[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen it comes to picking a power tool, one of the biggest decisions that you’ll probably be making is whether to buy corded or cordless, brushed or brushless. No longer the “gutless” wonder of the power tool world, cordless power tools now offer just as much power, torque and longevity of use as their corded cousins.
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between these features and of course, why you should consider hiring some of this equipment.
What exactly is a brushless motor anyway?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Here’s a refresher about how a brushed motor works.
“When the motor is energised, a charge travels through the brushes, and into the commutator. (The brushes are spring-loaded to maintain physical contact with the commutator.) The commutator then passes the charge on to the armature, which is made up of copper windings (they look like bundles of copper wire). The windings are magnetised by the charge and push against the stationary ring of magnets that surround it, forcing the armature assembly to spin. The spin doesn’t stop until the charge from the charge stops.
A brushless motor loses the brushes and the commutator and the locations of the magnets and copper windings are reversed: The magnets are on the conventional motor shaft and the copper windings of the armature are fixed and surround the shaft. Instead of brushes and a commutator, a small circuit board coordinates the energy delivery to the windings.
Because the electronics communicate directly with the stationary windings, the tool adjusts according to the task—which is why the companies market these as “smarter” tools. For example, if you’re using a brushless drill to drive screws into Styrofoam, it more readily senses the lack of resistance (compared with a brushed motor) and begins to pull only what little charge it needs from the battery. If the tool then starts putting 3-inch screws into mahogany, it will adjust accordingly and draw more current. By contrast, a brushed motor will always run as fast as it can while in use.” Source: PopularMechanics.com
So, what’s so great about cordless and brushless power tools? If nothing else, it’s the way the electronics of the tool communicate directly with the stationary windings. In tools such as our 18v Cordless Drill/Hammer Drill or 18v Cordless 5” Angle Grinder the circuit board will adjust the amount of power being delivered from the battery according to the task at hand. Ultimately this means that the battery life of a brushless tool has the capacity to far outperform a brushed tool and this is one of the main reasons they’re known to be ‘smarter’ tools. Did we mention that there is also no power cord dangling in the way?
Along with superior battery life, brushless motors are known for often being a more powerful option than a brushed motor. Since the copper windings are located on the outside of the motor configuration when it comes to tools such as this 18v Cordless Sabre Saw or 18v Cordless ½” Impact Wrench, there is more internal room allowing for a physically larger motor which equates directly to greater power output. In addition, brushless motors are not inhibited by the drag which is created by brushes wearing against a spinning commutator. While many corded power tools can still deliver higher performance specifications and of course their use is not confined to battery life, did we mention that cordless power tools have no power cord dangling in the way?
Because of battery efficiencies and larger motors, using cordless power tools such as this Auto Feed Cordless Screwdriver has become a more efficient experience. Ultimately this allows many jobs to now be successfully completed with a lightweight but powerful cordless tool especially when you consider that the hire of a cordless power tool from Centenary Hire comes with a spare battery and battery charger.
Brushless tools also have an increased useful life and require less maintenance than a brushed tool. Again, this is owing to the lack of carbon brushes which themselves wear out and require replacing as well as wearing down the commutator over time.
In summary, tools that use brushless motors tend to be more powerful than traditional brushed tools. Tools that use a brushless motor are more intelligent than their brushed counterpart because the internal circuit board allows them to determine how much energy use is required for the given task.
Due to less wearing parts, they are also easier to maintain and should last longer. Did we mention that cordless power tools have no power cord dangling in the way?
If you’re wondering whether a cordless power tool is best for your project or job, have a chat with our friendly Centenary Hire staff. They’ll give you quality advice on the best tool for the job and all the aforementioned equipment items are available for immediate hire. Consider booking online through the Equipment Catalogue on our website.
Other great hire items that also do not require corded power are industry leading survey equipment such as a Rotating Laser Level the amazingly powerful Power Actuated Fastening Tool and the lesser known Electric Cargo/Stair Climbing Trolley.
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