How to Find Used Stepper Motors

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Find Used Stepper Motors
Floppy disks are not as commonly used nowadays but you can reuse the drive's stepper motor. (floppy disk image by Marek Kosmal from

Stepper motors are often used in machines and electronics that require a high level of precision. These motors, designed for accuracy, are commonly used in computer equipment such as floppy drives and printers. A stepper motor is essentially an electric motor that converts digital pulses into mechanical shaft rotation. Used stepper motors can be found with little difficulty in various electronic items.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Hard drives
  • 5 1/4-inch or 3.5-inch floppy disk drives
  • CD or DVD burners
  • Printers

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  1. 1

    Obtain old hard drives that are smaller than 40 megabytes. Use a screwdriver to open the hard drive and find the stepper motor on the actuator arm in the hard drive.

  2. 2

    Salvage old 5 1/4-inch floppy disk drives, as well as the modern 3.5-inch models, and find the stepper motors located inside the drives. These stepper motors generally have a 5-volt power supply.

  3. 3

    Obtain old DVD or CD burners, as these use stepper motors to control the optical sensor's position. Newer CD and DVD burners generally no longer contain stepper motors and have been upgraded to use DC motors instead.

  4. 4

    Take apart an old printer to locate the stepper motor feeding the paper into the printer. Obtain a printer a friend or family member no longer uses, as well as office printers that will be thrown away.

  5. 5

    Search online using keywords such as "used stepper motor" or "old stepper motor" to obtain results from electronic surplus stores or online auctions. These motors can be purchased at a low cost and are already disassembled.

Tips and warnings

  • Companies selling stepper motors often list the specifications for the motors, which will allow you to choose one that corresponds to your needs.

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