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Brushless Versus Brushed Cordless Power Tools - a short discussion

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Brushless and brushed power tools look similar but their motors are very different.

First, what are the differences between brushless and brushed power tools?

Aside from the obvious, that the motor in one doesn't have electrical brushes and the other does, there is a bit more to this answer. In cordless power tools both types usually have what are known as permanent magnet (PM) motors.

Without getting too technical, perhaps the most obvious difference, is how the magnets are arranged. In a brushless PM motor, of the type most commonly used in power tools, the magnets spin and are in the centre. In a brushed PM motor the magnets normally stay still and are fixed towards the outside of the motor.

Brushless and brushed motors shown above

Power tool motors are often required to work hard, especially in professional power tools.

The weak link in brushed motors is where the electrical brushes slide on the rotating parts of the motor. When the power tool is working hard this can cause heat to build-up and the motor to become much less efficient. When the work is hard for too long, or just too hard, the motor can become a heater and eventually burn out.

In a brushless power tool there is no such weak link. The brushless motor can usually withstand heavier use and achieve longer run times, because the sliding parts are eliminated, allowing battery power to spin the motor more easily and the heat to be controlled more effectively with much less chance of burn out.

So, which type of power tool should you buy; brushless or brushed ?

For frequent and heavier duty work and for longer run times you should consider buying brushless power tools. Brushed power tools can be cheaper but buying cheap can be a false economy if your power tool breaks before you've finished the job.

KwikPro power tools use brushless motors.

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