The difference between Stepper motor and Servo motor

The difference between  Stepper motor and Servo motor


Curious about the differences between stepper motors and servo motors? Our comprehensive blog breaks down everything you need to know. Start with an introduction to these two types of motors, then dive into their unique characteristics. Understand the core distinctions through a direct comparison, and explore the specific applications suited for each motor type. Whether you're working on robotics, CNC machines, or other precision projects, this guide will help you choose the right motor for your needs. Click now to demystify stepper and servo motors!


Let’s dive into the world of motors . Here, we have two motors named as Stepper Motor as well as Servo Motor . These motors acts as the most important aspect in some of the applications, from Robotics to CNC Machines.

Stepper motor and Servo motor will covert the Electrical energy into the angular velocity or movement of a Shaft. But, there will be quiet difference in each other in the terms of Operation.

The exact control over movements of stepper and servo motors makes them both popular in many different sectors. Their operational features are one of the main distinctions between servo motors and stepper motors.

A whole rotation is divided into several equal steps by stepper motors. The motor is thereafter made to move in precise increments by applying electrical pulses to it. For uses requiring exact placement, such 3D printers and CNC machines, stepper motors are therefore perfect.

By contrast, closed-loop control systems are necessary for servo motors in order to precisely position the motor shaft. Accordingly, feedback devices in servo motors, like encoders, are designed to continually track the position of the motor shaft.

Torque characteristics are another important distinction between servo motors and stepper motors. Because stepper motors have a larger holding torque, they can continue to operate in a fixed position even when switched off. For applications where a position must be maintained, such doors and gates, this makes them perfect.

However, because they have a higher dynamic torque, servo motors may accelerate and decelerate faster. Because of this, servo motors are appropriate for applications like robotic arms and drones that need to make quick changes in direction or speed.

Stepper Motor:

An electric motor that can precisely translate electrical pulses into mechanical movements is called a stepper motor. In contrast to conventional DC motors that rotate continuously, stepper motors move in distinct increments or steps.


The moving element of a stepper motor is called the rotor. A stator, which houses stationary electromagnets, and a number of electromagnets make up the stator.

Working Principle:

The rotor moves in steps by individually stimulating the electromagnets in a certain order. Position and speed can be precisely controlled because each step is equivalent to a fixed angular rotation.

Stepper motor types include bipolar and unipolar models, and they are available in a range of sizes and combinations. Though they require a more complicated driver circuit, bipolar motors may operate at higher speeds and torque levels.

In stepper motors, permanent magnet rotors are typically used. Stepper motors rotate their rotors discretely when their stator windings are energized by an external electric supply.

The magnetism of the rotor's poles and the stator winding's magnetic poles interacting is what causes the rotor to rotate. Therefore, in the instance of a stepper motor, the electrical input to the motor's stator winding generates an output that is the rotor's discrete angular rotation.

The method used to create this discrete rotation involves energizing the stator winding so that a sequential current flows through it, magnetizing the stator. The rotor rotates in the steps as a result of the electromagnetic poles that form in the stator.

Servo Motor:

A servo motor is a type of actuator, either linear or rotatory, that enables accurate control over acceleration, velocity, and angular or linear position. The servomechanism theory underpins how a servo motor operates.

The closed loop control system of a servo motor is a feedback mechanism that permits angular precision, enabling the motor to produce the correct rotation in response to an applied electric signal. A position feedback sensor is connected to an electric motor to form the basic construction of a servo motor.

Feedback Loop:

Every servo motor has a drive controller and encoder installed. In order to create a closed-loop system, the encoder relays the shaft position to the drive controller. The drive system is what applies current to the motor after amplifying and filtering incoming voltage. To tell the drive system the desired position and velocity, the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) becomes involved. Servo motors employ sine-wave signals, which can be either AC or DC in nature, and pulse width modulation (PWM) to regulate their motor speed.

Benefits include precise motion, dynamic control, and quicker acceleration using servo motors.


Industrial automation, CNC machining, robotics, and other fields all frequently employ them.

Comparison of Stepper Motor and Servo Motor:

Attribute Stepper Motors Servo Motors
Control Open-loop control (no feedback mechanism) Closed-loop control with encoder feedback
Speed and Acceleration Slower acceleration in terms of speed Precise movements and faster acceleration
Cost Usually less expensive Costlier due to sophisticated features
Complexity Design is less complicated Needs extra parts (drive controller, encoder)
Applications Precise positioning operations Extreme precision and dynamic control applications
Operation Divided into discrete steps Continuous operation
Hunting No hunting during stop position Hunting exists during stop position
Efficiency Relatively less efficient Comparatively high efficiency
Life span Longer life span Shorter life span
Synchronous operation Easier synchronous operation Relatively difficult synchronous operation

Applications of Stepper Motor:

Application Description
Robotics Precise motion control for joints, grippers, arms, legs, and other robot parts. Enables robots to perform tasks like welding, assembling, picking, and positioning with high accuracy.
CNC Machinery Powers the movement of cutting tools, spindles, and worktables. Ensures accurate placement during machining operations due to its ability to move in distinct increments.
3D Printing Regulates the movement of print heads, build platforms, and extruders. Allows layer-by-layer deposition, resulting in precise 3D prints.
Automated Manufacturing Powers conveyor belts, sorting devices, and assembly lines. Ideal for repetitive manufacturing operations due to its controllability and reliability.
Textile Industry Powers spinning machines, weaving looms, and fabric cutting machines. Ensures consistent fabric tension and pattern alignment throughout weaving and knitting processes.
Automotive System Used in fuel injection, HVAC, and headlamp adjustment in vehicles. Enables precise adjustments and reliable performance in various vehicle subsystems.
Security Camera Powers pan-tilt mechanisms for seamless panning and tilting, ensuring full surveillance coverage. Can maintain position without power, ideal for stationary surveillance.
Printers and Plotters Powers the movement of print heads in inkjet printers and pen plotters. Ensures accurate production of images, text, and graphics on paper.

Applications of Servo Motor:

Application Description
Robotics Provide accurate motion and force to robot components, enabling dynamic movements for tasks such as path following, object manipulation, and coordinated motion.
Aerospace and Aviation Used in aircraft control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudders) for precise corrections during flight, ensuring stable and controlled movements even in challenging conditions.
Medical Imaging Equipment Ensure smooth motion and precise placement in robotic surgical systems, CT scanners, and MRI equipment, which is essential for maintaining precision during complex medical procedures.
Food and Beverages Power material handling systems, conveyors, and pick-and-place devices in industrial automation, capable of quickly adjusting speed without overheating.
Camera Stabilization Systems Stabilize handheld cameras, gimbals, and drones by compensating for vibrations and unexpected movements, resulting in smooth video footage.
Electric Actuators in Valves and Dampers Control flow valves, dampers, and HVAC systems with high accuracy, ensuring efficient energy use and precise temperature control.
Industrial Robots and Cobots Power collaborative robots (cobots) that work alongside humans in production, enabling precision tasks such as assembling, welding, and material handling.
Virtual Reality and Motion Simulation Create realistic motion effects in flight simulators, driving simulators, and VR experiences, enhancing immersion by simulating acceleration and deceleration.


Stepper motors and servo motors are chosen based on project objectives, budget, and performance requirements. When selecting a choice, consider speed, accuracy, and cost.

According to the previous comparison, servo motors work more efficiently than stepper motors. This is because the servo motor's positioning precision and angular displacement are improved by using a closed loop control system setup.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are encoders required for stepper motors?

Stepper motors benefit from encoders for improved performance: smoother motion, lower power use, and higher torque at low speeds. Encoders add cost and complexity, but are ideal for high-precision applications.

2. Are servo motors capable of higher speeds?

Yes, servo motors are capable of higher speeds compared to step motors. Servo motors can operate at speeds of several thousand RPMs, making them suitable for applications that require high speeds and high accuracy

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