In the blue corner, weighing in at 3.8 lbs, with torque peaking at 500 inch-pounds and speeds up to 1,800 RPMs, we have a Milwaukee brushed hammer drill!

In the red corner, weighing in at 3.2 lbs, with torque peaking at 1,200 inch-pounds and speeds up to 2,000 RPMs, we have a Milwaukee brushless hammer drill!

Which one should you put your money on? Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t have a line available…but we do!

Though brushed tools have been the norm in the world of cordless tools, a new wave of technology, known as “brushless,” was introduced some time ago.

So what does brushless mean? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like…the tool has no brushes. Though we can go on and on about the technical stuff, here’s what you need to know:


Dewalt DCD996B

Probably the single most important thing to consider when buying a tool is how much power will it provide. And going brushless will give you more power.

In a brushless motor, you no longer have the brushes and commutator.

In tools with brushes, a charge is delivered when the brushes come into contact with the commutator. But this also causes friction, which not only reduces the speed of the tool but also builds up heat, which could cause the tool to overheat.

The absence of brushes will allow for the motor to run more efficiently and cooler, which will allow the tool to deliver more power.


Makita Carbon Brushes
Makita Carbon Brushes

There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a job and having your tool breakdown. In a perfect world, your tool would never break down. But if we lived in a perfect world, I’d be on the golf course sipping on a cold beer, hitting a long, straight ball every time and not wanting to throw my driver in the lake that I just hit my ball into!

Since we don’t live in a perfect world, increase the chances of having your tools for a long time by going brushless. Carbon brushes are the most commonly replaced tool parts, simply from wear and tear and use of the tool.


Lastly, the electronic controller in brushless tools allow the manufacturers to create much more compact, lighter weight tools. (I spoke about this in my blog post about Makita’s new Sub-Compact line.)

So, there you have it. Brushless tools deliver more power, require less maintenance, live longer, weigh less and are more compact.

Though you will pay a little more for brushless tools, the benefits will easily pay for themselves over time.

We went from corded to cordless, and now to brushless cordless. What’s next? Only time will tell!

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