Brushless Motors vs. Brushed Motors: The Ultimate Showdown


In the world of electric motors, two main types dominate the market: brushless motors and brushed motors. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different applications. In this article, we will explore the differences between brushless motors and brushed motors, comparing their construction, performance, and applications. Let’s dive into the ultimate showdown between these two motor technologies.

What are Brushed Motors?

Brushed motors are one of the earliest and simplest types of electric motors. They consist of a wound armature and a permanent magnet. The armature is composed of wire windings, while the magnet generates a magnetic field.

The name brushed motors was given to such motors as these motors use the brush in their components for rotation. The structure of a brushed motor is shown in the figure below.

Brushed motors

How do Brushed Motors Work?

When an electric current is passed through the armature windings, a magnetic field is created, which interacts with the magnetic field of the permanent magnet. This interaction generates a force that causes the armature to rotate, thereby producing mechanical motion.
Easy to understand and operate
Lower initial cost
Simple control mechanism
Well-established technology
Lower efficiency compared to brushless motors
Limited lifespan due to brush wear
Lower maximum speeds and torque
Higher maintenance requirements

Advantages of Brushed Motors

Brushed motors have several advantages, including:
  • Simplicity: Brushed motors have a relatively simple construction, making them cost-effective and easy to manufacture.
  • Low initial cost: Brushed motors are generally more affordable compared to brushless motors.
  • Ease of control: Brushed motors have a simpler control mechanism, making them easier to operate and control.

Disadvantages of Brushed Motors

However, brushed motors also come with certain limitations, including:
  • Lower efficiency: Brushed motors tend to have lower efficiency compared to brushless motors due to energy losses in the brushes.
  • Limited lifespan: The brushes in brushed motors wear out over time, requiring regular maintenance and replacement.
  • Lower speed and torque: Brushed motors generally have lower maximum speed and torque compared to brushless motors.

Applications of Brushed Motors

Brushed motors find applications in various industries and devices, including:
  • RC cars: Many hobby-grade RC cars utilize brushed motors for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
  • Household appliances: Some household appliances, such as blenders and vacuum cleaners, still use brushed motors.
  • Power tools: Many entry-level power tools rely on brushed motors due to their lower cost.
To explore more applications of brushed motors, visit this link.

What are Brushless Motors?

Brushless motors, as the name suggests, operate without brushes. Instead, they use electronic commutation to control the motor’s rotation. This design eliminates the need for physical brushes, resulting in improved performance and durability.
Brushless motors

How do Brushless Motors Work?

Brushless motors consist of a permanent magnet rotor and a stator with multiple coils. The coils are energized in a specific sequence by an electronic controller, which generates the rotating magnetic field required for motor operation. This electronic commutation allows for precise control and efficient operation.
Higher efficiency
Longer lifespan
Higher maximum speeds and torque
Greater control precision
Higher complexity
Higher initial cost
Requires advanced control electronics
Potential electromagnetic interference

Advantages of Brushless Motors

Brushless motors offer several advantages over brushed motors, including:

  • Higher efficiency: Brushless motors are more efficient due to the absence of brushes, resulting in reduced energy losses.
  • Longer lifespan: Without brushes that wear out, brushless motors have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance.
  • Higher speed and torque: Brushless motors can achieve higher speeds and torque outputs compared to brushed motors.

Disadvantages of Brushless Motors

Despite their numerous benefits, brushless motors also have a few drawbacks, including:

  • Complexity: Brushless motors have a more complex design and require sophisticated control electronics.
  • Higher cost: Due to their advanced technology and additional components, brushless motors tend to be more expensive than brushed motors.
  • Electromagnetic interference: The rapid switching of currents in brushless motors can generate electromagnetic interference, requiring additional measures for noise suppression.

Applications of Brushless Motors

Brushless motors are widely used in applications that demand higher performance and efficiency, such as:

  • Electric vehicles: Electric cars and bikes often employ brushless motors for their superior efficiency and power.
  • Drones: Brushless motors are the preferred choice for drone propulsion due to their high speed and torque capabilities.
  • Industrial automation: Brushless motors find applications in robotics, CNC machines, and automated manufacturing systems.

For more information on the applications of brushless motors, check out this link.

Brushless Motors vs. Brushed Motors

Speed and Torque
Control Complexity
Brushed Motors
Brushless Motors

When comparing the performance of brushless motors and brushed motors, several factors come into play. These factors include:

Performance Comparison

When comparing the performance of brushless motors and brushed motors, several factors come into play. One significant advantage of brushless motors is their higher power-to-weight ratio, allowing for more efficient operation. They also generate less heat, reducing the need for additional cooling mechanisms.

On the other hand, brushed motors generally exhibit higher torque at lower speeds and have simpler speed control systems. These characteristics make brushed motors suitable for applications that require precise low-speed control, such as certain robotics or conveyor systems.

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintenance requirements and longevity differ significantly between brushless motors and brushed motors. Brushed motors rely on brushes that wear out over time due to friction, leading to the need for regular inspection and replacement. In contrast, brushless motors are virtually maintenance-free, making them more reliable and suitable for applications that require long operational lifetimes.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to cost, brushed motors generally have a lower upfront cost compared to brushless motors. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term cost implications, including maintenance and replacement parts. Brushed motors require regular brush replacements, which can add to the overall cost over time. In contrast, brushless motors, although initially more expensive, offer higher reliability and longer lifespans, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Noise and Vibration

Another factor to consider when choosing between brushless and brushed motors is the level of noise and vibration they produce. Brushed motors tend to generate more noise due to the physical contact between brushes and commutators. On the other hand, brushless motors operate quietly and produce less vibration, making them suitable for applications where noise reduction is crucial, such as medical devices or consumer electronics.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact is an important aspect to consider in motor technology. Brushed motors produce carbon brush waste as brushes wear out and need replacement, contributing to the accumulation of waste in landfills. In contrast, brushless motors, although they generate electronic waste at the end of their lifecycle, tend to be more energy-efficient and have a lower overall environmental footprint.

Future Trends and Innovations

As technology advances, both brushed motors and brushless motors continue to evolve. Brushless motor technology is rapidly advancing, with innovations in control algorithms, materials, and power electronics. This progress opens up new possibilities for applications in fields such as robotics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy systems. Understanding these trends can help identify potential future applications for both motor types.


What are the main differences between brushless motors and brushed motors?

The main differences between brushless motors and brushed motors are:

  • Brushed motors use physical brushes for commutation, while brushless motors use electronic commutation.
  • Brushed motors have lower efficiency and shorter lifespan compared to brushless motors.
  • Brushed motors are simpler and more cost-effective, while brushless motors offer higher performance and efficiency.
  • Brushed motors have limited speed and torque capabilities, while brushless motors can achieve higher speeds and torque outputs.
Which type of motor is more suitable for electric vehicles?

Brushless motors are more suitable for electric vehicles due to their higher efficiency, power, and longevity. They provide the required performance and torque to propel electric vehicles efficiently.

What are some common applications of brushed motors?

Brushed motors find applications in various industries and devices, including:

  • Hobby-grade RC cars
  • Household appliances like blenders and vacuum cleaners
  • Entry-level power tools
In what industries are brushless motors commonly used?

Brushless motors are widely used in industries and applications that demand high performance, efficiency, and durability. Some common industries include:

  • Electric vehicles
  • Drones and robotics
  • Industrial automation and CNC machines
Do brushless motors require more maintenance compared to brushed motors?

No, brushless motors require less maintenance compared to brushed motors. Brushed motors require regular brush replacement, while brushless motors do not have brushes that wear out over time, resulting in a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance needs.

Which type of motor offers better energy efficiency?

Brushless motors offer better energy efficiency compared to brushed motors. The absence of brushes reduces energy losses, resulting in higher overall efficiency.

Are brushless motors more expensive than brushed motors?

Yes, generally, brushless motors are more expensive than brushed motors. Brushless motors require advanced electronics and additional components, contributing to their higher cost.

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Can brushless motors achieve higher speeds and torque outputs?

Yes, brushless motors can achieve higher speeds and torque outputs compared to brushed motors. Their advanced design and electronic commutation allow for greater performance capabilities.

Which type of motor is easier to control?

Brushed motors are generally easier to control due to their simpler design and control mechanism. However, with the advancement of motor control technologies, controlling brushless motors has become more accessible and efficient.

What are the advantages of brushless motors over brushed motors?

The advantages of brushless motors over brushed motors include higher efficiency, longer lifespan, higher speed and torque capabilities, and lower maintenance requirements. Brushless motors also offer better control precision and can operate at higher temperatures without performance degradation.

Please note that the above answers are a general overview and may vary depending on specific motor models and applications. It is always recommended to consult the motor manufacturer or industry experts for precise information related to your requirements.


In conclusion, both brushless motors and brushed motors have their own strengths and weaknesses. Brushed motors offer simplicity and lower cost but come with lower efficiency and limited lifespan. On the other hand, brushless motors provide higher performance, efficiency, and durability at a higher cost. The choice between the two depends on the specific application requirements and budget. To summarize, brushless motors are the go-to option for applications demanding high performance, efficiency, and longevity. Brushed motors, on the other hand, are suitable for simpler applications where cost and simplicity are prioritized. Thank you for reading this ultimate showdown between brushless motors and brushed motors. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into these motor technologies.
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