviews. We will cover the pro’s and con’s of each ESC, and what should consider for your next build!
|I compiled the specification of all ESC’s for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
Common key features of popular ESC’s are:
- DShot support out of the box (as well as all other ESC protocols)
- High current rating (30A-40A)
- Small and light weight
Racerstar RS30A V2 ESC
The Racerstar RS30A V2 is probably one of the most popular ESC’s in the mini quad market due to its low price point and decent quality. It also supports DShot and Multishot out of the box without any modification making it really convenient to use. Note that the RS30A are actually rebranded Cicada 30A, and there is also a smaller 20A version if you are looking for lighter ESC’s.
The Racerstar RS30A V2 is capable of running DShot600 ESC protocol and supports 2S-4S input voltage.
DYS Aria 35A BLHeli_32 ESC
The DYS Aria 35A is one of the cheapest BLHeli_32 capable ESC’s, at only $14 a peice. Apart from the standard features of a 32-bit ESC, the Aria 35A also has a bright built-in RGB LED which is a great addition.
Despite the low price, it accepts up to 6S Lipo input!
KISS 32A ESC
The KISS ESC’s are well known for their excellent performance and top notch build quality. The KISS 32A ESC’s are the latest version from Flyduino to replace the previous 24A version, improvements include 6S support, more robust hardware and improved performance.
The Kiss 32A is the only ESC in this list that isn’t running BLHeli_S or BLHeli_32 firmware, and KISS ESC’s are not particularly popular among Betaflight users. However they are the recommended option if you want to use KISS FC for the most consistent performance and the highest level of smoothness.
The main downsides for me right now are probably the high price, large form factor and longevity.
The KISS 32A is capable of running DShot2400, and is rated for 2S-6S.
Holybro Tekko32 35A ESC
The Holybro Tekko32 35A ESC is another BLHeli_32 ESC that I have personally tested without any issues over a course of 3 months. While the performance of different ESC’s these days are extremely similar, reliability becomes the key factor when choosing an ESC.
Build quality is just beautiful, and the solder pad layout is very convenient: ESC signal, signal ground and telemetry pads are all located on the edge of the ESC. More importantly, you can solder on both sides of the board!
The TekkoS32 35A weighs only 5g, it supports 2S to 6S voltage input, and there are built-in RBG LED’s.
Aikon AK32 35A ESC
Aikon is another great brand I personally like that makes reliable products. I’ve been using the AK32 35A ESC’s for months and haven’t had any issues with them. These are simple and plain BLHeli_32 ESC’s without all the fancy LED’s.
While I really like the AK32 ESC for its great reliability, the solder pads are only available on one side of the ESC which can be slightly less flexible at times, but it’s not a big deal.
The Aikon AK32 35A ESC is rated for 2S to 6S voltage, and the burst current rating is up to 45A (10 seconds).
Best 4-in-1 ESC’s
4-in-1 ESC’s are getting more and more reliable, and I have been using them on some of my latest builds with great result. 4in1 ESC are generally cheaper and lighter than using 4 individual ESC’s. The soldering and wiring are also more convenient. However the obvious downside is, if one ESC breaks you will have to replace the whole board.
Here are some 4in1 ESC’s that I’ve personally had good experience with.
Aikon AK32 35A 4in1 BLHeli_32 ESC
The Aikon AK32 4-in-1 is one of the very few BLHeli_32 4in1 ESC’s that are available today. It has a built-in current sensor, ESC telemetry capability, and a 5V BEC. It uses a JST header connector for the signals to the FC, instead of solder pads. Note that this ESC is considerably wider than a standard 36x36mm board, so it requires extra room in a frame.
I have been using the AK32 35A 4in1 ESC on 6S and it just works.
Aikon SEFM 30A 4in1 BLHeli_S ESC
The Aikon SEFM 30A 4in1 is a pretty old product (anything more than 6 months in this industry is considered “old”), but it’s a “tried and tested” ESC that is proven to work.
The board is a standard 36x36mm size so you won’t need to worry about space. Signal connection is very flexible, you can either use the solder pads, or the plastic header. There is an onboard 12V voltage regulator which is also a great addition.
Holybro TekkoS 30A 4in1 BLHeli_S ESC
I have been using the TekkoS 30A 4in1 in my ultralight racer for a while now and it’s been great. I really like the idea of using it with the Kakute F4 V2 FC, one cable and you are done! They are actually being sold as a combo and I think it’s a pretty sweet solution.
Racerstar REV35 35A 4in1 BLHeli_S ESC
The Racerstar REV35 35A 4in1 is one of the cheapest 4in1 ESC. Interestingly it has an identical appearance to the Holybro TekkoS 4in1 we just mentioned, it’s probably just a rebranded product.
Top ESC’s in the past
Emax Bullet 30A ESC
Maybe one of the smallest and lightest in its class, the EMAX Bullet 30A weights only 3.9g. It comes with heatsink for better cooling as well as providing extra protection against physical damage, such as prop strike. The price is also very competitive comparing to other ESC’s.
The Emax Bullet 30A supports DShot600, and runs on 2S-4S.
However the downsides of these tiny ESC’s are the electrical noise and the higher rates of failure.
Spedix 30A HV ESC
The Spedix HV 30A ESC is very good value option, they are even slightly cheaper than the Racerstar! They are more compact than the average 30A ESC, yet compatible with up to 6S Lipo input. Like many other ESC’s, they provides solder pads so you don’t have to remove those pre-soldered wires. They also do a 20A version which is considerably smaller.
It’s DShot600 capable, and supports 3S-6S.
Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC
The Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC is one of the earliest ESC to run BLHeli_32 ESC firmware. In our previous surveys, the Wraith ESC was once the top BLHeli 32-bit ESC. However we believe the reason was its early release. The Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC’s are basically the Wraith with some improvements, thus we’d like to recommend them here instead.
However I am not particularly a fan of the inconvenient location of the TX pin for ESC telemetry.
To be honest most latest ESC’s these days perform very well and similarly, it’s hard to go wrong with these choices. As long as they are suitable for your setup, and you are happy with the price just go for it :)
- March 2017 – article created
- Oct 2017 – added Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC, removed DYS XSD 30A v2
- Mar 2018 – list updated