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Brushed motors vs. brushless motors

Shop for Cordless Impact Drivers

Brushless impact driver and brushed impact driver The motors used in cordless impact drivers are called DC motors and are either brushed or brushless.

Brushed motors

Commutator, Axle, Brushes on a brushed motor Inside a brushed motor is an electromagnetic field, with a current flowing through it. To keep the motor turning, the current must be constantly reversed.

The brushes inside the motor are what cause the current to reverse, keeping the motor turning.

ADVANTAGES   DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Less expensive to purchase than brushless motors
  • If the brushes are replaceable, these motors have an extensive operational life
  • Can operate in colder temperatures due to the lack of electronics
  • Noisier than brushless motors
  • As speed increases, brush fiction causes torque to decrease
  • Usually require periodic maintenance if brushes need to be cleaned and replaced throughout the motor’s lifetime
  • Less efficient heat dissipation compared to brushless motors

Brushless motors

Brushless motors have advantages over brushed motors As motor technology has advanced, a new type of motor has been designed that doesn’t have brushes.

The motor is kept turning using a specially-designed controller called a Hall Effect Sensor.

Brushless motors have several advantages over brushed models and are proving a popular choice for use in cordless power tools.

ADVANTAGES   DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Require little or no maintenance due to the lack of brushes
  • Models with brushless motors tend to have more compact designs
  • No friction on the brushes so brushless motors can deliver higher levels of torque and speed simultaneously
  • Better heat dissipation
  • More efficient as there is no power loss across brushes
  • Quieter than brushed motors
  • More expensive as a specially-designed controller is required to keep the motor running

To brush, or not to brush?

Brushless motor has a more compact design Brushless motors are favoured amongst users for the many advantages they offer over brushed motors.

Though they are more expensive initially, a model with a brushless motor should serve you well in the long run.