I'm planning to use a stepper motor NEMA17 type for my project.

One of the requirements is that the user might turn the shaft while the motor is powered and maybe moving.

Is that possible?

What specification should I be looking for? e.g. Holding torque? Detent torque? etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That depends--do you mean while the motor is powered or unpowered? If it's connected to a motor driver, even unpowered, it will depend on the characteristics of the motor driver. If it's totally unconnected, the resistance is just the cogging torque, but as soon as it's connected to anything the question gets a lot more complicated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's connected to a driver and powered - meaning current is being supplied to hold a position...and the user moves it slightly. Also, i'm referring to small 3d printer motors not commercial ones. \$\endgroup\$
    – dashman
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


The torque to overcome with the stepper powered would be the holding torque; detent torque applies when not powered.

A search engine found me orientalmotor.com's Basics of Stepper Motors.


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