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Understanding the Different Types of Drone Motors

by Anshika Malik 22 Feb 2024


In the rapidly evolving world of drones, one of the critical components that powers these flying marvels is the motor. A drone's motor is akin to the heart of a living organism, propelling it through the skies with precision and agility. However, not all drone motors are created equal. Understanding the nuances and differences between various types of drone motors is essential for both enthusiasts and professionals alike. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of drone motors, exploring their types, functionalities, and applications.

Before delving into the specifics, let's take a moment to understand the fundamental role of drone motors. A drone motor serves the primary function of converting electrical energy from the battery into mechanical energy to drive the propellers. The propellers, in turn, generate the necessary thrust required for flight. Essentially, the motor's performance directly influences the drone's speed, maneuverability, and overall flight characteristics.

Types of Drone Motors

1.Brushed Motors:

a. Brushed motors are among the earliest types of motors used in drones.

b. They feature a simple design, comprising a rotating armature (the rotor) surrounded by a stationary set of magnets (the stator).

c. These motors are cost-effective and relatively straightforward to manufacture.

d. However, they tend to be less efficient and have a shorter lifespan compared to their brushless counterparts.

2.Brushless Motors:

a. Brushless motors have gained prominence in recent years due to their superior performance and efficiency.

b. Unlike brushed motors, brushless motors eliminate the need for physical contacts (brushes) and instead rely on electronic commutation for operation.

c. This design results in reduced friction, increased durability, and higher power-to-weight ratio.

d. Brushless motors are the preferred choice for most modern drones, offering enhanced flight times and smoother operation.

3.Coreless Motors:

a. Coreless motors represent a specialized subset of brushed motors.

b. They feature a unique design without a traditional iron core in the armature.

c. Coreless motors are renowned for their lightweight construction and high-speed capabilities.

d. These motors find applications in micro drones and mini quadcopters where compact size and agility are paramount.

4.Inrunner and Outrunner Motors:

a. Inrunner and outrunner motors refer to the arrangement of the motor's components.
b. Inrunner motors have the rotor (the part that spins) located inside the stator (the stationary part).
c. Outrunner motors, on the other hand, have the rotor positioned outside the stator.
d. Outrunner motors typically offer higher torque at lower RPMs, making them well-suited for heavy-lift drones and aerial photography platforms.

Factors Influencing Motor Selection

1.Thrust-to-Weight Ratio:

The thrust-to-weight ratio determines a drone's ability to ascend rapidly and maneuver effectively. Choosing a motor with an optimal thrust-to-weight ratio is crucial for achieving desired flight performance.


Motor efficiency directly impacts the drone's flight time and battery consumption. High-efficiency motors ensure longer flight durations and reduced operating costs in the long run.

3.Size and Weight:

The physical dimensions and weight of the motor play a significant role, especially in compact and lightweight drone designs. Balancing power output with size and weight constraints is essential for achieving a harmonious design.

4.Operating Voltage and Current:

Matching the motor's voltage and current requirements with the drone's power system is essential for seamless integration and optimal performance. Deviating from recommended specifications can lead to inefficiencies and potential damage to components.

5.Durability and Reliability:

Drones are subjected to various environmental conditions and operational stresses. Opting for motors known for their durability and reliability ensures uninterrupted flights and minimal maintenance requirements. 


In conclusion, understanding the different types of drone motors is crucial for selecting the right component to suit specific application requirements. Whether it's achieving maximum efficiency, optimizing performance, or meeting size and weight constraints, the choice of motor significantly influences a drone's capabilities and flight characteristics. By considering factors such as motor type, size, efficiency, and application-specific demands, drone enthusiasts and professionals can elevate their aerial endeavors to new heights. As technology continues to evolve, the realm of drone motors promises further innovation and advancements, paving the way for more efficient, agile, and versatile aerial platforms.

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