What is a brushless drill?
The First but especially The Second Industrial Revolution brought enormous changes into people’s lives. These were times of numerous discoveries and innovations. All these changes came so quickly that men didn’t have much time to think, they simply had to adjust.
During a past few decades, many changes in the world of tools happened. We have the appearance of cordless tools that use neither cables nor electric power. These tools became worldwide popular and made our lives much easier.
Mostly, these tools were using brushed motors. What does it mean?
In some types of electric motors and generators there are brushes. They cooperate with commutator – a device used to change the direction of electric current.
So then, what is a brushless drill? Well, it’s more than obvious that it’s a drill with a motor that doesn’t use brushes. Brushless drills have no brushes and at the same time have no commutator. But they still use magnets to generate the force.
These tools use brushless DC electric motors. They do the same and even a better job than old ones but, the difference is there are no brushes to wear off or fix and change.
What is a brushless DC electric motor?
Solid states electronics developed in the second half of the 20th century made brushless DC electric motors possible. These motors also known as synchronous DC motors are powered by DC electricity.
This type of motor develops torque by interchanging the polarity of rotating magnets attached to the rotor and stationary magnets placed on the stator. Mostly both (sometimes one) magnets are electromagnets. They are made of spools of wire around the iron core. Electric current runs through the wires creating magnetic field which runs the motor. Motor controller turns DC into AC.
The design of these motors is simpler than the one developed in brushed motors. The difference is in elimination of complicacy of transferring power from outside the motor to the rotor that’s spinning.
An electric sensor in these motors detects the angle of the rotor and controls switches that switch current through the windings.
“Brushless motor system is similar to PMSM (permanent magnet synchronous motor).
They offer many advantages in comparison to brushed motors and even though they’re not cheap they become more and more popular.
Brushless or brushed drills – which to choose?
The principle of both, DC brushed and DC brushless motors, and simultaneously drills is pretty much the same.
The first difference is a brush. Brushes fail. You have to replace them and take good care of their condition.
As we explained, brushes inside the motor deliver current through the commutator. There are no brushes or commutators inside brushless motors. This is the main difference between these two motor types.
On the other hand, no brushes – no replacement. Brushless drills use specific brushless motors and are definitely more long lasting than the brushed ones.
If you need to get your job done quickly and tidy, brushless drills are in advantage here as well. We can’t say your brushed drill won’t finish the job but brushless will certainly make it easier.
The biggest problem about brushless drills is the price.
They are not cheap. Many of us can’t afford them. The question to be asked is – are they worth the price?
They sure are. These drills use the most modern technology that’s still being developed. They are almost twice more expensive than regular brushed drills.
But, they are easier to use than the regular ones. Then they are quieter and much more powerful. If money isn’t the problem, don’t think. But, if you don’t need a drill for some big projects, choose brushed. In this case it will be enough.
Short history of brushless cordless drills
A century ago Black + Decker invented first portable electric drill that one man could use. First portable drill was composed in 1916. Electric drills were used before, but they were huge and stationary and mostly used in factories.
The discovery of an electric portable drill was a real breakthrough. Over the years, all manufacturers, besides Black + Decker, such as Bosch, Milwaukee and others worked on improvement of these drills. They were getting more powerful but smaller, handier an easier to use.
Manufacturers worked also on batteries improvement. They were made long lasting, durable rechargeable. Everything was changing rapidly. Bosch introduced first cordless drill in 1978.
Eventually, in 2004, Makita developed brushless motor for the defense and aerospace industry. In 2009, this company introduced brushless cordless impact driver.
Anatomy of a Cordless Drill
Keyless chuck: Chuck holds the bits on a cordless drill. Keyless chuck allows changing the bit easily because no additional tools are required.
Torque adjustment collar: The torque adjustment collar is also known as a clutch setting and it has different speed settings which allow controlling the drilling/driving speed and power.
Gear selector: This adjustment allows choosing the speed. Most drills have two speeds, but there are also models with more options. Its purpose is to prevent too much torque and speed from being delivered at one time.
Led precision light: Most of the cordless drills have one or more LED lights for working in dark spaces. The position of the LED light is usually under the chuck.
Forward/reverse switch and safety lock: Forward/reverse switch allows you to change the direction a drill is driving. With this adjustment, you can choose to turn the drill forward as well as backward. By setting the switch in the center position, it will lock the tool.
Sound-enabled power trigger: This is on/off switch. By pressing this button, you start/stop the drill.
Ergonomic handle: Ergonomic handle allow comfortable operation. Some handles are coated with the anti-slip material.
Rechargeable battery pack: Some tools come with a removable battery pack but there are also tools with integrated battery. If the battery pack is removable it should be disconnected from the main part of the tool when it comes time to recharge it. Integral battery drills come with the charger to connect with power supply for charging.
Battery release button: This button allows removing the rechargeable battery from the tool when comes time for charging it.
Battery level indicator: The battery-level indicator indicates how much battery power the tool has left.
Why brushless cordless drill?
Brushless tools are also known as smart tools. They are more powerful than brushed drills, more efficient and more durable.
They are improved with LED technology.
This fact only represents great advantage compared to brushed drills. Not to mention better battery life, longer working time and better performance of brushless drills.
These tools are very powerful. You will be able to finish every job with high precision and probably faster than with brushed drills.
So, are they worth their price?
The answer is – YES! This especially refers contractors and people who work on construction sites.
If you need a cordless drill for home use, than it’s not necessary to pay so much for brushless cordless drill. In this case regular (brushed) cordless drill will be OK.
We talk about power all the time. Why? Well, because the thing people worry the most when they need such a tool is exactly the power.
We always worry about how powerful our tool is. Well, guys, if you really need a powerful drill than you need to get this one – brushless cordless drill!
If you count the money you need to invest when you use brushed cordless drill you’ll see that in the long run it is profitable to get one of these drills.
Simply, brushes wear off easily. If you are not good at fixing tools, you need to pay someone to replace them for you.
This may not cost much, but if you need this favor constantly, than it is some money we are talking about. Simply, if you don’t have good kosher brushes, your tool won’t work.
Brushless drills have no brushes so you’re free of this problem.
Consequently, without brushes you get longer lasting drill. The worst thing that can happen is that your drill lets you down in the middle of your job. With brushless drills this won’t happen.
And eventually, brushless drills are more compact than the brushed ones.
At first, you’ll pay larger amount of money but in the end this will pay off.
We’ve showed you the benefits but it’s up to you to decide which suits you better.
Brushless motors, therefore brushless cordless drills as well are firstly produced for “big “users such as military, aircraft industry, space industry and national defense system.
The technology used when making these things along with solid states electronics represent the newest and so far one of the best if not the best techniques in tool production. It is profitable for governments and huge producers, like machine industry or aircraft industry to use this way made cordless drills. The only problem with these innovative drills is the money.
But, it appears that there is a quite good market for brushless drills among ordinary people, like you or us.
We know that’s inevitable to ignore the fact these drills are quite more expensive than the brushed ones. But, we have to admit that they worth their price.
A few tips
It is a fact they are expensive. We mentioned the fact they cost double more than brushed drills.
But, the innovative technology that is yet to become inseparable part of all tools and machines saves our money in the long run.
Whether you are going to choose brushless or brushed cordless drill is a matter of many components.
First, can you afford it?
Then, even though you can pay as much as it costs, do you really need such a drill?
It is a fact that we can’t help you with the money issue but let us help you with this second problem. If you are a constructor or any other professional this type of drill will be profitable for you.
The fact you don’t have to switch brushes all the time saves your money. If you own a brushless cordless drill, you won’t have to interrupt your job and you will save your time, and we all know that time is money. In long term, this will be good for you.
Eventually, this is only one person’s choice and we hope you’ve found our information helpful in making such decision. Also, if you want to know more about cordless drills, check out our page dedicated only to cordless drills and screwdrivers, filled with editorials, reviews and buyer’s guides!