There has always been doubt on the accuracy of 2D analysis of small electric machines. To investigate the validity of this doubt, in this present work a small uni-coil shaded-pole induction motor is analyzed in 2D and 3D and the results are compared. In order to maintain the paper size as compact, the analysis is limited to the air-gap flux density distribution, variation of the main winding inductance against current and the force acting on the rotor body; which are the important components of the motor performance. It is found that although 3D analysis consumes several times more computing time and storage space, improvement achieved in performance by use of 3D analysis is not very significant. % rms difference between the two cases is obtained as 0.76% for the main winding inductance and 0.59% for the force acting on the rotor body. Also the air-gap flux density distribution obtained from the two types of analysis is found to be very close to each other. Therefore it is concluded that despite more computing time, more storage requirements and more human effort in the case of 3D analysis, the degree of improvement is not proportionally rewarding, and hence, 2D analysis is sufficient for the analysis of small machines. (C) 2015, Karabuk University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.