electrical motor starters

For all your electrical needs, choose from over 300 motor starters by Schneider Electric and Square-D. We carry combination starters, definite purpose starters, IEC Starters, manual starters/protectors, and more to help you get the job done right. Shop now and find the perfect motor starter for your project!


An electric motor starter is used to start and stop an induction motor safely. The motor starter switches the power ON/OFF just like a relay does, but it also offers low voltage and overcurrent protection.

Why Electrical Motor Starters Are Important

Due to its low rotor impedance, an induction motor must be started using a motor starter. The induction motor's slip is the difference in speed between the rotor and stator, and the higher it is, the lower the rotor impedance, and vice versa.

Main Types of Motor Starters

There are two types of motor starters that are most commonly used. The manual starter is the more simple one, and it operates when manually switched into the ON position. The magnetic motor starters' operating mechanism is based on the EMP. These devices are often used in high-power AC motors, as they can offer additional voltage drop and overload protection.

Beyond that, electric motor starters can be classified into additional types:

  • Direct Online Starter (DOL). This simple device directly connects the motor to its power supply. Though it's simple in design and affordable, it can't give enough protection from the high current, so your motor windings will be damaged by it.

  • Stator Resistance starter. This starter adds external resistance to the motor and allows more smooth acceleration and a flexible setup. But these devices can be quite expensive and cause low starting torque due to the low voltage.

  • Rotor Resistance Motor Starter (Slip Ring). In this starter, the external resistances are connected via the motor's slip ring and allow incredible motion control. They usually come at a high price and weigh much more than other motor starters.

  • Autotransformer Starter. The initial voltage is reduced via the transformer, which allows for a much higher starting torque and more control options. Keep in mind that this type of starter will take much more space than any other.

  • Star Delta Starter. These devices are much cheaper and simpler in design than others and require no maintenance whatsoever. But there is also much more wiring work involved in the installation process.

  • Soft Starter. Using voltage reduction techniques reduces the number of power surges and prolongs the life of your system. And even though this reduced voltage starter can be quite expensive, the perks are worth it.

  • Variable frequency drive. VFD comes at a higher price than the average motor starter, but it also offers full speed control and much smoother acceleration, even for the largest of motors.

Your Trusted Electrical Motor Starter Supplier

Blackhawk Supply (BHS) offers a wide variety of Motor Management System solutions for motor control applications in the industrial, residential, and commercial sectors.

Our store also features Definite Purpose Starters that protect different types of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC) devices. Additionally, BHS offers Pump Panels designed for irrigation, gas, oil, and other types of pump applications.

Browse our store for all your electrical and control needs!

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