brushed vs brushless

Brushed vs. Brushless Motors: What is The Difference?

Brushless motors have been dominating the professional cordless tool industry. Though that is great for many, the question now is what is the big deal? Does this matter if you could still drive the timber screw? Actually, yes it does. There are significant differences and implications that exist when you are dealing with brushed vs brushless motors. 

However, before we dig deeper into brushed and brushless motors, let us first learn the basics of how a DC motor actually works. When you are driving a motor, you could likely compare this to magnets. As magnets are attracted to each other when they are oppositely charged. This is the same with DC motor. You will have to keep them opposite charge of the rotating piece. This will attract the non-moving magnets such as the stator in front which will provide constant pull forward.  

How to do keep it moving? Take in mind that the motor starts with a set of magnet which holds permanent change and a set of electromagnets that have their charge changed while it rotates. Hence, you will not have to worry as there will always be oppositely charged permanent magnet to make it move. 

Brushed vs Brushless Motors: What is the Difference?

Brushed motor comes with four basic parts and they are the following:

  • Permanent magnets
  • Armature
  • Commutator rings
  • Brushes

Permanent magnets are on the outside and it does not move. One is positively charged while the other one is negatively charged. This makes the magnetic field permanent. 

The armature is a coil which is the electromagnets whenever there is power. This part spins the rotor which is made of copper or aluminum.

The commutator rings on the other hand are fixed on the armature coil. This part spins with the armature. 

Carbon brushes, lastly, is the part that stays in place. It delivers electrical charge to flow to each piece of the commutator. 

All in the Armature

The armature gets powered, the charged coil will be pulled towards the opposite charged permanent magnet. Then, the commutator ring will spin which moves from the connection it has with one carbon brush to another. As this moves from one carbon brush to another, polarity reversal will be created and it will attract to other permanent magnet. Then the commutator reaches the negative brush which attracts to the positive permanent magnet which leads it to follow the negative permanent magnet. 

Commutators and Brushes

For brushless motors, you will not have the commutator and brushes to gain electronic controller. Instead the permanent magnets will do the rotor’s job and will rotate inside. The stator, on the other hand has fixed electromagnetic coils which could be found outside. The controller will provide power to each coil to attract the permanent magnet. The controller will also then provide the charge to opposed the permanent magnet. As charges are opposite from each other, the permanent magnet gets pushed as the rotor moves. 

Why the Extra Cost?

The brushless motors are priced higher compared to brushed DC motor. The reason behind this is because brushless motors need electronic communicator to be able to build a computer inside your cordless tool. While brushed motors’ parts are not that expensive. 

Why does it matter?

There are many reasons and advantages as to which brushless motors are more preferred compared to brushed motors. One of which is that brushless does not need the use of brushes and commutator. This reduces the friction which means you could gain more speed which also means that when using brushless motors, you will not have to worry about heat. In addition to that, with brushless motor, you will not have to mind much about its maintenance as it does not require much about maintenance. It is light in weight and compact as well. 

Brushless for Longer Life

With all the advantages mentioned above, when combined will provide you a longer life effect. Though warranty would cover the brushed and brushless motors all the same, you could expect that if you are using brushless models, you will have no worries when warranty is over. 

Brushless motors are basically responsible for almost all of the innovations of smart tools in the industry. For example, the Milwaukee’s One-Key Technology which would not work if not for brushless motor that it uses. 


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