April 27, 2017
What’s with all the fuss about the tools with no brush? Brushless motors have been around for over 50 years. In the past they have been used almost exclusively in highly specialised precision tools. Now we’re able to use this technology to improve portable power tools giving home heroes the access to brushless power tools. We’ve got all the information you need to know about going brushless on your next tool.
If you’re not interested in the nitty gritty of the technical, mechanical details of brushed vs. brushless, it is pretty simple. Brushless power tools, in general, are the higher performing tools. Removing the brushes from the motor means less friction. That means you lose less energy in friction and heat, and more energy goes into creating higher torque. Brushless motors also have less wearable parts leading to longer durability. So that means:
Despite their benefits, brushless motors are more suited to some tools than others. They are ideal for tools that operate under light, near-constant loads where there are no rapid changes in RPM. These would be tools that are difficult or impossible to stall such as rotary hammers, impact drivers, impact wrenches. Brushless technology also requires more sophisticated technology making it more expensive to manufacture. The more you use your tool, the more value you’ll get out of your brushless motor.
To understand the benefits of brushless let’s refresh the way traditional power tools work. The standard DC motor is brushed. It is made up of:
A magnetic field is created when current runs through the brushes, which are in constant contact with the commutator. The magnetic field of the armature interacts with the permanent magnets that cause the motor to rotate.
Brushless motors, as the name suggests, do not have the brushes or the commutator. The position of the magnets and copper windings that drive the armature are reversed. The magnets are mounted directly to the armature and the wire bundles that are charged surround them. A small circuit board is used to coordinate the energy delivery to the windings instead of the brushes and commutator. The electronics communicate directly with the stationary coil allowing it to adjust according to resistance.
Now you’ve got all the info you need, why not give one a go for yourself?
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