Is Brushless Better Than Corded - Toolstop Debate

We bang on and on about how great brushless motors are on this blog.

They're smaller. They're lighter. They run cooler. They give you longer runtime from your batteries, whether you're still packing 3Ah or if you've moved up to 5Ah or higher. They're a big step up from brushed motors in the cordless power tool evolution.

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But a big question that needs to be considered in figuring out whether brushless is better is this:

Are brushless motors more powerful than corded tools?

Why does this matter? The heavier the application you need your tool to undertake, the more powerful you need your motor to be. You want as much grunt coming from the motor to the business end of the tool as you can possibly manage. And that's particularly important on tools such as recip saws. You're probably going to want to cut through some metal, or you're in the middle of some demolition work and you want your cordless recip saw to slice like a hot knife through butter that window frame, for example.

Does having a brushless motor and a cordless tool - with its smaller size and lighter weight - mean you're sacrifcing power?

Yes, you're not tethered to a constant power supply, you're relying on an efficient transfer or the available charge in a battery to flow through the connectors, into the switch to turn the motor. But does brushless efficiency mean you'll never match the power offered by corded?

We were interested to see a video from our pals at Coptool (find them on YouTube here) upload a quick demo video from a trade show in America. The tool in question was Makita's "coming soon" 18v and 36v brushless reciprocating saws.

The claim by Makita was a simple one:

"Our new brushless tools won't match the performance of a corded tool. It will exceed the performance."

Watch the demo video below.

Admittedly, "better performance" isn't just tied to the power offered by the motor. In the case of a recip saw it's stroke length and strokes per minute, and the same applies to jigsaws. But it would seem that these new brushless models from Makita out-perform their corded cousins in every department.

Judge for yourself how scientific the demonstration is, and of course, a small debate has started on the Coptool channel, which you can see in the comments of the video above. But as our pals at Coptool have said:

"As technology improves we are seeing new brushless motors that are getting more and more powerful vs the older brushed motors we had 5 or 10 years ago. Since many corded tools (brushed motors) have not been updated in 5-10+ years we are seeing new "cordless" tools that can out perform old "corded" tools. That's not a function of power coming from a cord or a battery but older motors vs newer motors."

We want to know what you think about this: is it a debate - are brushless cordless tools going to replace corded tools in your kit? Do you trust the technology or do you feel your corded tools will always get the job done for you?

Talk to us in the comments about this topic and be sure to get your friends involved by sharing this article with them on your favourite social networks.


Andreas Sjånes Berg on Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:57:30 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Ps: That is an advanced and very nice feature. It will (above speed-setting 3) lower the speed until it meets a minimum resistance. Not only is it a safety feature in itself, but is also easier to to some small adjustements the first mm in the wood before it ramps up to max speed. It also gives a better cut.

A slow start is a must in any tools, and has finally come to the jigsaw. Without that function, you would not only lower the battery and tool lifetime (a lot of start-current)/don't kill the fuse, but it also gives a better precicion and higher safety. It also feels better, and gives the user more control.

If you are used to the old and crude way it might take bit to get to get used to, but has not anything to do with a lesser tool. On the contrary. It's one of the major reasons to get it, and is described in the manual.

Becouse a brushless unit has an expensive onboard computer to begin with, it is not an expensive thing to incorporate theese things.

In the industry with larger motors, slow start is more or less an requirement. Expensive on brushed motors, yes, but very nice. Slow-start is also seen in other high-end consumer equipment like power supplies etc...

To the corded VS cordeless discussion: I trade a little power for a smarter, practical and better tool any day. Not much to trade on most saws, drills, impact wrenches/drivers, small SDS tools. But a little tradeoff on the grinder, and a lot on the vacuum. Both has more or less replaced their counterparts, but especially on vacuums (makita 2x18V) you just feel a little underpowered on 350W.

Vanessa on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:14:13 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I disagree when it comes to the jigsaw! I have the corded and cordless brushless and the jigsaw is a disappointment, has slow start up and almost like it needs to feel the pressure against it to reach full speed so is a pain if just want to take a tiny bit off an edge and doesn't seem to be as powerful. For everything else brushless & cordless I own, I agree they are remarkable!

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