So many brushless motor choices out there for mini quad, it’s hard to decide. We don’t believe there is a “best motor” out there, because each motor performs better in certain aspects and worse in others. In the end of the day it’s about finding the balance, and depends on what’s more important to one’s flying style and budget of course.
In this edition of “Top 5 Best”, we put together a list of popular motors chosen by the community and our editors in a poll. We hope it gives you some ideas in choosing motors for your next racing drone build!
Emax RS2205S has been a popular and trusted motor for a while with its solid quality and competitive price. 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.
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.
T-motor F40 III 2306
T-Motor probably has one of the fastest product update rate in the industry. And here is the latest mini quad motor in the F-line – the F40 III (v3). Compared to the previous F40 II, the III has has a higher stator at 2306 (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.
Emax didn’t stop there, only just recently they released the new RS2306. With wider and taller stator size than the RS2205S, it’s supposed to be a step up in power and torque from the RS2205S. We’ve been hearing a lot of good things from beta-testers, and we cannot wait for its release.
BrotherHobby Returner R4 2206
The BrotherHobby Returner R4 2206 motor has been one of the most popular motors recently. It is also rebranded in many other labels such as the Hyperlite V4.
The Returner R4 comes with upgraded EZO bearing to ensure better durability than the previous versoin. With the excellent design and choice of material, the Returner R4 comes in at 28g which is pretty light weight for a 2206 size motor. This motor offers great performance and efficiency in its class. However the screw that holds the motor shaft in place is quite soft and easy to strip so make sure to pay extra attension when removing it (not that a lot of people would do maintenance on their motors)
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 choice of propeller and it’s also a personal preference. I personally prefer 2300KV-2500KV on 5″ props, but I know some serious FPV racers always pick 2600KV or higher for their 5″ rigs 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.
Top motors in the past
These motors were voted one of the best top mini quad motors in the past. They are still decent motors in terms of performance and worth considering.
BrotherHobby Tornado T2 2206
The Tornado T2 has some remarkable improvement from the original T1 motor, changes including taller stator size and thinner magnets. And the result is higher thrust and much better response time, making it one of the best 2206 motors out there. Definitely a good upgrade from the T1! However it’s probably not the best motor for heavy props. For example with the low KV versions, it’s about 100g short in thrust comparing to the T-Motor F60 Pro on a Gemfan 5046 BN.
Cobra Champion 2205
Cobra’s previous 2204 motors were a major success, and they were the king in mini quad world 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 is Cobra’s answer to this! The Champion 2205 has solid build quality and very similar performance to the 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
The T-Motor F60 Pro 2207 is made by Tiger-Motor, a well known premium brushless motor manufacturer in RC. 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!
- Mar 2017 – Article created
- July 2017 – Added Returner R4, F40 III, Retired F60, Champion 2205, T2 2206