Inventables Community Forum

Nema 17 vs Nema 23 motors

I keep seeing posts about people upgrading the stepper motors from the Nema 17 to the Nema 23.

What is the benefit of doing this? So far I’ve had no issues with the 17s on my shapeoko 2 (about to be upgraded to XCarve)

The nema 23 motors are significantly more powerful and have more holding torque, allowing you to mill material faster and cut deeper. For materials like aluminum it’s essential.

For example I think nema 17 motors are around 70 oz torque while nema 23 motors are 140 to 175 oz. If however everything you do works fine with nema 17 and you are satisfied with it, them it wouldnt be worth the hassle to upgrade. It’s only if you want to expand your machines’ abilities.

I’ve had a search but it doesnt seem Inventables do an upgrade kit with all the parts you need to go from the Nema 17 to the 23. This would be a useful kit as i need to upgrade but being in the Uk and having to wait so long and pay import taxes i want to make sure i get all the right bits first time.

If you get the x-carve upgrade, then its set up for either nema 17 or
23. You do get both pulleys for the Z but might need pulleys for X and Y , not sure

Is there anyway that you can drill out the pullies of the 17’s to fit the 23’s? Or is the dimensions quite a bit different to the 17’s. I have not looked myself, but I was just sitting here thinking that I want to upgrade as well.

ok just decided to upgrade myself from 17 to 23

for info
I live in the UK
i have shapeoko 2 with the x-carve upgrade, inc acme lead screw

I checked and did get 1 Aluminum GT2 Pulley 20T 1/4inb with the X-Carve upgrade.
got the rest of the stuff on on ebay
1 ) 4 X Nema 23 CNC Stepper Motor 2.8A 1.26Nm/ CNC Stepping Motor DIY CNC Mill for £ 71.56 inc postage (very fast post)
2 ) 3 X Aluminum GT2 Pulley 20T 6.35mm (1/4 inch) £9.45 inc post
3 ) Pack of 5 bolts M5 x 10mm £0.99 inc post
4 ) pack 10 nut and bolts M5 x 16mm £2.10
grand total = £84.01 all from eBay UK
as far as i can guess that’s all you need. I might be wrong and you might get a better deal . Also if you don’t go for the X-Carve upgrade you will need 4 pulleys not 3.
At £3 each not worth drilling a larger hole, that way you still have a backup option

yes, nema 23 is more powful than nema 17.
This one is nema 23:

Above one is more powerful than this one:

1 Like

Nema 23 stepper motor are more powerful then Nema 17 stepper motor.
NEMA 17 is a hybrid stepping motor with a 1.8° step angle (200 steps/revolution). Each phase draws 1.2 A at 4 V, allowing for a holding torque of 3.2 kg-cm. NEMA 17 Stepper motor is generally used in Printers, CNC machines and Laser Cutters.