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Scrap Electric Motor Price – Updated Guide

Electric motors are found in everything from your dishwasher to your central heating unit. They are one of those things that most people don’t give a second thought to.

When an electric motor is no longer functioning well or needed, what do you do with it? There are two main options: sell it or scrap it. As a metal recycler, you may be wondering how to determine which option will be the most profitable for you.

What does the price of the metal in relation to the price of an electric motor tell you about your options? The answer is complicated and depends on a number of factors, including supply and demand and the types of motors you’ve got on your hands.

On that note, we’ll talk about the scrap electric motor prices to give you an idea of where you should start.

How much is a scrap electric motor worth?

A scrap electric motor is not a single, standard commodity. Electric motors come in all shapes and sizes.

Some are quite small, such as the motor found in a battery-powered drill.

Others, such as the motor in your central air unit, are quite large.

Material Percentage of Motor Recyclable Scrap Price Range (per kg)
Copper 40-50% Yes $3-8
Aluminum 20-30% Yes $1-2
Steel 15-20% Yes $1-3
Insulation 5-10% Yes $0.50-1
Rare earth magnets 1-5% No N/A
Plastic 5-10% Yes $0.50-1

The electric motor is a complex piece of equipment and can vary greatly in value based on different factors.

It all depends on what type of motor it is and its condition.

While some motors are simply broken and are no longer viable, others can be refurbished and reused in other applications.

This is why the price varies so much from one case to the next.

Most people have the smaller electric motors that are found in typical household items such as the garage door.

These motors are typically very quiet and are used for small appliances that don’t need a lot of power.

They’re also lightweight and easy to use. It makes them a great candidate for recycling.

They are also easily available. Scrap electric motors have a wide price range depending on the type of motor you have and the amount of metal that they contain.

Smaller, lighter units typically contain less metal than the larger ones and may not be worth as much in dollar value.

The trick is to collect as many of these motors as you can.

The more you have, the more metal you can sell for scrap.

While the prices are not constant, you’re likely to sell your scrap electric motors at $0.31 per pound.

That’s why size and amount of metal are important factors.

What materials are recycled?

Simply put, scrap electric motors are worth more when they’re made of metal.

But there’s more to it than that.

When it comes to recycling, there are several metals that make up a typical electric motor.

The more metal you have in your motor, the more money it will be worth to that end.

Here is a list of metals and materials found in electric motors that can be recycled.

  • Aluminum – Although only a small part of the motor is made of aluminum, it can still be recovered and reused.
  • Iron – Iron makes up most of the inner workings of an electric motor. It’s a valuable metal and can be recycled.
  • Brass – Brass is used in connectors that attach wiring to the motor. This can be recovered for recycling as well.
  • Copper – Copper is another valuable material that can be used to make new products or to add value to scrap motors or other items you recycle for cash.
  • Silicon-steel – this is an alloy that is used to make the blades of the motor.
  • Nickel – Nickel is often added to the shaft and bearings of electric motors to make them more durable.

How to repurpose electric motors?

If you’re not ready to sell your electric motors to a scrap yard, repurposing them may be a fun way to convert them into something new and useful.

Luckily, we have some ideas up the sleeve;

Create an automatic cat feeder

Is your fur baby constantly nagging you for food?

Whether it’s at meal time or snack time, your cat certainly is vocal about what he wants! Why not build a cat feeder that will be convenient for both of you?

Use an old electric motor to make a cat feeder that automatically dispenses the right amounts of kitty food at a given time.

Self-playing Melodica

You can put a new spin on the traditional melodica.

Instead of strumming the strings with a guitar or keyboard, use an electric motor to make music come from these instruments.

It may take some time to get used to the sound of this melodica, but you could easily be playing classical pieces in no time.

Build a robot car

Whether you’re a student, hobbyist or just looking for something fun to do on your weekends, building a robot car is great way to spend your free time.

Robot cars are fun and easy to make.

What better way to make a robot car than with an electric motor?

It’s such an easy project and with some guidance, you’ll have on your hands something nice for the kids.

Final Thoughts

Electric motors are one of the most versatile components around.

They can be used in a number of different ways like those mentioned above.

And even if you don’t want to repurpose them for your own use, you can still sell them for some extra cash! Remember that the prices for scrap electric motors vary greatly depending on their size and condition.


Is it worth scrapping electric motors?


As mentioned above, the price you get for your motor depends on its condition as well as the amount of metal that it contains.

While scrap electric motors are not always a good investment, they can be a great addition to recycling efforts.

What electric motors have the most Copper?

DC motors because they are the most common type used in household appliances such as a fan.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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