Zikodrive Motor Controllers - stepper motor drivers, brushless ESCs, bldc motor drivers, stepper motor controllers

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Zikodrive Motor Controllers - stepper motor drivers, brushless ESCs, bldc motor drivers, stepper motor controllers

+44 (0) 333 123 7130

Zikodrive Motor Controllers is a trading name of Round Bank Engineering ltd. Registed Company Number 08288866. VAT Number: GB226504428

What motor is best for my application?


The first port of call is to understand what torque and speed you require. This will immediately give you a clear idea of what is possible. As a quick example, most stepper motors do not exceed 1000rpm. Therefore if you need to go above this you will need a brushed DC or brushless DC motor. Equally if you require positional accuracy or easy monitoring of number of revolutions for an application such as dosing or pumps, then a stepper will perform much better.


The second port of call is to understand what you require from the motor for it to work successfully in your application and the extent to which each type of motor might be able to achieve this? For example, ask yourself the following questions;

1. Do you need high positional or speed accuracy?

2. Is energy efficiency and lifespan a high priority?

3. Do you need to maintain a constant torque or constant speed?

If you require high positional accuracy stepper motors are by far the best choice as they can be micro-controlled to rotate 1/100th of a degree (or more) if required. If energy efficiency are more important to your project than positional accuracy then it is likely that a brushless DC motor will be best as these offer much greater lifespan than brushed DC motors and are more efficient than stepper motors. Once you have prioritised the most important characteristics required from the motor you can then make a decision. Below is a simple table with the pros and cons of each type of motor to help you further.


Fundamentally there are applications where one type of motor will be the obvious choice - for example a peristaltic pump application requiring high resolution dosing. However, on the reverse side of this there are a large number of applications where it may be possible to use any number of different types of motors. In such applications it is important to understand the pros and cons of each type of motor and how they relate to the key priorities of your specific motor control project or application.

If you have any questions about anything you have read in this article please feel free to BROWSE OUR ONLINE FORUM or CONTACT US directly.

Motor Type



Stepper (requires a stepper motor driver or stepper motor controller to operate)

High positional accuracy makes them excellent for applications such as the Boxer Pumps iD Application where accurate dosing and high levels of control were crucial.

Very fine control of speed and position if using an intelligent controller such as the Zikodrive ZD4 Stepper Motor Driver.

Relatively low cost and widely available.

Not the most energy efficient.

Max speed is typically 1000rpm. Not suitable for applications requiring higher speeds.

As turning a stepper motor involves taking ‘steps’ around the 360 degree rotation (typically 200 steps per 360 degrees) they are not the smoothest. This can be improved using microstepping but a brushed DC or brushless DC motor will typically be smoother.

Brushless DC (BLDC) (requires a brushless motor driver, sometimes known as brushless electronic speed controller (Brushless ESC) to operate.)

Lightweight and energy efficient.

Able to achieve speeds of well in excess of 10000rpm.

Can be operated to maintain a constant speed under variable load. Also benefit from exceptional lifespan due to no wearable parts (except bearings).

Depending on your application and torque/speed/physical requirements, BLDC motors can be quite expensive. Prices are reducing all the time as more companies adopt them.

 Sensorless brushless motors can be difficult to            start. This can be offset by using an            intelligent controller with an inbuilt startup            acceleration programme such as the Zikodrive            ZDBL15.

Brushed DC

This is the traditional form of DC motor and has been around a long time.

Typically very smooth to operate.

Low cost

 Can reach high speeds and maintaining constant        speed is possible if using an encoder.

Lifespan is often poor as the brushes used to affect commutation can wear or burn out. This can also lead to a drop in performance over the life of the motor as brushes start to wear out and the motor operates less efficiently.

Depending on the anticipated use cycle of the motor and the intended lifespan it can often be lower cost to use BLDC motors as these will require less maintenance and will maintain performance across lifespan. Positional control is virtually impossible.

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The ZD Series of Stepper Motors with Integrated Stepper Motor Controllers can be run using a range of external inputs, offers up to 25600 potential positions (on a standard 200 step stepper motor) and can be programmed to do virtually anything!

Not sure what motor and controller is best for your application? - CONTACT US

Stepper Motors & DriversZD4 Stepper Motor DriverStepper motors with integrated stepper motor drivers and controllers - NEMA 17 and NEMA 23ApplicationsBLDC Motor Drivers

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace a DC motor with a brushless DC motor and controller?

How fast can a stepper motor go?

How complex can the programming on the Zikodrive stock range of motor controllers be?

Can sensorless brushless motor controllers be used in dosing applications?

Can a sensorless brushless motor be started efficiently under load?

Can I purchase the IP rights to a bespoke designed controller?

Do you offer on site support and assistance setting up a new controller?

What are the typical costs associated with modifying an existing stock stepper motor controller or brushless motor driver?

Can I run a motor at a fixed speed under a variable or changing load?