Brushless Vs. Brushed Motor For Tools Overview

The debate about determining the best tool to use on the job is never ending. With several options out there and varying preferences, many are left confused. So, what is the big deal? Does the type of power tool you use matter? Yes, it does. There are significant differences as well as implications between brushless vs. brushed motor in the power tools.


How Does A Brushed Motor Work?

A brushed motor is designed with four essential parts. These parts are the armature, permanent magnets, brushes, and the commutator rings. The magnets are found outside the mechanism and they are not movable. One of the magnets is positively charged while the other is negatively charged. With this setup, a permanent magnetic field is created.

The armature, on the other hand, is a coil or perhaps a series of coils. This coil will become electromagnets whenever power is applied. In addition, this is also the part of the mechanism that spins. The coils are typically made from aluminum or copper.

The commutator rings are fixed to the armature in four-pole or two-pole configuration. The ring spins with the armature. The carbon brushes, on the other hand, stay in one place and deliver the electric charge that flow to the commutator.

Once the armature of the motor is powered, the coil is charged and pulled towards the oppositely charged magnet. In the same manner, the commutator ring spins and moves from a connection with one brush towards the next.

Whenever the ring reaches the next brush, it will receive a polarity reversal and will become attracted to the other magnet while being repulsed by the same charge.

Basically, when the ring reaches the negative brush, it will become attracted to the positively charged magnet. The ring will reach its intended position in time to form a connection with the positively charged brush. Since the brushes are in pairs, the positive coil will pull towards the negative magnet while the negative one will pull towards the positive magnet simultaneously.

How Does A Brushless Motor Work?

In a brushless motor, you will lose the brushes and commutator while gaining an electronic controller. In this type of motor, the permanent magnet will now act as the rotor. The magnets will rotate around on the inside of the motor.

The stator, on the other hand, is made up of fixed electromagnetic coils, which are placed outside of the mechanism. The motor’s controller will power each coil based to the charge that it requires attracting the permanent magnet.

In addition, the controller will also provide the same charge to the resist the permanent magnet. This will push the permanent magnet as the same charges will actually resist each other. In this mechanism, the rotor will move because of the pull and push mechanism.

Making A Choice: Choosing Which Motor Suits Your Needs And Preferences

There are several differences that one can note on a brushless and brushed motor. Knowing these differences can help you determine which motor of power tools would suit your needs and preferences. Here are some of these differences:


A brushless motor offers several advantages over a brushed motor. One of these advantages is its design and the loss of the commutator and brushes. Since a brushed motor requires a brush to come in contact with the commutator to deliver the charge needed, this causes friction. With friction, speed is reduced and heat is created. This means that a brushless motor, basically, runs cooler. Moreover, it is more efficient as it delivers more power.

Speed and torqueWhen it comes to speed, brushless motors are more advantageous compared to brush motors. A brushless motor offers speed or torque that is flat. In fact, it enables operation at all speeds with a rated load. At higher speeds, no mechanical limitation is imposed by the commutator or brushes since this motor does not have them. On the other hand, a brushed motor offers torque or speed that is moderately flat. The torque of the brushed motor is reduced as friction increases due to the higher speed.

Battery And Power

When it comes to battery and power, a brushless motor is more advantageous, as there is no noted voltage drop across brushes. Moreover, this type of motor offers higher output power.


The brushed motor is controlled easier than brushless, it is simple to control because of no required controller for fixed speeds. But brushless is controlled more complicated because it needs a controller for keeping the rotation.

Maintenance Basics

Aside from the design, brushless motors require less maintenance than a brushed motor. Carbon brushes in brushed motors wear down over time. Moreover, this can cause a spark inside the tools. To ensure that your brushed tool keeps running, you may need to change the carbon brushes once in a while.

The main Brushless vs. Brushed motor comparison





Runs best from 1,000 to 10,000 rpm

Capable of over 10,000 rpm


brush friction increases, thus reducing useful torque

Generally higher for equivalent sizes and speed or torque that is flat


Generally lower


Generally lower


Heat dissipation

Generally lower


With the pros and cons of brushed motor vs. brushless motor above, I hope it helps you something deals when you find any power tool. If you need simple control, simple maintenance and low cost, you can choose tools with the brushed motor. But you need long maintenance periods and long time batteries and the cost no need with you. You can choose the brushless motor type.

When selecting the tool, it has a lot of reason for choosing best tool. It is not only motor type, but you can also reference some useful guide for each tool here;

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Jose A. Brown

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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