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Brushed Vs Brushless


Justin Hernandez

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We all want the biggest and most powerful drill on the market just because were guys bigger is always better its how we think. Brushless tools are always going to be more money then brushed tools naturally right? But is BL better? Yea duh, is that even a question longer run times more power, faster and my tool is BL and you'res is not "loser". Are you willing to pay more for a tool that might not last as long as maybe a brushed tool? BL tools are full of electronics and we all know technology is great but not very reliable, think about how many times your internet went down. My cable went out the day of the Superbowl how freaking convenient the day I needed it the most. Let's say your BL tool stopped working right after the warranty what would you do? Most likely you will run out and by another one right? Its just how things are nowadays just throw the TV out and buy another one. Brushed tools have been around forever the first power tools invented had them. I have only known about BL tools for about two years now and first thought was OMG that sounds awesome I want one. As technology changes so does the way we do things but is it any better? The most common problem with brushed tools is of course the bushes themselves but they can be changed in the field for a few bucks. These tools also come with a much better price tag than BL tools and my also last longer as well. Every time we buy something with our hard earned money we want it to last as long as possible. The problem with today's manufacturers and economy is that everything is being made as cheap as possible and there goal is to make a product that will outlast the warranty period and that is it. I do believe that the manufacture presses a button everyday at the factory killing tools that warranty just expired the day before. A BL tool may be repairable but if the parts cost more than the tool whats the point in fixing it. So are BL tools needed? Buildings have been built with and without BL tools with no problem. So should we stay with the proven technology or go with the new kids on the block??

 

Lets have a healthy debate on why you are using your current tools and what you think is better. I'm looking forward to hear what you have to say and your experiences. Thanks for reading :)

 

Oh my god I think the poo just hit the fan B)

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I agree time will only tell, however so far they show better results across the board..... no different than cars you used to be able fix your car in the back yard......not any more. I remember getting into a jam with a power tool that needed brushes, un-screwed them, took a file and filed them down a touch slapped them back in and good for a few weeks.......we will adapt we will move on to something new and we will be happy paying for it. sounds far fetched but maybe some time in the future solar powered tools will replace the brushless tools we have now and the same question arises.

 

I remember sitting in a coffee shop when I seen the first remote starter for a car in 1982, American Motors introduced it in 1983. People thought that was far fetched back then, now it is in almost every car sold...and if it didn't come with it people get it put in.....not far fetched now.....

there are 100's if not 1000's of products that were skeptical when they first came out and have done nothing but prove themselves.

 

BTW: Once my water jelled(also known as ice) power packs last more than 72 hours for the spaceship I'm building works.... I'm outta here. 

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Good point Justin and when brushless tools came out, that was a big argument...."are we going to just throw the tool out?" Time has been showing that, no, throwing tools out hasn't been an issue but my shop runs on brushless and brushes. My Dewalt planer, table saw, 20v hammer and circular, my Makita Hypoid, my Dads old Craftsman 7-1/4" that works slick as snot at over 30 years old. My brushless tools seem to hammer on longer but that new Bosch Brute Tough 18v drill is brand spanking new and still has brushes. AND 700" lbs of torque. My Milwaukee Sawzall has brushes too. Still chops crap up quick. Oh, and that brand new 18v x2 chain saw has brushes and it has been serving me quite well! My shop has a ton of Festool tools, all brushless (minus my CXS) as does my small Milwaukee collection and some Makita and Bosch tools too. I don't hang my hat with one or the other. I appreciate what brushless offers but to turn my back on a tool that can be easily repaired right in my shop or the back of my truck with brushes that you can get at a lot of hardware stores and at online dealers such as ereplacement parts I will continue to use my brushed tools knowing full well they get the job done. Might not be as flashy but hey.....neither am I ;)

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I just can't believe it took as long as it did for tool manufactures to take advantage of the technology. I've had brushless airplane and helicopter motors for 12 or 13 years now.

The brushless motor in this dwarfs any cordless tool I have yet to see. It will turn a prop as big as a 50cc gasoline motor. It takes some work to get one of these right. You have to measure amp draw, build cooling baffles, and measure temperatures. The tool companies have already done all of this for us. All we have to do is charge the battery and go work.

The technology is proven. I'm willing to take the risk, but I guess I'm a bit of a nerd.

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Your my kind of nerd C-Haris, love planes. I used to fly them on the flight sim. :)

It's a lot of fun. I used to be into it a lot more than I am now.

This is a video from back in 2010. This was a tri state shoot out between Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Three of us were chosen to compete for Texas. We won 1st place. I just haven't had the time to commit to it since I moved to NC.

http://youtu.be/7Q-JPbfJ_uI

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I don't understand why people are nervous about brushless motors in power tools. Change is scary for some I guess. I use machines at work that range from 25000 to 45000 dollars. They run on brushless motors. Not only that, but in almost a decade I have yet to have these "sensitive delicate feminine ready-to-go-at-any-time" electronics crap the bed either, and these run from -40 to +40 Celsius all year. Hell, they aren't even getting the regulated monitored power a tool gets from a battery, they get ran off of generators, meaning half of my guys start the generator with the equipment powered on, and they get the dirty power from the generator starting under load. Another good point was that brushless tech is only new to power tools, it's been around for ages elsewhere.

Must be nostalgia, people looking back on their old tools as if they were flawless. New tech can mean new problems, look at turbos, direct injection, etc. but the change happens because we want to do more with less. I'll take a lighter drill that gets more work done and replace it or repair it as necessary over some kind of repetitive motion strain from using something that's twice as heavy as it needs to be all day, every day. There's a price to pay for my lost man hours, and injuries as well, short term and long.

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i agree with everything you guys are saying. i have been in brushed tools and just now did i finally get my first brushless tool (milwaukee fuel Circular saw) but ya for Pro's we need brushless tools especially if you depend on your tools everyday, breakdown's are the worst.

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There is nothing wrong with owning either or, it all depends on what you truly need and how much you can afford.

 

I think what's great is how you can use the same batteries for both sets. Your not regulated to owning Fuel or Non-Fuel per say. If you need that longevity of the drill you can get it in the Fuel but if you rarely use a circular saw you don't need to throw down the extra cash for the Fuel version.

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BL right now has to be more expensive by virtue of the electronics packages with the controllers etc. but as they become commoditized that won't be much of a consideration moving foward and the price difference will essentially melt away. BL runs cooler because there's less friction and subsequent heat generated from the contact. That's energy wasted in heat which on battery powered devices is important. Also the magnet position on a BL motor allows for better heat dissipation over a brushed motor so what heat is produced is actually more efficiently removed from the tool too. Heat is is a killer. I know firsthand that using a brushed drill for hard work over extended periods of time will kill It and make a tool almost impossible to hold comfortably whereas a BL tool stays much cooler and runs longer. BL also can be made smaller or more powerful in the same sizes.

With that all being said the added electronics in the BL motors opens up possibilities that heretofore would have been difficult or impossible on brushed motors without themselves having to incur the same added costs of electronics the BL require. Maybe controlling rpm or torque curves or tuning a motor by the end user for maximum battery life etc. Maybe Milwaukee's One Key to be announced has things like this in store for us to take advantage of the controllers in these tools or at last ones to be released in the future.

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!!!WOW!!!

I gotta say, I've seen RC flying before but not like that. That is some nice flying skills you got right there! I don't have any doubt that you won, cause I seriously doubt other's could perform that well after you lol. Nice song to go along with the video as well. Thanks for sharing dude!

  

Wow, those are some serious RC skills!

Thanks. I scored second overall. For this competition we had fly to music of our choice and had one required maneuver. I did the triangle with a snap roll on the up and down line at the beginning of the video. There are a lot of guys better than me. Some of them practice every day and treat it like a job. They can smooth up a lot of the little corrections and bumps in my flying. Working full time I never could commit that much time to it. I would just try to go out on the weekends and have fun.

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Yea I think I'm gonna stick with brushed if anybody watches AvE he makes a good point on brushed vs BL. It was a teardown of a brused dewalt hammer drill.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

Is the comparison online or was it just live?I'm interested in a teardown comparison. Anyways while I went BL I mostly went for longer battery life and not longevity. With my usage level I can't imagine wearing out the brushes before I get the upgrade itch !

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Brushless tech has actually come down in price, when I first saw brushless in RC Cars, the motor and controllers were $500+ now they are $100-$200, with BL becoming more and more popular the prices will keep dropping, and some day BL might be cheaper than brushed as they become phased out.

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Brushless tools certainly cannot be dismissed nor are they obsolete..

The longevity of a brushless tool most likely comes down to how good the electronics are that the manufacturer put in. I guess at this point we need to have faith in the tool companies that they are doing the right thing.

Brush replacement isn't as big of a deal as some are making it out to be.. even heavy users aren't needing to replace them "frequently" I am a professional and have tools that have been used hard for years without the need for brushes.. if you were that worried about a brushed tool going down on a job you could easily pre plan and order a pack of brushes to keep in the truck.. then your back up and running. Also with brushes you usually get a bit of a warning that they areally start in to run crappy and quickly finND a pack of brushes . with brushless you aren't going to stock mew motors and electronics for every tool you own! Haha. My guess is that if you have a brushless tool failure on a job there is a slim chance your going to get the tool running again without ordering some parts or bringing it in for service.

All that being said I have definitely jumped on the brushless wagon. I can appreciate that companies are building their most capable tools brushless now and I want a tool that is going to get the job done fastest and with the least user fatigue. The benifits are worth the risk of the tool being less serviceable to me.

Long story short.. don't write off brushed just because they are brushed.. they can still be great capable tools that will serve pros and diy's alike very well.

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Another benefit to brushless motors is the timing can be adjusted through the speed controller. In the RC world you can plug your electronics into you computer and look at the data logs and set parameters. You can set stuff like soft start, brakes, timing, etc. with the timing you can advance to get more power or retard to get longer run times. There are cards or thumb drives that you can use at the field to program.

There is no reason tool manufacturers couldn't setup this for our tools.

Brushes are the timing for brushed motors.

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Another benefit to brushless motors is the timing can be adjusted through the speed controller. In the RC world you can plug your electronics into you computer and look at the data logs and set parameters. You can set stuff like soft start, brakes, timing, etc. with the timing you can advance to get more power or retard to get longer run times. There are cards or thumb drives that you can use at the field to program.

There is no reason tool manufacturers couldn't setup this for our tools.

Brushes are the timing for brushed motors.

Personally i think that is what Milwaukee one key will be about. Programming your tool motor from your smart phone.

The Makita director of Japan had also let it known on the Makita 100 year anniversairy event that that is some thing that are working on.

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I like the efficiency aspect of brushless, in the RC world everyone was turning to nitro for longer run times, when brushless cam out and is getting cheap enough the run times and power are equaling and some areas exceeding that of a nitro car.

I do agree brushless has yet to be fully tested in the tool areana but I feel they are proving pretty reliable as the fuel line has been out for sometime.

Honestly after 5 years or so if something went wrong on my brushed tools I.e. Switch goes bad, I replace the tool not the switch, and Milwaukee's 5 year warranty I'm covered

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Hmmm i dont see why so many people think brushless motors will be less durable then brushed engines.

Brushless engines have been in use for more then 30 years and just in situations where durable long lasting motors were needed.

Industrial applications/ the rc world / the motors in your CD ROM drives/playstation back in the nineties where all brushless motors :)

And brushless motors have been around in power tools faaaaar longer then most of you think.

Before the ' fuel ' line ever existed Makita had brushless tool for years.

The first brushless power tools were introduced by Makita in their defence and aerospace contracts. Production facilities where the best of the best was needed in efficiency/ weight/ size and durability.

These were very expensive production tools not available for contractors in stores. Powered by nicd and nihm batteries back in those times.

In 2009 Makita has that brushless technology trickle down to the first ever brushless power tool available for contractors in the form of an pact driver.

This brushless engines in power tools even have a history :) they have been around linger then lithium ion batteries in power tools !!! :D

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