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In this paper, techniques for improving the efficiency of small line-start motors are investigated. Through a combination of formal optimization methods and standard design techniques, the efficiency of an induction motor is increased by 4%. This motor is then used as a basis for the design of a line-start permanent-magnet (LSPM) motor. Steady-state and dynamic finite-element analysis of the LSPM motor indicate that significant efficiency improvements are obtained and that the motor will start when fully loaded.