Brushed and Brushless Motors

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When it comes to electric RC cars, the terms brushless and brushed motors are familiar terms used by manufacturers to distinguish their products. Usually, one of them is stated to be more powerful while the other probably runs smoother, leaving you wondering just which one to pick.

In this article, we’re going to look at the two motors; the difference between the two and exactly how they work in RC vehicles. Let’s get down to it:

How they work

Both brushed and brushless motors have the same working principle. They both use an electromagnetic field that is created when a winding motor receives a current supply. This winding will then push and repel against a magnet and thus turning the shaft.

To continuously spin as required, the energy gets transferred from one winding to another, maintaining a continuous spin.

The difference

There isn’t much difficulty in figuring out the difference between the two motors as they’re exactly how they are called. A brushed motor uses brushes when converting electricity to the motor while brushless motors do not use brushes to convert power to the motor. Sounds simple and straight forward as the brushless ability to not rely on brushes to convert electricity to the motor makes it more efficient when you compare the two.

Does that make the brushless motor better? Hardly…there are more thing we need to take into account before determining which of the two motors is better.

  1. Brushed motors

While brushed motors are not as efficient as their counterparts, they have certain advantages that can make it worth your while.


  • Simple

What makes brushed motors better than the brushless motor is that there are simple to manufacture and operate. This also makes it simple to repair. A brushed motor uses only two wires to power it.

Their simplicity makes them suitable for beginners and is highly configurable.

  • Hardy

Brushed motors are also robust and are more capable of handling rough environments better than brushless motors.

  • Cheap

Considered its best feature, brushed motors due to their less sophisticated design makes them less expensive on the market.


  1. Less efficient when it comes to power conversion.
  1. Produces more electromagnetic noise.
  1. Brushes can be worn out.
  1. Brushless motors

When it comes to technicality, brushless motor is hands down the better of the two.


  • Efficient

Brushless motors produce less friction due to its lack of brushes or a commutator, and hence more power reaches the motor.

  • Low maintenance

Without brushes and commutators, there is no wearing out that would lead to buying replacing parts, thus lowering maintenance costs.

  • Faster

As the saying goes, more power equals more speed, a feature that brushless motors excel in.


  1. It is quite expensive.
  1. It has a more complex design.
  1. Needs an electric controller


When it comes to choosing between brushed and brushless motors, there is usually more to it than meets the eye. You can go for the cheaper brushed, but loose efficiency or you could opt for the more efficient brushless motor and loose a few extra bucks. In the end, the choice is ultimately yours.