Do You Need An ESC For A Brushed Motor? (Definitely)


Sometimes, you need to make do with what you have. In this case, if you have a brushed motor but no ESC, then you may be wondering if you can still somehow make this work.

Can You Run A Brushed Motor Without ESC?

Well, unfortunately, some things just aren’t always that easy.

Yes, you need an ESC for a brushed motor. They are absolutely essential.

The reason that electric RC motors need an ESC is due to the fundamental functionality of the ESC.

An ESC charges the electromagnetic poles in the electric motor as well as controls the speed of the motor, so if the ESC were to break or go missing, it wouldn’t run.

Can I Run a Brushed Motor Without An ESC?

Now that we know how important your ESC is to the functionality of your RC model, we can move on to a rather common question: can your brushed motor run without an ESC?

Unfortunately, no. You absolutely need an ESC to run your brushed motor.

An ESC charges the electromagnetic poles of your RC motor. If you don’t have one, the brushed motor will get current but no spin will occur within the armature of the motor.

Are There Brushed Motors That Don’t Require An ESC?

Some of you may be without an ESC, so you may be wondering if there are brushed motors that don’t require an ESC.

Unfortunately, there are no brushed RC motors that can do without the use of an ESC. No such brushed RC motor exists.

As sad as it may be, there are currently no brushed RC motors that can function without an ESC. 

The ESC is what makes the motor spin, so if the ESC is gone, the motor simply cannot function, and therefore, neither can your brushed motor or RC model.

What ESC Works With A Brushed Motor?

Luckily for those of you who may be new to the hobby, this question is fairly simple to answer!

A brushed motor requires a brushed ESC, and the reason for this, simply put, is because of the DC current that brushed motors require to run, whereas brushless motors use an AC current.

For a brushed DC motor, the brushed ESC is essential. You cannot substitute a brushed ESC for a brushless ESC due to the differing currents that they use.

Read more about this: What ESC Should You Use With What Motor

Will Any Brushed ESC Work With Any Brushed Motor?

While we’re on the subject of the compatibility of these components, we should cover this very common question: will any brushed ESC work with any brushed motor?

Any brushed ESC will work with any brushed motor.
as long as the brushed ESC is the right fit for your brushed motor, as in, as long as it’s the right size.

Regardless of the brand of your brushed ESC or brushed motor, as long as the ESC and motor fit together, your brushed ESC will work with your brushed motor.

How To Connect A Brushed ESC To A Brushed Motor in 4 steps

For those of you who’ve never set up a brushed ESC to a brushed motor, or if you’ve never had to because of how much more popular the brushless alternative is, then we’re going to break down how to connect your brushed ESC to your brushed motor.

First off, be sure to keep your user manual handy, as the colors of the wires we’re going to be talking about could vary from brand to brand, and reversing the polarity of your ESC could damage it permanently.

  1. Your ESC will have two wires: one positive and one negative.
    In this case, our positive wire is yellow, and our negative wire is blue.
  1. Connect the positive (yellow) wire to the positive terminal of your motor, and your negative (blue) wire to the negative terminal of your motor.
  1. Now take the battery’s positive (red) wire and connect it to the ESC’s positive terminal, and take the battery’s negative (black) wire and connect it to the ESC’s negative terminal.
  1. Now connect the throttle connector wires from your ESC to the receiver, and now you should be good to go.

Remember that the color coding of these wires may vary from brand to brand, so always keep your user manual handy to make sure that you don’t accidentally reverse the ESC’s polarity and damage it permanently.

How Do You Choose The Right ESC For A Brushed Motor?

Choosing the right brushed ESC can be a tricky task, especially for those of you who may be new to the hobby.

Luckily, we’re here to give you the advice you need.

ESCs are rated by using something called ‘current’ ratings.

Current ratings help you to understand how many amps the motor draws.
Current ratings can help you know how many amps your motor can handle, which is useful, because if you didn’t know such information, the ESC could overload your motor with amps, causing your motor to combust.

For a beginner to the hobby, your safest bet is to choose an ESC with a ‘continuous’ current rating, as choosing a ‘burst’ current rating could lead to problems, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The 3 Best Brushed ESCs To Buy Today

Now that we’ve gone over many of the most asked questions about brushed ESCs, how about we give you the three best brushed ESCs on the market?

• Drfeify RC Car/Boat ESC, 320A Brushed ESC Electronic Speed Controller With Brake Accessory

• RC Electronic Speed Controller, 320A Brushed ESC Replacement Upgrade Part For Remote Control

• Yunnyp FullfunRC Waterproof Brushed ESC Switch Speed Controller,High Voltage ESC 320A ESC Brushed

What Is An ESC?

But what is an ESC? We know that we have some newcomers to the hobby who may be reading, so here’s a concise explanation.

An ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) is an electronic component that charges the electromagnetic poles of your electric RC motor, regulates how fast or slow your motor spins through electrical impulses sent by your transmitter, and is utterly essential to your RC model.

ESCs play a very big part in the success of your RC model, so if an ESC were to break or go missing, your RC model would be in big trouble.

Sources I used for this article

Brushless Motors vs. Brushed Motors – What’s the Difference?