brushed vs brushless motor for your RC cars and boats comparison

Should You Buy Brushed or Brushless Motor?

Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two motor powerhouses – the reliable brushed motor and the cutting-edge brushless motor.

Each tackles unique challenges and serves different applications, but what sets them apart lies in their technical construction and design.

As someone who has extensively tested both products, I’m thrilled to share my real-life experiences and delve into the technical intricacies that make these motors tick.

Brushed Motor

The brushed motor, a time-tested workhorse, features a relatively simple and robust design. Inside the brushed motor’s cylindrical casing, a central rotor spins, and this rotor consists of an armature wound with coils of wire.

Carbon-based brushes, typically situated on either end of the rotor, make direct physical contact with the commutator, which is a segmented copper ring connected to the motor’s rotating shaft. The brushes maintain electrical contact with the commutator as it rotates, creating a changing magnetic field that drives the rotor’s motion.

One of the main advantages of the brushed motor’s construction is its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. The straightforward design allows for straightforward control, making it suitable for numerous low to mid-power applications such as household appliances, power tools, and small-scale robotics.

Brushless Motor

In contrast, the brushless motor represents a significant advancement in motor technology, redefining efficiency and performance. Instead of brushes and commutators, the brushless motor’s construction employs a more complex system of multiple permanent magnets situated on the rotor, while the stator contains multiple coils of wire.

The rotation of the magnetic rotor induces an electromagnetic field in the stator coils, propelling the rotor to follow the magnetic field and turn accordingly.

The brushless motor’s design brings forth several advantages, most notably increased efficiency and reliability. Without brushes physically contacting the rotor, friction-related wear and heat generation are eliminated, resulting in superior longevity and energy efficiency.

Additionally, the brushless motor’s precise electronic control allows for smoother speed regulation and improved overall performance, making it ideal for high-power applications such as electric vehicles, industrial machinery, and advanced robotics.

Brushed vs. Brushless Motor Comparison


In terms of lifetime, the brushed motor’s reliance on physical brushes and commutators introduces mechanical wear as the brushes rub against the commutator during operation. Over time, this friction leads to the gradual degradation of the brushes and commutator surface, affecting the motor’s overall performance. As a result, brushed motors generally have a shorter lifespan and may require more frequent maintenance or replacement of components.

The brushless motor’s construction significantly improves its longevity. With no physical brushes or commutators involved, there is virtually no mechanical wear during operation. This attribute allows brushless motors to enjoy a considerably longer lifespan compared to brushed motors. In my experience, brushless motors have shown remarkable resilience, maintaining peak performance for extended periods with minimal maintenance requirements.


Efficiency is an area where the brushed motor falls short due to the inherent friction between brushes and commutators. This friction leads to energy losses in the form of heat, resulting in reduced overall efficiency. As a consequence, brushed motors tend to consume more power for the same output, making them less energy-efficient, especially in high-power applications.

Having extensively used brushless motors, I can attest to their outstanding efficiency. The absence of physical brushes eliminates the primary source of energy loss in the brushed motor. As a result, brushless motors operate at higher levels of efficiency, converting a larger portion of electrical energy into mechanical power. This efficiency advantage not only results in lower power consumption but also contributes to prolonged battery life in battery-operated devices and reduces overall operating costs.

Speed and Acceleration

In terms of speed and acceleration, brushed motors can deliver respectable performance, especially in lower to mid-speed ranges. However, they may exhibit some speed fluctuations, affecting their precision, particularly in high-speed applications. The brushes’ physical contact with the commutator can cause a phenomenon known as “brush bounce,” leading to slight speed variations.

The brushless motor truly excels in speed and acceleration capabilities. Its precise electronic control allows for smooth and consistent power delivery across a wide range of speeds. Whether it’s reaching top speeds quickly for on road RC cars, or maintaining a steady velocity when drifting RC cars, the brushless motor’s performance remains exceptional and reliable. I’ve witnessed brushless motors power electric vehicles with impressive acceleration and maintain constant speeds in precision industrial machinery.

Electrical Noise

One downside to brushed motors is the electrical noise generated during operation. The physical contact between brushes and the commutator creates electromagnetic interference, resulting in audible electrical noise. This noise can be distracting and potentially interfere with sensitive electronics nearby.

In contrast, brushless motors operate with minimal electrical noise, making them ideal for applications where quiet operation is crucial. The absence of physical brushes eliminates the primary source of noise generation, resulting in smooth and silent operation. This feature is particularly beneficial in environments where noise reduction is essential, such as drones, medical equipment, or audio recording devices.


In terms of pricing, brushed motors have an advantage. Their simpler construction and longer-established manufacturing processes contribute to a more budget-friendly price tag. This affordability makes them an attractive option for projects with cost constraints or applications that do not require the heightened performance of brushless motors.

As newer and more sophisticated technology, brushless motors generally come with a higher price point. The complexity of their construction and the incorporation of electronic components contribute to the increased cost. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term savings in energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs that come with brushless motors, making them economically viable for high-performance applications.


In conclusion, whether you are racing an RC stadium truck or drifting an RC car – the choice between a brushed motor and a brushless motor depends on your specific requirements and budget. If you seek a cost-effective solution for moderate power needs and can accommodate shorter lifespans, the brushed motor will serve you well. Its simplicity and reliability make it a go-to choice for numerous applications.

On the other hand, if you prioritize efficiency, durability, quiet operation, and enhanced performance, the brushless motor stands as the superior choice. Its advanced construction and precise electronic control offer unparalleled efficiency and longevity, making it an ideal fit for high-power, precision-centric applications.

Remember, when selecting a motor, consider the factors outlined here and how they align with your project’s demands. Both motors have their strengths and weaknesses, and by carefully assessing your needs, you can make an informed decision that perfectly complements your endeavors.

If you want to learn more about other RC cars facts, check out more posts in our blog!

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