540 vs 550 Motor: Key Differences

If you are an RC car enthusiast, you may have a huge collection of it. What we usually expect from them is more mileage at less cost. But which motor will be the most efficient? Is it the 540 VS 550 motor?

Well, both the 540 and 550 motors are quite similar and denoted by the extra diameter of their can. The main difference stands in its torque, speed, RPM, and usage. A 550 motor has a greater power which is used in heavier trucks compared to 540 motors. Still, confused? Don’t worry, we have described it all for you. We have also chosen one on each ground.

To know more, let’s start with the number in the motors and what they mean.

What Do Motor Numbers Mean Anyway?

The 540 or 550 numerals refer to the manufacturer’s number for identifying the model. But a specific number refers to a motor’s main body size i.e. the can. The greater the number, the more the length of the can. A 550 motor has more length than a 540 motor. The numbers in the motors don’t refer specifically to the diameter of the motors but it indicates a change in number.

A 540 motor has a diameter of 36mm.  550 motors also have 36mm in diameter. A 550 motor also loses less power than a 540 motor. That means you may anticipate higher overall power and torque, as well as reduced wear and tear. This simple equation works with all RC motor sizes. 

Both 540 and 550 motors are available in brushed and brushless versions. The main difference between these two types is the ‘brush’. The brush is made of copper. Brushless motors are comparatively older technology. They have a moving brush to convert electricity into motion. They are still used for cheap and easy technology. There are different efficient models of brushed motors available in the market.

On the other hand, Brushless motors are typically long-lasting and lightweight. They do not have any moving parts and have a higher torque. But for someone new, they can be a bit more expensive compared to Brushed motors.

You will also see different motors mentioning 3000 kV and a different number of turns. We have discussed it in the next section in detail.

Head to Head Difference

Well, as we know, 540 and 550 motors have a really small difference when coming to their sizes. But there are specifications that differ for the motors. Now, let’s go to the next section.


As we already know, there is a difference between the length of the motors. Any motor shorter or equal to 50 mm is called a 540 motor. A bit longer than 53mm are 550mm motors.

Almost all 540 motors are a maximum of 53mm in length and so they are almost the same size. But 550 motors vary. Some are a little longer than 50 mm or anything less than or equal to 62 mm. There are also some new models of 550 motors marked with around 70mm length.

As per the length, 550 motors have a greater length and torque.


The standard RS-540 motor has 27 turns and revs at around 18,000 RPM. The motor is a fantastic initial upgrade if you want to increase your speed more than that. On the other hand, a 550 motor has an average of 5800 RPM.

As we know, the length of a 540 and 550 motor is almost the same. The extra length accommodates a longer armature and magnet for brushed motors. For a brushless motor, it is a rotor and a stator. Brushed or brushless, a longer 550 motor armature or stator is wire wrapped around the body. The 550 magnets or stator have a stronger magnetic field. 

A 550 motor will spin at a lower rpm than a 540 motor, but it will produce greater torque. A 550 runs cooler in heavy trucks compared to 540 in that truck. But a 550 pulls more current from the ESC or battery. Although there are some powerful 540 available with 4 poles. They still have less torque compared to 550.

The higher torque means more battery life. So 550 motors have a greater battery life along with speed.

Kv and Number of Turns

Before knowing the Kv and Number of turns, if you are a newbie, you must be wondering what they are.

A KV rating is RPM (revolutions per minute) a motor produces per input of volt. Higher Kv will mean higher RPM and power of the motor. Again, you often see the body of a motor denoted by T. This stands for a number of turns. The amount of wire wrapped within the motor is indicated by the number of turns. A greater turn number indicates that there is more wire. Hence higher resistance will result in a slower motor.

Usually, a 540 motor is of 20- 27 turns and has a voltage of 4.8V to 12 V. For a 550 motor the number of turns is 12 with 6V to 24 V.

So, here the 550 motor is the winner for having a lesser number of turns and hence being faster.


The 540 motor is perfect for 1/12 and 1/10 size 2WD RC electric cars. A typical 540 size electric motor is recommended for most vehicles, especially trucks. 550 motors have higher power and weight for most 2WD systems and they are not much recommended. You may still use them, but controlling the powerful model will take more expertise. Oh, and if you are confused, here are our top picks for 540 motors.

The 550 motor engines are perfect for backyard bashers. It can also be used by anyone who has to cross rivers or travel in rainy conditions. They’re simple to maintain. Simply dry them off and lubricate them. And they’ll be ready for the next bush bash.

This makes them excellent for scale boats and large-scale rock crawlers. They also have the benefit of being considerably smoother at lower throttle inputs. This is useful in boats and essential in crawlers. An internal fan is also included in these motors to help keep the motor cool. If you want to buy a 550 motor, here are our top picks.

Here, which motor to go for will totally depend on your usage.

Which One Should You Go for?

Which one you will go for is actually totally dependent on your use. Yes, a brushless motor will definitely be a good choice for it to be long-lasting. There are similar differences between other models as well. For example,  a 540 motor will be lightweight and have more rpm whereas a 550 has more torque. So, you need to choose as per your preference.


You might still have a few confusions. Here are some common questions that might come to your mind.

Which RC Motors Last Longer?

A brushless motor will last a long time compared to a brushed motor. Brushed motor life is restricted by the brush type and ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 hours on average. But brushless motors have no brushes to wear out and may last for tens of thousands of hours on average.

What Type of Motors Do RC Cars Use?

The “540” motor size is arguably still the most popular motor size used in RC vehicles. Larger “550” or “1/8” sized motors are commonly used in heavier 1/10 vehicles and 1/8 scale cars. Again,  smaller “550” or “1/8” sized motors are utilized in many lighter 1/10 cars. Brushless motors of this size are now commonly referred to as “4-pole” motors. Some smaller vehicles use smaller motors whereas big-scale cars use even larger motors.


That is all from us on 540 vs 550 motors. As you have come this far, we have an added tip just for you. To keep your RC car long-lasting, you should clean it every day and keep it away from moisture.

Before we end, do you have any quarries? Let us know in the comment section below. Till then, good luck!