Can Stack Stepper Motors vs. Hybrid Stepper Motors: Which is Better?


Can Stack Stepper Motors vs. Hybrid Stepper Motors: Which is Better?


Stepper motors are widely used in various industries and applications due to their precise positioning capabilities. There are different types of stepper motors available in the market, including can stack stepper motors and hybrid stepper motors. This article aims to compare these two types and determine which is better suited for specific applications.

Understanding Stepper Motors:

Before delving into the comparison, it is essential to understand the basics of stepper motors. Stepper motors are electromechanical devices that convert electrical pulses into mechanical rotation. They work on the principle of electromagnetism and use a toothed rotor and a set of stator windings to achieve precise positioning.

1. What are Can Stack Stepper Motors?

Can stack stepper motors, also known as variable reluctance motors, are one of the earliest types of stepper motors. They consist of a cylindrical rotor and a stator with multiple salient poles. The rotor is made of ferromagnetic material, making it attracted to the stator poles.

Pros of Can Stack Stepper Motors:

- Cost-effective: Can stack stepper motors are generally more affordable compared to hybrid stepper motors, making them suitable for budget-conscious applications.

- High torque: These motors can provide high torque output, making them suitable for applications that require significant power.

- Simplicity: Can stack stepper motors have a simple construction with easy-to-understand operation, making them easier to maintain and troubleshoot.

- Durability: Due to their rugged design, these motors are highly durable and can withstand harsh operating conditions.

Cons of Can Stack Stepper Motors:

- Lower speed: Can stack stepper motors typically have relatively lower rotational speeds compared to hybrid stepper motors. They might not be suitable for applications requiring rapid and precise movements.

- Lower precision: Although can stack motors offer good precision, the design limitations may result in lower accuracy compared to hybrid stepper motors.

- Increased power consumption: These motors may consume more power due to their design characteristics, making them less energy-efficient.

2. What are Hybrid Stepper Motors?

Hybrid stepper motors, as the name suggests, combine the best features of both permanent magnet stepper motors and variable reluctance stepper motors. They feature a rotor with permanent magnets and a stator with both salient poles and teeth.

Pros of Hybrid Stepper Motors:

- Higher torque and efficiency: Hybrid stepper motors provide higher torque output and efficiency compared to can stack stepper motors. This makes them suitable for applications that require both power and precision.

- Improved speed: Hybrid motors can achieve higher speeds, making them suitable for applications that require rapid movements or high pulse rates.

- Better accuracy: The design of hybrid stepper motors allows for enhanced accuracy and repeatability, making them ideal for applications that demand precise positioning.

- Compact size: Hybrid motors are generally more compact and lighter in weight compared to can stack motors, enabling their use in space-constrained applications.

Cons of Hybrid Stepper Motors:

- Higher cost: Hybrid stepper motors tend to be more expensive compared to can stack motors, which might make them less viable for budget-sensitive projects.

- Complexity: The construction and operation of hybrid stepper motors are more complex compared to can stack motors, making them potentially more difficult to troubleshoot and maintain.

3. Applications of Can Stack Stepper Motors:

Can stack stepper motors find applications in various industries due to their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. They are commonly used in:

- Robotics: Can stack motors are suitable for applications that require simple and powerful movements, such as robotic arms.

- Industrial automation: These motors can be used for conveyor systems, packaging machines, and other automated machinery that require precise positioning.

- Automotive: Can stack motors find applications in automotive systems like instrument gauge clusters, mirror adjustments, and HVAC systems.

4. Applications of Hybrid Stepper Motors:

Hybrid stepper motors are known for their precision and versatility, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. Some common uses include:

- 3D printers and CNC machines: Hybrid motors offer the necessary precision and speed required for accurate movements in additive manufacturing and computer numerical control machines.

- Medical devices: Hybrid stepper motors are utilized in medical equipment, such as robotic surgery systems, automated drug dispensers, and imaging devices, where precise positioning is critical.

- Aerospace and defense: These motors find applications in systems that require precise control, such as satellite actuators, camera gimbals, and guidance systems.


Both can stack stepper motors and hybrid stepper motors have their own advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different applications. Can stack stepper motors are cost-effective and powerful, while hybrid stepper motors offer higher precision and speed. Depending on the specific requirements and budget constraints of an application, one type may be preferred over the other. It is crucial to assess the needs accurately and consider factors such as cost, torque, speed, accuracy, and ease of maintenance before choosing the most appropriate stepper motor for a particular project.


Smooth Motor is a professional stepper motor manufacturer in China, with years of exporting and manufacturing experience. Our main products contain: Linear Stepper Motor, Stepper Motor, Lead Screw And Nut, Voice Coil Motor and Linear Rail Systems, welcome to contact us!
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