Best value ESCs for 2023

Hector_Fisher

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Arrma RC's
  1. BigRock 4x4
  2. Granite
  3. Kraton EXB
I've got a couple of projects in mind that require ESC upgrades, for 4s and 6s. Normally I'd be looking at the max10 sct and max8, but the max8 is now discontinued in favor of the more expensive and sensored max8 G2 ESC, and the max10 sct is looking to be going the same direction with a G2 as well. Wanting to get some feedback and thoughts or other options you have seen. Are there other/better options you'd consider? Disagreements with my assessments? Other ways to shave down costs? I'll try to return and add suggestions that other members contribute!

4s:
Max10 SCT - very good option for bashing. Robust and reliable. Still some "non-G2" stock around and some from kit breakers ($80ish) might be discontinued soon?
Max10 SCT G2 - expensive, but sensored if you have a sensored motor to match. New to community. Robustness still in question?
Spektrum 130a - expensive as OEM ($130ish), but decent value from kit breakers like Jennys (around $85ish shipped), overall fairly robust for bashing and good programming options.

6s:
Spektrum 150a - good programming options, easy to come by, relatively inexpensive at kit breakers (around $90ish shipped), but does have a poor community history of going up in flames on random occasions. Probably best if used in stock power or lighter duty applications.
Torox 185a - good programming options, but only available from kit breakers? Slightly more expensive (around $100ish shipped). Robust and good community history.
Max8 - limited supplies available, if you can find it. Perhaps try aliexpress RTR options?
Max8 G2 - expensive, potentially some teething issues with reliability on the first batches so far.
 
The Torox 185 always peaked my interest.(y)
Max8 G2 ( sensored) is too new to know much about reliability. Probably is replacing the Max 8 Nonsensored version. But hey its a HW product. Can't be that bad. HW sensored Motor choices could be better though.
I think the XR8 Plus (also sensored) with the G3 motor combo might be more bang for the buck. Feature wise. I could be wrong. The XR8 Plus has been a strong runner over the years. And the new G3 motors are superior IMHO. Have 4 of them. One is the G3 combo.
 
Do you mind waiting for the slow boat? Aliexpress has a bunch of OEM Hobbywing RTR escs for dirt cheap, Max10 SCT RTR is like $50 and the 6BL-160 6s is like $100 shipped.
 
The Torox 185 always peaked my interest.(y)
Max8 G2 ( sensored) is too new to know much about reliability. Probably is replacing the Max 8 Nonsensored version. But hey its a HW product. Can't be that bad. HW sensored Motor choices could be better though.
I think the XR8 Plus (also sensored) with the G3 motor combo might be more bang for the buck. Feature wise. I could be wrong. The XR8 Plus has been a strong runner over the years. And the new G3 motors are superior IMHO. Have 4 of them. One is the G3 combo.
What I didn't like is that hobbywing took away a product that fully filled the need people had (max8 and now it looks like the max10 sct) and replaced them with a more expensive sensored version. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure sensored is nice, but it's really not necessary for bashers. So all it feels like to me is a money grab. Replacing a product with a new version thats more expensive cause it has "new features", even though they aren't necessary, and then don't sell the old one anymore.
Do you mind waiting for the slow boat? Aliexpress has a bunch of OEM Hobbywing RTR escs for dirt cheap, Max10 SCT RTR is like $50 and the 6BL-160 6s is like $100 shipped.
Yeah I've considered those. I know people have had decent luck with them, but it's still more of a gamble than if the max10 sct were available directly from HW or like Amazon or something. Unfortunately the max8 is now hard to find on aliexpress anymore. And the 8bl-150 doesn't have some of the features the max8 does that would make it worth while (like 7.4v bec and much better programming options). I should put the 8bl-150 up though, as an option.
 
What I didn't like is that hobbywing took away a product that fully filled the need people had (max8 and now it looks like the max10 sct) and replaced them with a more expensive sensored version. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure sensored is nice, but it's really not necessary for bashers. So all it feels like to me is a money grab. Replacing a product with a new version thats more expensive cause it has "new features", even though they aren't necessary, and then don't sell the old one anymore.

Yeah I've considered those. I know people have had decent luck with them, but it's still more of a gamble than if the max10 sct were available directly from HW or like Amazon or something. Unfortunately the max8 is now hard to find on aliexpress anymore. And the 8bl-150 doesn't have some of the features the max8 does that would make it worth while (like 7.4v bec and much better programming options). I should put the 8bl-150 up though, as an option.
Max 8 was always poplular for a non sensored basher setup. Yet many did fry more so, compared to other HW ESC's. Why many went to the Max 6 and ran those on 6s instead.
 
What I didn't like is that hobbywing took away a product that fully filled the need people had (max8 and now it looks like the max10 sct) and replaced them with a more expensive sensored version. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure sensored is nice, but it's really not necessary for bashers. So all it feels like to me is a money grab. Replacing a product with a new version thats more expensive cause it has "new features", even though they aren't necessary, and then don't sell the old one anymore.

Yeah I've considered those. I know people have had decent luck with them, but it's still more of a gamble than if the max10 sct were available directly from HW or like Amazon or something. Unfortunately the max8 is now hard to find on aliexpress anymore. And the 8bl-150 doesn't have some of the features the max8 does that would make it worth while (like 7.4v bec and much better programming options). I should put the 8bl-150 up though, as an option.

Hobbywing is only a 90 day Warranty anyway, but you can trade in any esc for a discount off a new Hobbywing esc. And Amazon is only 30 days.
 
I've been running the Max10 SCT for a few months on 4s and it is great. I'm running it with the Spektrum 2400kv 3668 from the Arrma 4s line. I have it on a rig that is 2wd and weighs around 6-6.5 pounds depending on my tire selection. Esc temps usually don't get above the 130s in the warmer months.

I also have the Max10 G2 140a but haven't run it yet. Will be putting it on a scratch build 2wd 1/8 scale buggy along with a Hobbystar 4068. Got all my parts ready to go and will be starting on it tomorrow, hope to give a first run by the end of the week.
 
I've got a couple of projects in mind that require ESC upgrades, for 4s and 6s. Normally I'd be looking at the max10 sct and max8, but the max8 is now discontinued in favor of the more expensive and sensored max8 G2 ESC, and the max10 sct is looking to be going the same direction with a G2 as well. Wanting to get some feedback and thoughts or other options you have seen. Are there other/better options you'd consider? Disagreements with my assessments? Other ways to shave down costs? I'll try to return and add suggestions that other members contribute!

4s:
Max10 SCT - very good option for bashing. Robust and reliable. Still some "non-G2" stock around and some from kit breakers ($80ish) might be discontinued soon?
Max10 SCT G2 - expensive, but sensored if you have a sensored motor to match. New to community. Robustness still in question?
Spektrum 130a - expensive as OEM ($130ish), but decent value from kit breakers like Jennys (around $85ish shipped), overall fairly robust for bashing and good programming options.

6s:
Spektrum 150a - good programming options, easy to come by, relatively inexpensive at kit breakers (around $90ish shipped), but does have a poor community history of going up in flames on random occasions. Probably best if used in stock power or lighter duty applications.
Torox 185a - good programming options, but only available from kit breakers? Slightly more expensive (around $100ish shipped). Robust and good community history.
Max8 - limited supplies available, if you can find it. Perhaps try aliexpress RTR options?
Max8 G2 - expensive, potentially some teething issues with reliability on the first batches so far.
wondered what had happened to the original max 8 no stock anywhere in the uk :(
 
Hobbywing is only a 90 day Warranty anyway, but you can trade in any esc for a discount off a new Hobbywing esc. And Amazon is only 30 days.
Yet in some cases, if it were still an option, I'd still pay the extra money to get the item quicker, and have good customer backing by Amazon if the esc doesn't work right away. I'd say if it's working the first run or two, odds are it's probably fine. All better than to wait 2 to 4 weeks to find out it doesn't work and deal with aliexpress? I guess I don't have any experience with them on that though.
I've been running the Max10 SCT for a few months on 4s and it is great. I'm running it with the Spektrum 2400kv 3668 from the Arrma 4s line. I have it on a rig that is 2wd and weighs around 6-6.5 pounds depending on my tire selection. Esc temps usually don't get above the 130s in the warmer months.

I also have the Max10 G2 140a but haven't run it yet. Will be putting it on a scratch build 2wd 1/8 scale buggy along with a Hobbystar 4068. Got all my parts ready to go and will be starting on it tomorrow, hope to give a first run by the end of the week.
The OG max10 sct was great. I know many that ran those in MT410s on 4s with no problem.

I'd be keen to see how the G2 holds up. If it's any bit as good as the max10 non-g2, then it should be good.
 
I'm still running the 8bl150 (150A/950A) on 4s for a few years now (on both 4274 and 4082 motors) (y). It has the 4mm connectors. The Team Corally Torox185 (185A/1050A) has a bit more 'oomph' and the 6.5mm connectors and the high voltage option.
 
The Torox 185 is a great ESC: it's a rebranded Hobbywing Max8 with the max capacity upgraded from 150 amps to 185 amps, and they come standard on all Corally 6s vehicles (I own two). The Torox ESCs use the standard Hobbywing programming card.
 
Yet in some cases, if it were still an option, I'd still pay the extra money to get the item quicker, and have good customer backing by Amazon if the esc doesn't work right away. I'd say if it's working the first run or two, odds are it's probably fine. All better than to wait 2 to 4 weeks to find out it doesn't work and deal with aliexpress? I guess I don't have any experience with them on that though.

The OG max10 sct was great. I know many that ran those in MT410s on 4s with no problem.

I'd be keen to see how the G2 holds up. If it's any bit as good as the max10 non-g2, then it should be good.

There are a few eBay sellers that are US based selling the RTR escs but they cost almost as much as they do from Hobbywing or Amazon. These used to be like $50-55 https://www.ebay.com/itm/1326283783...gH8wY9CSNK&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY
 
6s can be tricky as I see in some of the suggestions here. There are plenty if cases where a firma 160, max6, or mmx6s (or equiv) would not fit well in the build. Like if running 6s on a typhon or MT410, or doing a 6s TRX Maxx conversion. I think there is value in the max8/8bl-150 tier either due to weight savings and/or size restrictions.

For 4s, I like @Killacam's suggestion for the copperhead 10. I don't have any experience with it, but it should run an arrma 3s on 4s just fine.

@Sandracer_NL, I like the 8bl-150 for costs. But the limited programming options do suck. I have it in my kaiju, and wish I could set braking strength to 37.5% like on the max8. 25% is not enough and 50% is way to much for the short wheelbase MT! But it's definitely a good all-around budget option.
 
6s can be tricky as I see in some of the suggestions here. There are plenty if cases where a firma 160, max6, or mmx6s (or equiv) would not fit well in the build. Like if running 6s on a typhon or MT410, or doing a 6s TRX Maxx conversion. I think there is value in the max8/8bl-150 tier either due to weight savings and/or size restrictions.

For 4s, I like @Killacam's suggestion for the copperhead 10. I don't have any experience with it, but it should run an arrma 3s on 4s just fine.

@Sandracer_NL, I like the 8bl-150 for costs. But the limited programming options do suck. I have it in my kaiju, and wish I could set braking strength to 37.5% like on the max8. 25% is not enough and 50% is way to much for the short wheelbase MT! But it's definitely a good all-around budget option.
Max6 fits in a typhon perfectly, I have em in both of my bashing Typhons
 
It has been superseded by the G2.
+1
Like I stated earlier. G2 supercedes it now.
And I also stated that the OG Max 8 had issues with burning out. Just go with the Max 6 if you want a Non-sensored HW ESC. Many had better results over the Max8.
Or just embrace the new Max 8 G2. ( sensored)
 
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