A hybrid stepper motor combines the best features of a standard variable reluctance step motor and a permanent magnet step motor. This hybrid of the two types of stepper motors allows the hybrid step motor to generate a great amount of power despite its small size.
What about this particular stepper motor makes it a hybrid stepper? It's important to realize first that this is not necessarily the same type of motor you will find in a car's engine. That type of hybrid motor is a reference to the fact that it is powered by both electricity and conventional fuel sources. The motor we refer to as a hybrid stepper is so called because it is a stepper that has the qualities of both a permanent magnet stepper motor and a variable resistance stepper.
Specifically, the hybrid stepper motor is multi-toothed like the variable resistance motor but contains permanent magnets like a permanent magnet motor. In effect, the hybrid stepper is sort of like a permanent magnet stepper motor "plus". A variable stepper motor relies on those teeth to move the motor accurately, while the permanent magnet stepper relies on the magnets. The hybrid has both features to work with, resulting in an overall more accurate stepper.
So why wouldn't you always use the hybrid stepper motor? You might; but as a motor that combines the best features of both of these other types of steppers, it tends to be considerably more expensive. You will need to decide if you really need the level of performance that the hybrid motor provides. Permanent magnet motors and even variable resistance motors can be highly effective and reliable in a great many applications, and if your application isn't equipped to show the performance difference the hybrid motor will provide, you should probably go with a more cost effective solution. If you do need a high level of accuracy and overall performance from your motors, however, the hybrid stepper motor will generally be the better choice.
Hybrid stepper motors provide high resolution angular positioning and are good for applications requiring high repeatability and high torque in a small package size. Stepper motors provide excellent performance at low speeds. Positioning accuracy of +/-5% of the step angle means a hybrid step motor is ideal for open loop control, but can be paired with an encoder to run closed loop for added accuracy.
Follow our convenient step motor guide to learn the basics of hybrid stepper motor engineering and find out why this type of motor can be so beneficial to your project.