Best RC Crawler Motor ESC Combo: Entering 2022

Have you been looking around for the perfect combo for your crawlers? Well, you don’t have to look any further.

Honestly though, picking the right combination is challenging. You have to consider your crawler type, size, your surroundings and so much more. 

And truth be told, the crawlers usually come with a low rig motor and ESC. For crawling situations, we need a good punch from the motors, more torque and more control.

Therefore, we have been experimenting and testing out different motors and ESCs under different conditions. Not to mention, limit testing the bearings out of the crawlers. So that we can find the best RC crawler motor ESC combo for the right situation. 

Now without further ado, let’s begin.

How do I choose a crawler motor?

Before we even begin talking about the motor and ESC combo, you need to figure out what you need. Here are a few rules of thumb when it comes to choosing a motor for your crawlers.

Rule 1 : The Type of Motor

Now, there are two types of motors and they are sensored and sensorless motors

You also have to think about whether you want a sensored motor or a sensorless one. We already have an in-depth article written on Sensored or Sensorless For Crawling. You’ll learn all you need to know about the difference between these 2 variants. 

But long story short, you usually want to go for sensored motors because they offer more torque. So, you will gain tremendous acceleration from the get-go. Not to mention, your crawler will start without any stutter at low speed.

Rule 2 : Speed of the motor

The speed of the brushless motors is determined by their KV. KV is equivalent to RPM per volt. In other words, 2100 KV will provide you with 2100 RPM per volt. Currently, brushless motors are more popular because of their durability, longevity and efficiency. 

However, for brushed motors, it is determined by the turns of the motor themselves. For instance, a brushed motor with a turn rate of 27 is equivalent to approximately 2500 KV. The main downside is that these motors tend to wither down over time. 

One thing to note is that brushless motors can be rated in turns as well. So don’t forget to read the labels carefully. 

Rule 3 : Pole Counts

The difference between the pole counts determines how the motor starts. You may be asking yourself, “What are pole counts?”

Pole counts refer to the magnetic counts of the motor. Now, we are not going to deliver science lectures here. All you have to keep in mind is that high pole counts mean you will have more torque.

And it will allow you to have more controllability at low speed. But you will be sacrificing your top speed. These motors are great for rock crawling.

On the other hand, low pole counts will give you a rocky start. But you will be able to achieve high speed with these motors. These are typically good for dirt or rock racing. 

It’s up to you whether you want fast acceleration or top speed. This definitely depends on the type of road and environment you are driving on. 

Instruction : How Did We List The Items?

We have decided to list the top 3 motor and Esc combo in two categories. We considered the price, performance, applications and experience to make the list.

Category 1 consists of separate motors and ESC put together for better performance. Most of the items here are affordable and come with decent performance. 

Category 2 consists of pre-built motor and ESC combinations that exist in the market. The items here are a bit more expensive compared to category 1. But the performance boost is three times greater as well.

Now that you know this, feel free to explore and read through the whole thing.

Top 3 RC Crawler Motor & ESC Combo (Pre-Built)

Now, it’s time for the good stuff. The list that we are providing is based on our opinion after running dozens of test runs. Also, the price is going to be on the higher end as well.

By now, you have already seen motor and ESC combo packs coming together. And based on the tests, here are our top 3

Quick Comparison

Before we begin, here is a quick comparison to sum things up. 

Ground QuicRun Fusion XERUN Axe 550LMax10 SCT ESC 3660SL Motor Combo
Motor TypeBrushlessBrushless Brushless
Motor Capacity1800 KV3300 KV4000 KV
ESC TypeBrushlessBrushlessBrushless
ApplicationRock CrawlingRock CrawlingTruck /Monster Truck Racing
Sound LevelQuietModerate SoundExtremely Loud
Installing Very Easy(No soldering)Requires Soldering & Cable ManagementVery Easy(No Soldering)
Heating IssueNone NoneSometimes (80 F+)

Performance Chart

We ran many tests to see how each system performed in different situations. Here is a chart so that you can understand the difference better. We rated each section out of 10, 10 being the best.

QUICRUN Fusion FOC System 2 in 1 ESC+Motor (1800KV)

The first one on the list is the Quickrun Fusion FOC system. It will provide you with everything you need for crawling in a decent price range. 

Plus, this is a FOC system we are talking about. This has been rocking the industry for some time now. covered a detailed explanation of the FOC system. So, you should check that out. 

This combo comes with a Fusion Esc and motor that pumps 1800 RPM per Volt. This rig can hold 2-3S LiPo / 6-9 Cell NiMH batteries. The voltage rate is 6V/7.4V with a continuous 4A of electric supply. 

In short, this motor provides enough torque for low-speed maneuvers. The ESC offers torque output and speed closed-loop control. So, you will get amazing braking and crawling control with this ESC.

You do lose in terms of top speed. Because of the limited RPM count, you can’t use this system for racing. 

But here’s the kicker.

We ran this combo on our TRX4 Sport. It was just perfect. We went out drifting on the sandy surface and crawling too. Though it’s not as fast as slash cars, for a crawler, it sure goes fast. 

We also did tons of uphill climbing, lots of fast running and constant crawling. So far, we haven’t gotten any heating issues. 

The ESC of the FOC system gives you very good control over your torque. So, you don’t end up forcing your motors too much. And that’s why the temperature of the crawler was very balanced.

Lastly, the ESC and the motor are integrated. So, the whole system is clean. We didn’t have to haggle over the wiring at all. Plus, no soldering! All you have to do is mount it on your crawler.

After that just enjoy the ride.

Things That Need Improvement

  • There was a latency between the receiver and the transmitter. If you face a similar problem, we recommend getting this DUMBORC X6 RC Transmitter.
  • You may also face some issues with the grip. If that’s the case, then get the INJORA RC Wheel Set.

XERUN Axe 550L FOC System Combo

We decided to put this on second mainly because of the expense it comes with. But, in comparison with the Quickrun Fusion set, this combo outperforms in every way.

So, What do you get in this Combo?

Firstly, it comes with an R2-3300 KV FOC System. You are definitely getting a lot of torque out of this. Plus, the FOC system and the ESC combined will give you full control over the torque. 

In other words, you can go slow in high gear. Yet you will have the torque to push your crawler over the rocks. Then, you can lower down your gear and go even slower. While adding more torque for the push.

This rig can hold 2-3S LiPo or 6–9 Cell NiMH batteries. The voltage rate is switchable between 6V/7.4V. And it supplies a continuous current of 6A. 

Because the whole system is brushless, you can use the crawler in any weather conditions. Whether it’s a wet, muddy or cold surface, you will get the best performance. This system was built for rock crawling. 

One great feature is that the ESC has built-in Bluetooth. This can link to your smartphone. So, you will receive live feedback on your crawler directly to your phone. You can also record that and compare it later on. It is really handy and accurate.

However, the R2 motor has a pole count of 4. There are motors out there with higher pole counts. So, you may wonder, how well will this motor perform at low speed?

Well, we ran this system and pushed it beyond its limit. And we didn’t find a situation where we were lacking power. The only issue will be that the start will be a bit bumpy because of the low pole count. But you will not face any issues with the controls at all.

The biggest downer will be soldering everything together. That is one of the reasons it’s in second place. You will need to manage the ESC wires and solder them perfectly. So, the end result may not be that clean and tidy. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • There may run into some problems with the mobile application that collects that. So we recommend you getting this ESC LED program Card Box.

38010201 Max10 SCT ESC Combo with 3660SL 4000kV Brushless Motor

Now coming down to the last of this list. This combination of MAX10 SCT ESC and 3660 SL Motor is best for racing. The price is on the lower side, so it is easily affordable. 

The motor has a pole count of 4 with a KV rating of 4000. So, your top speed is going to be really high compared to the other systems we have suggested. Yet, this beast will take what you throw at it with room to spare. 

This thing can hold 2-3S LiPo cells. You will also get a BEC output of 6V/7.4 V (switchable) at a continuous current of 4A. The ESC is a 1/10th scale sensorless and the system is brushless. So, you can rest assured that you can use this for a long time.

Overall, this system is perfect for short course truck/monster truck races. Because of the high KV rating, you will be reaching 65+ mph easily. But as you may suspect, this isn’t the best option for crawling. 

Also, we noticed that the motor gets hot after running it for a while. We ran this rig on our Traxxas Slayer. The temperature was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the most part. But there were instances where it went above 80 degrees. 

High-speed runs and high-speed cornering are amazing. The operation is very smooth, with a predictable torque curve. The motor is very loud, so be wary of that. 

One biggest issue would be the pinion gear. We noticed that the enclosed pinion gear was some weak metal. So, you may face some issues if that gear breaks. If only they did not include the pinion gear, this system would be on the top.

Things That Need Improvement

  • We noticed some issues with the heating. So, it is safer to get yourself one of these Electric Motor Heat Sink for a very low cost.
  • If you are into hardcore racing, then the stock pinion gears will be an isse. So, it’s better to get this pinion gear set for your crawler.

Top 3 RC Crawler Motor And ESC (Custom Rig)

Firstly, we will be comparing 3 different motors and ESCs that work well together. After running some tests, this is what we got. 

Quick Comparison

Before we begin, here is a quick comparison to sum things up. 

GroundsAxial AX24007 55T Motor +
Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080
Castle Creations Copperhead ESC
Axial AM27 540 +
Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080
Motor TypeBrushedBrushless Brushed
Motor Capacity40+ Turns1750 KV27 Turns
ESC TypeBrushedBrushlessBrushed
ApplicationRock CrawlingRock CrawlingRock Crawling
Sound LevelModerateQuietLoud
WaterproofNot CompletelyYesNo
Heating IssueYesNoneSometimes (80 F+)

Axial AX24007 55T Motor + Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080 Brushed ESC

First up, we have Axial AX24007 55T Motor paired with Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080 Brushed ESC. While the whole rig is very cheap, it offers great value for its low price. 

This Axial motor is specifically built for rock crawling. Though it is a brushed motor, it offers a maximum of 55 turn motors.

Meaning, you will get more than 4000 RPM per voltage out of this thing at max load. Also, this comes with bullet connectors. So there’s no hassle with soldering.

Pair this motor with the Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080 Brushed ESC and you will be amazed. The Quicrun WP 1080 offers an aluminum case for better cooling under hard use. This ESC is small, compact and waterproof. It can hold 2-3S LiPo or 5-9S NiMh batteries with an output of 6V or 7.4V.  

So this whole rig is good enough to give you the necessary torque for rock crawling. We plugged this to add some torque for the Hpi Toyota fj cruiser. Got this combined with Injora Tires and the Hobbywing 1080 ESC. 

The result was far greater than we expected. We were able to easily go over the rock piles and puddles in our backyard. Not to mention, we pushed the crawler to its limit.

However, there are some downsides. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • Although the motor can deliver high rpm, it can overheat after prolonged usage. So, we definitely recommend not using this on a wet surface, though the esc is waterproof.
  • The stock tires of the Hpi Toyota Fj Cruiser were skidding a lot on the rock surface. So, we went ahead and installed the Injora Tires for better control.

TENSHOCK RC906 + Castle Creations 1/10 Copperhead ESC

Now this one is a weird mix. You probably have never heard of this combo before. But it works!!

And here’s why.

Tenshock RC906 is a brushless motor with a low KV which is only 1750. If we compare this motor with the Axial AX24007 55T rig, you may think the Tenshock won’t do for you.

But here’s the magic. Remember earlier when we said high pole means high torque. The Tenshock RC906 comes with a 6 Pole count. Because this motor is brushless, it produces less heat compared to a brushed motor like Axial AX24007 55T.

In other words, this motor is really efficient with its torque and heat management. So, why are we coupling this low KV but highly efficient motor with this expensive ESC?

The Castle Creations 1/10 Copperhead ESC has cryo-drive technology. This fancy tech lowers the heat produced by the electrical wires. Meaning, your crawler won’t be producing much heat, to begin with. 

Moreover, this ESC provides an output of 16.8 V and is designed to hold 2S-4S LiPo batteries. Also, this has an internal BEC that allows you to supply power to the servos.

Long story short, the Tenshock RC906 produces less heat. The copperhead ESC lowers it even more. So, you get to push your crawler to the max from the get-go. With this rig, you never have to think about your car getting overheated. NEVER AGAIN!

Things That Need Improvement

  • We definitely recommend a motor with higher KV to maximize the potential of the esc. There was definitely a bottleneck when it came to the overall output of power. 
  • If you don’t feel like changing the motors, we definitely recommend getting a better servo. We suggest getting the BETU 1/10 High Torque RC Servo

Axial AM27 540 + Hobbywing QUICRUN WP 1080 Brushed ESC

We already talked about the Hobbywing 1080 brushed ESC earlier. So, we are going to focus more on the motor and its compatibility with this ESC. 

But first thing first. 

Compared to the other 2 custom rigs, this combo ranks last. If you are on a very tight budget, then you can opt for this. 

But we must say, the Axial AM27 motor is the most cost-effective motor out there on the market. This works really well with your mini crawlers. Panda Hobby Tetra X1 and Kyosho Mini-Z 4X4 are some of the top runners out there right now for this motor.

Apart from the motor’s price, it can produce around 2500 RPM per volt. It’s enough to get the crawler going through the obstacles. This thing rocks when it comes to compatibility. It can sync with SCX10, SCX10 II, RR 10, Wrath, Wraith Spawns. The motor is compact enough to fit inside any 1/10 scale rock crawler. 

However, you shouldn’t expect too much high performance from this. For crawling, we need high torque and good acceleration. This is something this rig lacks a lot and you shouldn’t be too surprised about it. 

We ran our Tetra X1 with this rig. It produced a moderate amount of heat. We didn’t notice any form of overheating during our test run. So, there shouldn’t be any heating issues.

Things That Need Improvement

  • The combination of Axial AM27 and Hobbywing WP 1080 doesn’t perform well in wet conditions. So, we recommend getting a custom car shell.
  • If the low torque isn’t cutting it for you, then you can check out this motor + esc combo. It will cost you a little more, but it is worth the investment.


What is the best RC crawler motor?

For brushless motors, the 3660SL is one of the best crawler motors out there. It has a KV rating of 4000 with a pole count of 4. It can also hold 2-3S LiPo cells. You will also get a BEC output of 6V/7.4 V (switchable) at a continuous current of 4A.

Is brushless worth the extra money?

Yes, brushless is worth the extra money. Your brushless motor or ESC will not wither away over time. It also comes with less maintenance and compact sealing. So, your system will be safer. It is worth the extra money.

What kV is best for rock crawling?

Anything above 1700 kV is really good for rock crawling. Depending on your crawler, ESC and servo, 2300 KV is the most ideal level. Because this allows you to control your crawler in both high-speed and low-speed scenarios.

Final Verdict

Let’s wrap up!

Hopefully, this article has been able to help you out. It may still be a bit hard for you to decide which combo you want to go for. Each one comes with its own pros and cons.

But we hope our input and test results will help you out. Again, we made this list after testing numerous ESC and motors. 

Do you still have doubts? Check out the comparison and performance chart of the best RC crawler motor ESC combo from earlier.

If you have any further queries, then feel free to ask anything.

Until then. Happy Crawling.