Technologies are improving at a fantastic pace in our world with every passing day. Similarly, new and improved products launch every day to make your DIY and home project more comfortable and fun. Almost every DIY project requires drilling equipment to make holes in wood, plastic, bricks, or metal. So having an excellent cordless drilling machine is a must requirement of your garage toolbox. When you are looking to buy the best drill, there are plenty of options out there.
Brushless vs Brushed Drill
You can choose between different battery sizes, functionalities, and power settings. But one technical aspect is always a point of concern and can a significant factor in your purchase decision. In every hardware store, you will always find two types of cordless drills. Brushless and Brushed drills. What is the difference between these two types, and which one is a better option for your toolbox?
As the name depicts, brushed cordless drills come with brushed motors. These are the conventional motors that were invented in mid of 19th century. Their technology is significantly improving with time, and they have numerous applications in power tools.
On the technical side, motors have two essential components: a stator and a rotor. In brushed motors, the stator is made of a magnet (permanent or electromagnet), while the rotor has windings of insulated wires. These windings wrap around a soft iron core. The rotor rotates inside the magnetic field of the stators when a current provides. DC power source physically contacts with the rotor to energize the coils. These energized coils then generate an electromagnetic field, which causes the rotary motion of the rotor.
Brushes provide physical contact between the DC power source and commutator of the rotor. These brushes are small rectangular or square carbon pieces. Due to the brushes’ continuous physical contact with the rotor commutator, they produce friction, spark, and heat. Meetings tend to wear out with the passage of time and need replacement. Mostly, brushes are pushed against the rotor by springs, which forces them to stay in contact. This design is not changed much since its invention, and the fundamental principle of every brushed motor is the same. However, the improvements in material and the creation of rheostat improved the practicality of the system.
In the modern world, the brushed motor design is a robust and tested system with its pros and cons. Many industries builts around this technology and people are aware of these motors’ maintenance and operating practices.
In the 1960s, a new design of the motors was conceptualized. This presented a solution to get rid of brushes. The major revolution of this design was the absence of physical contact with the rotor. No physical contact means less maintenance cost and long life. This design was well-received, but still, it took two decades to apply it practically. In the 1980s, products with brushes, fewer motors started launching and gained public attention. It is replacing the conventional brushed motor designs in all fields for good in the last three decades.
Instead of going into many technical details, we will only elaborate basic working principle of brushless motors for your easy understanding. The basic working of both types is the same, and the rotor rotates inside the stationary stator. But the difference lies in their construction and operating mechanism. Here, the rotor is covered with a permanent magnet, while the stator has winding coils. No physical contact provides to transmit current to the rotor. Instead, stator coils are energized, which act as an electromagnet and produces a magnetic field. This magnetic field interacts with the rotor’s permanent magnet and causes the rotor to move in a circular motion. A sensor senses the position of the rotor. A complex electronic controller controls the energization and de-energization of stator coils to ensure precise rotation of the rotor.
This voluntary design is gaining popularity due to its precise mechanism and fewer maintenance requirements. There is no physical contact with moving parts, so there is no spark or heat generation.
- Brush-less motor design is relatively new but has a promising future. Why are Brushless motor cordless drills better?
- Now the main question is why we should buy Brushless motor cordless drills instead of brushed ones?
- What value will they provide to the end-user regardless of all the technical differences?
As there are no brushes, so you do not need to worry about replacing them. Infect, there is no maintenance requirement of the brushless motor drills. They will work perfectly fine till their bearing wear out, and most modern stainless-steel bearings have many years of life.
Safer design and less heat:
Every brushed motor produces a spark and a significant amount of heat. This spark and heat can cause the failure of equipment uses excessively. These designs require meaningful heat dissipation arrangements, which reduces its practicality.
Longer battery life:
It is practically demonstrated and verified by manufacturers that battery-operated brushless motors have a much longer battery life. Due to less heat and friction, energy loss inside a brushless motor is significantly less. This enables the battery to last much longer. In some cases, improvement of battery life up to 40% is observed.
Usually, the brushed motor is much noisy due to friction between brushes and rotor commutator. The absence of brushes makes drilling operation less noisy and easy on your ears.
Better power efficiency:
The absence of brushes makes the motor much more power-efficient as well. They cause physical contact and allows the passage of the same amount of current regardless of workload. But controller of brushless motors controls the amount of current to stator coils. Hence it enables the power adjustment depending upon your workload.
Cost is the only factor that makes brush drills attractive. Usually, they are cheap due to simple design and established manufacturing techniques. Brushless design comes with a complex controlling mechanism, which is not cheap. Usually, the initial cost of brushless motor cordless is higher.
If you compare the long-term maintenance and energy costs, brushless motors are a much better option. They will require less battery charging and zero maintenance, along with the power efficiency and safer design. So paying a higher initial cost worth it in the long run.