10 Differences Between brushed and brushless motors

Brushed Motors vs Brushless Motors: Understanding the Key Differences

Welcome to this comprehensive guide where we explore and compare the key differences between brushed motors and brushless motors. Whether you’re a hobbyist, engineer, or simply curious about the inner workings of these essential components, this article will provide you with a deeper understanding of their characteristics, applications, and advantages.

What are Brushed Motors?

Brushed motors are one of the oldest and most commonly used types of electric motors. They consist of a rotating armature, one or more permanent magnets, and a set of brushes that come into contact with a commutator. When the current flows through the brushes, it generates magnetic fields that propel the motor’s armature and create rotational motion. The commutator then ensures the continuous rotation of the armature.

Examples of Brushed Motors:

– DC motors used in household appliances such as electric toothbrushes and hairdryers
– Starter motors found in automobiles
– Electric fans and power tools often use brushed motors as well

Uses of Brushed Motors:

– Due to their simplicity and cost-effectiveness, brushed motors find wide applications in consumer electronics, automotive, and various industrial sectors.
– They are commonly used in low-power devices and applications where the precise control of speed and torque is not crucial.

What are Brushless Motors?

Brushless motors, as the name suggests, operate without brushes. Instead of brushes, they utilize electronic commutation through the use of sensors and an external controller. This technology allows for precise control over the motor’s rotation, speed, and torque. Brushless motors are generally more complex compared to brushed motors but offer numerous advantages in terms of efficiency, reliability, and performance.

Examples of Brushless Motors:

– Brushless DC motors (BLDC) used in drones, electric vehicles, and computer cooling fans
– High-performance brushless AC motors employed in industrial machinery and robotics
– Propulsion systems for electric aircraft and boats that demand high efficiency and power

Uses of Brushless Motors:

– Brushless motors are widely adopted in applications that require higher power and longer operational lifetimes.
– The ability to precisely control torque and speed makes them invaluable in robotics, aerospace, medical devices, and numerous other industries.
– They are also commonly used as servo motors due to their responsiveness and accuracy.

Differences between Brushed and Brushless Motors:

Area of Difference Brushed Motors Brushless Motors
Efficiency Lower efficiency due to energy loss through friction Higher efficiency due to absence of brushes and reduced friction
Maintenance Require periodic brush and commutator replacement Largely maintenance-free with extended lifespan
Speed Control Speed control is typically less precise Precise speed control with electronic commutation
Size Bulkier and larger in size compared to brushless motors Compact and lightweight, making them ideal for portable applications
Noise Produce more audible noise due to brush and commutator friction Operate quietly with reduced motor noise
Life Span Shorter overall lifespan due to brush wear and tear Longer lifespan due to reduced wear and maintenance
Cost Less expensive compared to brushless motors Higher initial cost, but cost-effective in the long run
Complexity Simple construction and easier to understand More complex design and operation
Heat Generation Generate more heat due to mechanical friction Produce less heat, resulting in increased efficiency
Environmental Impact More carbon emissions due to lower efficiency Environmentally friendly with lower carbon emissions


In summary, brushed motors and brushless motors offer distinctive characteristics and advantages depending on the intended application. While brushed motors are simple, cost-effective, and suitable for low-power devices, brushless motors excel in efficiency, precision, and durability. The decision between brushed and brushless motors ultimately depends on factors such as power requirements, cost considerations, and the need for motor lifespan and control.

People Also Ask:

Q: Can I replace a brushed motor with a brushless motor?
A: In some cases, it is possible to replace a brushed motor with a brushless motor, but it requires compatible mechanical and electrical considerations to ensure proper functionality.

Q: Which type of motor is more energy-efficient?
A: Brushless motors offer higher energy efficiency compared to brushed motors due to reduced friction and improved control mechanisms.

Q: Are brushless motors more expensive than brushed motors?
A: Initially, brushless motors tend to have a higher cost; however, their increased lifespan and efficiency often make them more cost-effective in the long run.

Q: Can brushed and brushless motors be controlled using the same methods?
A: No, brushed and brushless motors require different control methods due to their distinct electrical and mechanical characteristics. Brushed motors are typically controlled using simple DC voltage, while brushless motors require electronic commutation.

Q: What are the main advantages of brushed motors?
A: Brushed motors offer simplicity, lower initial cost, and ease of control, making them suitable for various low-power and budget-sensitive applications.

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