Fractional Horsepower Motor Manufacturers

A fractional horsepower motor is a motor built in a frame and has power rating smaller than one horsepower. Also known as FHP motors, being categorized as a fractional hp motor can be relative to the frame size as well as the amount of fractional horsepower. For instance, if the frame size is a 42, 48 or 56, the motor can still be classified as a fractional horsepower motor even if the horsepower exceeds one horsepower, although motors such as ½ HP motors and ¼ HP motors are more easily identifiable.

The frame size of fractional horsepower motors is based on the standards put in place by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and at times, fractional horsepower motors can be referred to as NEMA motors. Despite being relatively small motors, at times even called miniature motors depending on the frame size, fractional horsepower motors are widely used for controlled motion in industries including: medical, for surgical devices in hospitals; automotive, for many applications such as electric windows, powered seats, central locking systems and more; residential, for household appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators; industrial manufacturing, in pumps, compressors and many other necessary components and processing and assembly applications; and HVAC, for the operation of equipment such as fans and blowers.

Some Leading Manufacturers

Electric Motor Solutions

Madison Lake, MN | 612-746-7624

Here at Electric Motor Solutions, we are committed to engineering and manufacturing quality fractional horsepower motors and equipment. Whether you need miniature motors, variable speed motors, or permanent magnet motors, we have exactly what you need. Our electric motors are designed to save you time and money while providing innovative features and high performance. Check out our website or give us a call for more information!

WEG Electric Corp.

Duluth, GA | 800-275-4934

From commercial to industrial applications, WEG Electric has the best fractional horsepower motors for you! We offer single and three phase electric motors along with standard and premium efficiency solutions. As a global leader in the electric motor industry, we have unrivaled expertise in the field. We are confident that we can find and create the perfect motor for your applications, regardless of the complexity. Call us or visit our website to see how we can serve you!

Carter Motor Company

Warren, IL | 866-745-2100

Carter Motor Company has been designing, engineering, and manufacturing custom motor solutions since 1932, so you can count on our experience and expertise to get the job done right every time. Whether you are looking for small motors, FHP motors, universal motors, or any other electric motor, we can create a custom solution for your applications. Give us a call to discuss your applications and electric motor requirements!

Bodine Electric Company

Northfield, IL | 800-726-3463

As an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer, Bodine Electric Company is your source for high quality fractional horsepower motors. We offer AC motors, brushless DC motors, and all kinds of gearmotors. We have continued to produce innovative electric motor solutions for more than 100 years, so contact us with your electric motor challenges. We know we can create the perfect solution for you!


Fractional horsepower motors can come in a wide variety of types and can be fuel powered, although they are most often electric. Thus, most often seen as small electric motors, fractional horsepower motors can fulfill many functions as universal motors, variable speed motors and even reversible motors. As a universal electric motor, fractional horsepower motors are capable of functioning on either direct current (DC), in which the current flows in one direction or alternating current (AC), in which the current that flows in either direction. As variable speed motors, fractional horsepower motors are able to direct the rotational speed of an AC or DC motor, causing it to slow down or speed up as desired. Fractional horsepower motors are a popular type of variable speed motor because the smaller horsepower allows for easier control of motion and speed. As a reversible motor, fractional horsepower motors function to reverse the direction of rotation by way of a switch that controls the motor connections when the motor is inactive. Much like a variable speed FHP motor, reversible FHP motors work well because of the increased precision in control. Besides fuel and electrical power, fractional horse power motors can also be powered by means of permanent magnets, which are referred to as permanent magnet motors.

The basic design of an electric powered fractional horsepower motor consists of an enclosure, rotor, axle, coil and field magnet. Some contain brushes, which are used to help conduct the electrical currents. If the motor is brushless, then an external power supply must be used to transfer the current. Because of their lack of brushes, brushless electric motors are actually more expensive. Although they can be AC or DC, both types of electric fractional horsepower motors use magnets to provide the motion necessary for power generation. The magnets provide motion by reacting with the electrical current, which causes rotation by flowing through specific points of the motor. The rotational movement provides power that can then be transferred into the desired equipment. In order for an electric motor to be classified as a fractional horsepower motor, it must have a rated output power of 746 watts or less. A watt is a unit of measurement equal to one joule per second. The design of a fuel-powered fractional horsepower motor is similar, except instead of the coil and field magnet, a fuel-powered motor will feature exhaust valves and a fuel chamber. Commonly referred to as internal combustion engines, fuel-powered FHP motors may use either gasoline (called petrol in Britain) or diesel, although each type calls for a slightly different design.

Fractional horsepower motors are becoming increasingly popular in many industrial, residential and commercial applications. The technology for electric motors was first developed by Nicola Tesla in 1888, the year he patented his induction motor. However, it was when cities began to have electricity in 1915 that the fractional horsepower motor industry began to rapidly develop. In fact, fractional horsepower motors experienced their first big push in popularity in the 1920s due to the invention and eventual wide-spread use of appliance such as power washers. However, fractional horsepower motors began to truly become highly popular after World War II with the rise in consumerism experienced during the 1950s and 60s. Ever since, and particularly in the early 2000s, the market for fractional horsepower motors has steadily grown, showing no signs of slowing down due to their environmentally-friendly levels of power generation efficiency. Most notably, fractional horsepower motors have become widely used for applications such as automotive systems, household appliances and power tools. Often needing to be customized for more unique applications, the essential elements of a fractional horsepower motor that need to be kept in mind are the voltage, frequency and number of phases of power supply needed.

Electric Motor Solutions

Brushless Fractional Horsepower Motor