Linear Motor vs Stepper Motor

Motors are an easy way to use for everyday industrial essentials and are great for various applications. Read on to learn more about linear motor vs stepper motor!

November 27, 2023

A motor is one of the very first electrical devices used globally at a huge scale, and there is no alternative to electric motors. However, as technology evolved, motors also changed a lot, and today, you will find different types of motors. Among different types of motors, linear and stepper motors are extensively used everywhere.

These motors have tons of applications, and one can call them one of the most efficient and durable motors. But here, there is a twist. Which motor is best, and what a person should choose? Therefore, here in this blog, we will do a detailed comparison between linear and stepper motors. So, without delay, let's jump into the Linear motor vs Stepper motor.


What is a Linear Motor?

The Linear Motor is one of the most commonly used motors nowadays because of its unlimited applications. A linear motor is a basic linear motor working on the magnetic induction principle. As its name implies, it is an electrical device that takes electric pulses as input and outputs linear motion or force. Now, the interesting thing is linear motors don't have any mechanical conversion system, leading to highly efficient, simple, and, of course, faster performance.

Linear Stepper Motor


What is a Stepper Motor?

Stepper Motor is like a customized version of traditional electric motors because it works similarly to traditional motors offering rotational movement. Now, the difference with the stepper motors is the mechanical movement is divided into sections, changing the whole working principle. These segments are called steps.


In simple words, the rotation or the mechanical movement is not continuous in the case of stepper motors. Now, this functionality makes it suitable for tons of applications, and thus, it is used widely in different industries.

Stepper Motor Manufacturer


Linear Motor Vs. Stepper Motor: Technical Aspect

Here is a detailed comparison between the linear motor and the stepper motor.



Linear motors are quite simple in functionality because there is no mechanical conversion system. The whole machine is based on basic magnetic properties of repulsion and attraction. Due to simple magnetic properties and no mechanical conversion, a linear motor offers precise and fast linear force.

Stepper motors, on the other hand, have quite complex functionality due to the involvement of mechanical conversion and, most importantly, the introduction of multiple steps in the process. This makes their functionality complex but, at the same time, useful. There are multiple applications where motion/force is not required continuously, and thus, in this case, there is no better option than stepper motors.



Now, when it comes to performance, both are perfect in their applications. Linear motors offer high speeds and low force, whereas stepper motors offer low speed and high force. The interesting thing is stepper motors can offer multiple motions depending on their mechanical conversion system, but linear motors output only linear motion/force. So, due to technical advantage and involvement of multiple parts, a stepper motor may surpass the linear motor in terms of performance.


Movement Control

Now, movement control is very important in the case of any type of motor. Stepper motors have a little edge over linear motors; they can be easily controlled using open and closed-loop systems. On the other hand, linear motors are generally suitable for open-loop systems only. It doesn't mean they can't be controlled in closed-loop systems, but they provide optimum functionality in open-loop systems.



When it comes to usability, the linear motor is a champion. The reason is very simple. It works on a very simple and basic principle of magnetic induction, so it can be used anywhere and by any means. Anyone can integrate it quickly. Most importantly, you don't have to look for changes as it will provide only linear motion.

However, in the case of a stepper motor, you have to look for the output mechanical motion as per requirements. Similarly, you have to set the steps or phases. Feedback or movement control should be taken care of in the case of a stepper motor. Thus, using it is a little bit complex, time-consuming, and focused.



Here also, linear motors have an upper hand, and there are two reasons behind it. Firstly, there is very little or no physical contact between the moving parts, and second, there are very few parts involved. Thus, linear motors are easy to maintain and have a long life.

Stepper motors also have a long life, but due to the involvement of multiple parts and physical contact, there are more chances of damage. But still, they have impressive lives, and when it comes to reliability, there is no reason to doubt them.


Linear Motor vs Stepper Motor: Applications

Here are the applications of linear motors and stepper motors

Linear MotorsStepper Motors

● Linear automation processes

● Transportation

● Positioning systems

● Robotics

● Automation Processes

● Medical/Electronic Devices

Final Words

Both linear and stepper motors are electrical devices that provide a mechanical motion. Linear motors are simple. On the other hand, stepper motors are advanced. But no one can ignore them because both have importance in almost every industry. Like every product, linear and stepper motors have advantages and disadvantages, but they do their job perfectly in their suitable application. The point to note is stepper motors can function similarly to linear motors, but linear motors can't function similarly to stepper motors.

You can take the help of Smooth Motors in case various types of motors for your industrial applications purpose. 

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