There are so many choices for brushless motor out there for mini quad, it’s hard to decide. The “best mini quad motor” doesn’t exist because every motor performs differently. It all comes down to finding the balance, what’s more important to your flying style and how much you are willing to pay.
Here is a list of popular motors that I recommend. I do a little bit of both freestyle flying and racing, so I prefer motors that are more “all around” :) I am sure there are motors that are designed and work well for very specific applications but that’s not what I want to focus on.
BrotherHobby Returner R6 2306 & 2207
The BrotherHobby Returner R6 2306 and 2207 are great designs with EZO bearing and titanium shaft, yet the price is very reasonable for a high quality motor.
The R6 series has some remarkable improvement from the original R5, especially the larger and more robust bearing. The result is more durable motor, which is definitely a good upgrade from the R5!
Dragonfly Hurricane 2207
I’ve been flying the Dragonfly Hurricane 2207 a few months now, and it has been pretty solid. I like the decent quality at a very competitive price, only $14 a piece. Perhaps it doesn’t have the best aluminium and bearing, but you get what you pay for. The Hurricane 2207 is worth considering if you are on a budget.
Sunnysky Edge Racing 2305
Sunnysky was making motors way before mini quad was even a thing, and they have a reputation for making great quality motors. I’ve been flying these Edge Racing 2305 motors for over a year now and they are still holding up well. Not the type of motors you would use for racing, but definitely one of my favorite for efficiency and freestyle flying.
T-motor F40 III 2306
The T-Motor F40 II is made by Tiger-Motor, a premium brushless motor manufacturer in RC.
Compared to the previous F40 II (V2), the III (V3) has a higher 2306 stator (previously 2305). A lot of features have been redesigned such as the bell and magnets. All the changes make this motor even more powerful.
I really like the new solid design, flat-top bell might provide more protection to the motor but comes with the cost of extra weight. The F40 III motor is suitable for a wide range of applications and propellers, thanks to its efficient and “torquey” performance.
6S Light Weight – R3 2206 1720KV
I have tried a few different motors for 6S from 1600KV to 2600KV, and I still find the lower KV range easier to fly and tune (e.g. 1600KV – 2000KV).
The BrotherHobby R3 2206 1720KV performed really well in my light weight 6S build, smooth yet responsive. Very efficient too! Some people have been using this motor on 4S 7″ builds and shows great results.
Ultralight – R4 2205 2700KV
The BrotherHobby Returner R4 comes with upgraded EZO bearing to ensure better durability than the previous version. With the excellent design and choice of material, the Returner R4 comes in at only 25g! Great for ultralight builds.
Choosing Motor Sizes
2204 and 2205 motors are great choices for ultralight racers (<250g dry weight without battery), but these motors generally don’t have the torque to spin heavy props or handle heavy builds.
I will probably put 2206 and 2305 in the same category due to the similar stator volume. These are great for slightly heavier builds, e.g. 250g – 300g on 4S. Motors of these sizes are also very popular on light weight 5S and 6S quads (if supported).
Both 2306 or 2207 are great for general purposes as they can handle the widest range of propellers and heavier builds, (>300g+ dry weight without battery). Generally speaking, 2207 are slightly more powerful and has a more linear throttle response, but 2306 can be smoother for Freestyle flying. (see the 2207 vs. 2306 comparison for more info)
Some people use 1407 for ultralight 5″. Personally I don’t think that’s a good idea because they don’t have the torque for 5″ props, perhaps better for light weight 4″.
It’s important to understand that there are many factors other than just motor size and KV when picking a motor.
The performance is also determined by the motor build quality and design features (air gap, magnet strength, stator lamination, winding etc.) Two motors of the same size made by different manufacturers will perform different most likely. I explained all these in more detail in my tutorial how to choose Motor for Quadcopters.
What KV motor should I get?
Usually, each 5″ mini quad motor offers 2 to 3 options of different KV in the range of 2300KV to 2600KV. From my understanding, the main difference is usually the number of wraps in the stator winding that results in the KV difference. The rest of the hardware should be the identical.
Motor KV limits your propeller choice, and of course it’s also a personal preference. For freestyle, I personally prefer 2300KV-2500KV on 5″ props, but I know some serious FPV racers always pick 2600KV or even higher for maximum power. As long as you know what you are doing, and able to manage the current draw while not damaging your battery and gear, you should be fine.
Higher KV doesn’t make you a faster pilot though, some of the fastest lap times on the tracks are still on 2300kv. It just has to be set up right, pairing the right props, keeping the weight down to an optimal level, etc.
Here are the gears I use, check it out.
Top motors in the past
These motors were voted one of the best top mini quad motors in the past (from newer to older). They are still decent motors in terms of performance and worth considering.
RCX RS2206 v3
The RCX RS2206 V2 and V3 are a major upgrade from the previous version. Incorporating nearly all the modern motor design techniques, the performance is on par with other 2206 top performers, probably the best 2206 mid KV on the market. Yet the RS2206 V3 is ridiculously cheap. For $14, this is probably one of the best value motor as we speak.
The new V3 are nearly identical to the V2 except for a lip on the bell to prevent magnet slipping.
Unfortunately you have to deal with myrcmart.com which can be a pain sometimes with slow shipping and all, but worth it for the price. They’re so cheap just order extras.
Cobra Champion 2205
Cobra’s previous 2204 motors were a major success and they dominated the mini quad market for a long time. With competition coming from other brands with more and more powerful motors, they lost most of the market share. The Champion was Cobra’s answer to this!
The Champion 2205 has solid build quality and very similar performance to the Emax RS2205S. It runs really well with light 5″ props such as the 5040 triblades, not as well with heavier props though. The main downside is the weight, 29g is a bit heavy for a 2205 motor.
The Champion 2205 is not the most powerful motor, but it’s a well balanced motor between thrust and efficiency.
T-Motor F60 Pro 2207
It’s a really well built motor with solid quality and performance. The main downside is the weight, at 35g. It might not be the best motor for a light weight quad. But if you are looking for an efficient motor that is capable of handling heavy props, with really fast response time, definitely check out the F60Pro 2207!
In early 2016, the release of previous version RS2205 literally revolutionized the mini quad motor industry. It showed everyone what a small motor can do with 5″ propellers. (I think they were the first to use powerful N52 magnets.) They perform so well, there are still people recommending them even today :)
The newer RS2205-S matches the power of other 2205 top performers, yet it shows noticeably faster response thanks to the arc magnets and thinner stator lamination. This makes it one of the best picks in the 2205 category.
- Mar 2017 – Article created
- Jul 2017 – Added Returner R4, F40 III, Retired F60, Champion 2205, T2 2206
- Dec 2017 – Added Returner R5,
- May 2018 – Added Returner R6, Sunnsky Edge Racing, Dragonfly Hurricane, and options for ultralight racers and 6S builds