The Kiss 24A by Flyduino goes straight to the top of this list. It has a lovely build quality and a sleek black design. It has gate drivers allowing for much faster switching. The KISS24A has an MUC that works at 48MHz. The firmware, as is common with Flyduino, is custom made and comes equipped with features such as OneShot125 and active braking/freewheeling. The reason that this ESC comes top of the list is due to its reliability and incredible performance when flying. However, this ESC is also quite simple to use – the whole point of KISS is that it is ‘plug and play.’ If you buy a KISS24A Race Edition ESC, you don’t need to obsessively tune it or keep up with the constant bombardment of firmware updates as the firmware that it runs on is custom made and therefore this is also the most user friendly ESC on the market too. The only negative is that it doesn’t have a BEC so you are unable to power your flight controller directly form the ESC.
The LittleBee 20A pro is very popular due to it’s small size and small cost! I have a full review on this ESC here. The LittleBee 20A Pro weighs just 5.9 grams. Therefore if your going for speed and performance then you should defiantly consider this ESC. However, (despite never experiencing this myself) there have been numerous reports of the LittleBee having voltage spikes. I got around this issue by using 3-4s LiPos and not 6s LiPos. I also added one 25V 220uF capacitor which made the spikes non-existent.
The XRotor 20A by HobbyWing is quite an old ESC and it has been on the market for quite some time. However, old is gold and this is still one of the best ESCs out there. It is 30mm x 21mm x 15.4mm and weighs 15.5g (13.6g without heatsink). Therefore it isn’t quite as small as the newer ESCs such as the LittleBee and it is also slightly heavier. However, unlike most current ESCs, it contains a capacitor (25V) which will prevent voltage spikes (something that we often see in LittleBee ESCs.) The F396 MCU allows you to use the flash BLHeli firmware meaning you have full control over your XRotor. It produces a similar thrust to the KISS24A and thus is clearly powerful and well worth considering.
This is a decent ESC. The developers tell us that it has been “designed to give 50g more thrust when compared to the normal F330 ESCs such as the LittleBee 20A (on 2700KV and 4 inch props.)” Despite having found this ESC to be reliable and robust it certainly does lack in thrust and therefore I the developers statement is a blatant lie. However, it performs well whatever conditions it is put in. It can also take up to 8S. However, this ESC is considerably more noisy than all the other ESCs on this list and it has been known to have voltage spikes too.