It’s that time of year again!!! Our Top 5 list for ESCs possibly one of the most important lists. ESCs are a hot topic at the moment with the advent of BLHeli S (one of the reasons why this list was delayed). At the time of writing this list these are the Top 5 ESC (in our opinion) which we are basing off of:
- the combined collective experience of the Drone Insider community with these ESCs
- Wider community experience with these ESCs
- Actual objective performance of these ESCs (miniquadtestbench)
Other than the Kiss 24A almost all of the ESCs we have posted on this list are the 30A versions. As ESC architecture remains largely the same regardless of amps any amp version of the ESCs mentioned below should yield roughly the same performance as other ESCs as long as you are operating within the recommended amp rating of the ESC
Just scrapping to the top of our list once again are the Kiss Race Editions. As far as we are concerned these still represent the pinacal of ESC engineering as of July, even with BLHeli-S. With new features such as Oneshot42 (a superfast version of OneShot125) and onewire telemetry. This enables you to get information on current draw from each individual ESC, which can then be sent to your Flight Controller. (currently only the KISS FC can receive the telemetry data, but since the protocol is open source we could see it appearing in Cleanflight sometime soon). In addition, features such as adaptive gate timing allow this ESC to continue to do what KISS ESCs do best, simple and outstanding performance.
As far as we are concerned these ZTWs are the best of the best when it comes to BLHeli S ESCs. We have both the Flash 30A and the Flash 20A in house, and we have been testing them extensively (full review here). So far we have had no issues with the firmware, which is good considering many BLHeli 16.0 did have many issues, including a recall from EMAX. Another thing to is these can run up to 6S (unofficially) which is an advantage to some as many of the other BLHeli S offerings are limited to 4S. Other features include: Autodetect Oneshot125, Oneshot42 and Multishot as well as MCU- EFM8BB21F16 and hardware PWM make smooth throttle responses. One thing we were particularly impressed with was the low throttle performance of the ZTWs. Though this doesn’t sound like much, low RPM motor movement can make acrobatics far more accurate and smooth.
Though these are from a relatively unheard of brand in the miniquad community, there BLHeli S ESCs have received high praise. They are particularly good with higher KV motors so if you are looking to run ‘super smooth’ firmware on a 2600kv 5″ or even higher kv 4″ than these could the ESCs for you. They have been proven with a variety of set ups and can take 8k gyro without desyncing. If you are looking for some reliable BLHeli S ESCs these would be a good bet, they are starting to prove their worth, helping to make BLHeli S and new industry standard.
Yet another BLHeli S ESC on our list, we have the XS30s by DYS. These are the successor to the highly commendable XM series of DYS ESCs. Not only do the XS30s run the latest BLHeli S firmware, they can officially take up to 6S and they are 8.65g making them on the lighter side of ESCs. They have carried over the design from the XM30s including the much loved solder pads as well as the protective heatsink on top the ESC. One final feature which makes these quite a good upgrade if you are currently running the XM series is the fact that you can upgrade the XS firmware series using the USB linker for the XM series, though this is a small thing, it is nice to not have dead gear on the bench!
Finally we have the XM30s which have proved themselves to be a bit of a work horse over the last 6 months. As ESCs go these are proven and reliable. Now that BLHeli S is out these are still priced quite competitively. If you don’t want the hassle or Beta nature of BLHeli S or Kiss, than these will work well for a beginner all the way to an advanced level pilot. We have a couple at Drone Insider and they have been brilliant. They are quick and easy to wire up, and the solder pads makes switching motor wires a dream. They are reliable and fly brilliantly and are certainly a great buy for anyone who wants something proven and reliable. Check out our full review here.
Please comment below, we love to hear your feed back for future lists!