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
What to look for?
- Lots of capacitors (more capacitance). Although there are many factors that can cause noise in an ESC, more capacitors (higher total capacitance) is always a good thing to keep the noise down
- Bigger MOSFET’s usually means the ESC can handle higher voltage and current, making the ESC more durable and being able to withstand more abuses. MOSFET size is especially important for high voltage rigs such as 6S
Regardless, always use low ESR capacitors on your ESC power. This will ensure you get the best possible performance out of your quad. If you are using single ESC, add a cap to each ESC. Bigger is always better. Typically we use 470uF, but if size is a problem, 220uF would do too, it’s better than nothing. For 4in1 ESC, a single 1000uF should be enough in most cases.
Spedix IS30 ESC
These are only $10 each, and they have really good performance (low noise). But these are quite old, only support up to 4S and DShot600. But if you are looking for cheap ESC for a budget build, consider these.
Racerstar RS30A V2 ESC
The Racerstar RS30A V2 is another affordable ESC’s I’d recommend, and the quality is actually quite decent. It supports DShot and Multishot out of the box without any modification making it really convenient to use compared to other older BLHeli_S ESC.
The RS30A are actually just rebranded Cicada 30A, and there is a smaller 20A version if you are looking for lighter / less powerful ESC’s.
The Racerstar RS30A V2 is capable of running DShot600 ESC protocol and supports 2S-4S input voltage.
Holybro Tekko32 35A / Airbot Wraith V2
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.
They are identical to the Airbot Wraith V2, just under different branding.
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.
Hobbywing XRotor Micro 60A
Hobbywing is a strong player in the 4in1 ESC market and this Hobbywing XRotor Micro 60A ESC is probably one of their most popular products. Features including DShot1200, beefy FET’s, direct pins for a low ESR capacitor, and you can either use the connector for a plug-n-play setup, or direct solder to the flight controller. If budget isn’t an issue for you, this is a serious contender to consider.
HGLRC FD_45 4in1 ESC
Not the cleanest ESC, but these are compact 4in1 ESC with 20x20mm mounting holes, and pretty powerful with 45A current rating and 6S support. It’s small enough to fit in 3″ builds.
Aikon AK32 35A 4in1 BLHeli_32 ESC
The Aikon AK32 4-in-1 is one of the most reliable 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 Tekko32 4in1 ESC
I have been using the Tekko32 30A 4in1 in my ultralight racer for a while now and it’s been great. It works great with the Kakute F4/F7 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 in this list. Interestingly it has an identical appearance to the Holybro TekkoS 4in1 we previously recommended, it’s probably just a rebranded product.
Top ESC’s In The Past
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
To be honest most latest ESC’s these days perform similarly well, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the choices mentioned.
- March 2017 – article created
- Oct 2017 – added Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC, removed DYS XSD 30A v2
- Mar 2018 – list updated
- Aug 2018 – list updated
- May 2020 – added new product