Difference Between Brushed And Brushless Power Tools?

As power tools become increasingly more powerful, there is now a decision to make between power tools with a brushed motor or brushless power tools - but what is the difference?





I was at a meeting this morning with one of South Africa's largest tools suppliers. One topic that came up in conversation is the difference between brushed motor and brushless motors. For many beginner DIY enthusiasts, the difference won't make much well... difference, but for those that rely on power tools to get the job done, the difference means a great deal.



Unless you have invested in some pretty tough power tools lately, chances are most of the power tools you own are brushed. Since we are all probably using a brushed motor in our DIY power tools, what difference will it make if we invest in brushless power tools?

To put it in layman's terms, a brushed motor restricts the motor and places a limit on what it can do. I'm not going to go into that in too many details but have included a video at the bottom of this page that puts the difference in simple terms and puts to rest any confusion.







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On the brushed motor shown above, you can see how [2] carbon brushes are placed in the DC motor that has [2] fixed magnets. These brushes allow the magnetic field to flip 180-degrees for a full 360-degree rotation.


On the brushless motor shown below, there are no brushes involved and it is the job of the magnets to allow a full 360-degrees.


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Did you know that power tools with a brushed motor can achieve 1000 to 3000 hours (depending on brush type) whereas power tools with a brushless motor achieve tens of thousands of hours.




Unlike power tools with a brushed motor, those that are brushless have a longer lifespan and thus constitute a major reason why these tools are more expensive than those with a brushed motor. Add to that the fact that overall efficiency is increased, by as much as 80 to 90%, plus the fact that maintenance for the tools is reduced and you can understand why brushless tools are becoming increasingly popular.


Brushless motors are considered smart because they can adjust the amount of power required based on the job, reducing and increasing current as required.








Considering all the above factors and that brushless power tools cost significantly more than those with a brushed motor, why should you look at purchasing power tools with a brushless motor? Well, when you are looking to invest in power tools, you are either doing it for a hobby or a business. Unless you are starting DIY with the intention of taking it to the next level, you are probably better off by starting with power tools with a brushed motor. These tools are cheaper and you will still be able to get the job done. It's when considering taking it to the next level, perhaps to manufacture and sell your craft that performance, efficiency and lifespan should be factored into the equation. So, consider the following benefits:


  • - Improved efficiency

  • - Increased work time or longer run times on a single battery charge

  • - Reduced maintenance

  • - Longevity



CAT, in conjunction with the launch of its brushless range of power tools in South Africa, will be concentrating on the construction, trade, renovation, and DIY enthusiasts alike. South Africa is an important market for CAT Power tools with customers who have more demanding needs of their power tools. The CAT brand will be available exclusively through all Makro stores and via a unique online retail program. Go to www.catpowertools.co.za for all the details.









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