Q: I see a lot of new power tools being advertised as having “brushless” motors. What’s the advantage?
A: In a power tool’s electric motor, a brush is a device that conducts current between stationary wires and moving parts, most commonly in a rotating shaft. Electronic brushes often require replacement after the tool sees a lot of wear. However, major tool manufacturers are moving toward brushless motors that not only eliminate the maintenance headache of brushes but also offer performance advantages over the older motors. Instead of wearable brushes, tool manufacturers engineer more steel and copper into the brushless motors for longer life as a result of reduced friction, less heat buildup and higher efficiency. Brushless motors can deliver significantly more power and run time. You’ll find this new technology in professional-grade drills, drill/drivers, impact drivers and hammer-drills.