Step Motors

Search for Step Motors

Step Motors

A step motor, also called a stepper motor, is a type of synchronous electric motor which rotates through multiple small steps. The shaft is pulled around each step of the device electromagnetically through the use of a step controller mechanism.


This type of motor uses a controller to convert electricity into mechanical energy (as opposed to a generator which converts mechanical energy into electricity. It does this by sending electrical pulses which energize the permanent magnets in the motor. Since there is slight pole pitch displacement between the two stator coils, this causes the rotor to move one "step" for each pulse.

Step motors can be differentiated by a variety of features and properties, including DC operating voltage, degree of step angle, holding torque, steps per revolution and others, as well as physical properties like length, diameter and shaft size. Be sure you are selecting the right one for the job.

Step motors are appropriate for applications involving rotational movement, like DVD players, optical scanners and even slot machines. They can also be used with gears to convert the rotational movement into use for applications requiring linear displacement.


There are multiple benefits to the use of a step motor. For one, the motor has complete torque even when standing still, as long as the windings are wound and energized. Furthermore, step motors require no brushes to facilitate the rotation the way that brush DC motors do, so there is no need to worry about replacing worn out brushes. If you have an application that needs to be in continuous or almost continuous motion for a very long time, step motors can be extremely cost effective. When you consider the expense of shutting your operation down while you replace or repair brushes or a commutator, it's easy to see how this type of motor can pay for itself.

Step motors can handle high speed, high power jobs and are known to provide good accuracy and speed relative to their simplicity and cost. While brush motors may still be appropriate for some kinds of jobs, if you are using brush motors, you should seriously consider replacing them with step motors.


In addition to different features relating to aspects like step angle, holding torque and size, there are different varieties of step motor. NMB's step motor series includes the permanent magnet motor, the hybrid motor, which combines elements of the two, as well as hybrid motors with gearboxes.The hybrid step motors are available as a standard product for quick customization.

Among the permanent magnet motors available are the standard PM motor, the PM motor with planetary gearbox (PG series) and the PM motor with linear actuator (PL series). All of NMB's step motors are manufactured with NMB miniature precision ball bearings. NMB has the products to meet all your stepping motor needs.

Other Related Articles

Step Motor Controller and Step Motor Overview