What is the Smallest Linear Actuator?

When searching for ‘World’s Smallest Linear Actuator’ one thing quickly becomes apparent - many companies are claiming to produce the smallest actuator around. There may be a variety of reasons for this. I’ll quickly cover a few of these below.

Why do different companies claim to make the smallest linear actuator?

They're measuring different metrics

A product can be ‘smallest’ in length, stroke, width, height, diameter, mass or a combination of these. You can see how ‘smallest’ is at least somewhat subjective when you look at it this way.

The information is out of date

This is the robotics industry after all. New products come to market every day and reducing size and mass are a major priority for many manufacturers.

They're embellishing

Let’s be real, it happens. There is at least one result on the front page as of this writing that is patently false. It's the internet. You can make whatever claims you want about a product.

In reality, a number of manufacturers produce tiny micro actuators that can be rightfully labeled ‘smallest’ based on how you're choosing to measure. With that in mind, let’s dig into the smallest micro linear actuators that Actuonix offers.

All of our actuators are small

Micro actuators are all we do. Everything that we build is considered a micro actuator. We do have two models however, that are the smallest we offer and should be considered for any application where space limitations are a major consideration. Our largest device has a stroke length of 300mm and a max force of 67lbs.

Smallest Linear Actuators From Actuonix

Even within our own product lines, there are a couple of actuator models that can be called the 'smallest' depending on how you're measuring. For a long time, the PQ12 was our smallest linear actuator, but recently, we released the P8 line which is thinner and lighter, but longer and has several options for stroke length.

PQ12 Series 

The PQ12 is a unique device. It's small enough to fit inside a tic tac box, and very powerful. It's ideal for applications where conserving space is a primary consideration. The PQ12 is used by OEMs across dozens of industries. In recent years, the have become a popular choice for medical devices including prosthetics and rehabilitation devices. The PQ12 has a distinct market advantage over other actuators. It hits three important points - it is small, powerful and affordable. This makes it very attractive to startups, university students and other lean teams trying to develop robust products on a budget. 

P8 Series 

The P8 was developed to meet the ever growing demand for smaller and smaller actuators. It also addresses a limitation of the PQ12, which is its fixed stroke length. The P8 series features a thinner body and lighter weight than the PQ12, while being longer, due to having several stroke length options. When developing the P8 line of micro actuators, our engineers also designed a stepper model. This makes it ideal for applications where both small size, and ultra high precision are needed. Again, both the P8 and the PQ12 series linear actuators can rightly be called the smallest in our product line, depending on what you're measuring.

Why we focus on the Smallest Linear Actuators

It's all we do. From the first actuator that we designed back in 2004, through to our latest product releases, we have kept our focus solely on micro-motion. Focusing on this one segment of the actuator industry has allowed us to make iterative improvements to our product line while also developing new micro actuators to better serve our clients. With over 220 unique micro linear actuator models, we've firmly established our position in the market and will continue to serve the growing demand for smaller and smaller actuators across many industries including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Automation
  • Food & Beverage
  • Product Testing
  • Hobbyist

Smallest Actuator Product Lines Explained

  • Micro Rod Actuators
  • Micro Track Actuators
  • Micro Stepper Actuators
  • Micro Feedback Actuators

Common Questions About Micro Linear Actuators

How can I shorten the stroke of a micro actuator?

There are a number of ways to decrease the stroke of your linear actuator. With our products, the simplest way is to use a Linear Actuator Control Board to dial in your extension and retraction end limits. Here are some other options to try as well

Can you make custom small actuators?

Yes! Many of our clients use our custom actuator design service. We can work with you to develop a custom actuator solution for your specific needs. If you're interested in talking more about our custom actuator design service, reach out to our sales team any time

How do I mount micro actuators?

All of our actuators come with a handy mounting kit. If the brackets provided don't suit your needs, you can design a custom mounting option using the factory mounting holes

Why buy from Actuonix?

You may have noticed that there are a number of micro linear actuators for sale around the web that look suspiciously similar to our products. They are copies of our original design. When you buy from Actuonix, you're getting a product that was designed from scratch by our team of engineers. Every component was selected by them specifically for optimal performance. Every single product that we sell is also tested for functionality before we ship it out. You can count on Actuonix actuators.

Future Outlook for Micro Linear Actuator Technology

The future outlook for linear actuator applications is promising, driven by ongoing advancements across industries including robotics, automotive, aerospace, medical and more. As industries continue to demand higher levels of accuracy, efficiency and smaller sizes, Actuonix will rise to the challenge. We will continue to not only develop new actuators to meet growing demand, but also continually improve our existing product lines to ensure that we're offering the best, as well as the smallest actuators available.

Browse Linear Actuators From Actuonix

Actuonix provides linear actuators for a wide range of industries, allowing technology to keep up with our client’s imagination. Browse actuators by model today and reach out to us with questions or to submit an order.