So... what should I look for in a high quality NEMA 17 stepper motor?

So… what should I look for in a high quality NEMA 17 stepper motor? The kit I have came with BIQU 17HS4401 motors, and they work quite well, but they seem a bit loud to me. Maybe there isn’t much difference, but I’ve found some other quality issues with some of the BIQU parts, so I thought I’d look for recommendations.


I’m getting the motors for my work in progress build from
I think they were $13.50 each

I get my NEMA 17 steppers from here. Top quality.

Z steppers with 10" and 14" lengths of threaded rod built in.
X & Y and extruder steppers with various cable lengths as well for about $15-ish.

There is generally a %20 discount going on for one item or another which makes them a good deal.

Which drivers do you use? And which settings?

Steppers have such simple construction that it’s actually kind of hard to find one that is too low quality to work ok. What is a bigger issue is getting the motor specs mismatched with the driver and decay mode. I made some simulator tools to check motor/driver pairing, if you want to verify your setup:

@Ryan_Carlyle mind giving me a shout whenever you get around to adding the TMC2660 for the Duet Wifi?

@Adam_Steinmark Well… I WANT to make one… but there are two reasons I haven’t:

  1. Adaptive decay modes like TMC’s SpreadCycle (or the new Allegro 5984) will auto-correct for the kinds of current control issues we see on older driver chips that motivated me to make the simulators, so it’s arguable whether you actually NEED a simulator for them in the first place.
  2. TMC’s datasheets don’t contain enough information to pin down the exact adaptive decay algorithm parameters, so I think I would need a ton of oscilloscope work to reverse engineer a simulator (if it’s possible at all).

My recommendation is to use the THB6128 sim sheet for TMC drivers since they are all “basically ideal” as far as decay performance and thus should give similar curve output. Or don’t even bother with the decay mode simulator with adaptive drivers, and just use the new Torque Curve Predictor sheet for high-level motor spec checks.