The Difference Between Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors

By Joe Rich

If you are in the market for a RC car you will have come across the term brushed motors and brushless motors.

In this article we are going to explain the difference between the two types of motor.

The Difference Between Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors
The Difference Between Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors

What is a brushed or brushless motor?

Read on, all will be explained the pros and cons and the good and the bad points of both types.


RC model motor cars that are battery-powered are cars that are controlled from a distance using specialized types of transmitters or remote. Hence, the RC is an abbreviation of two terms,”radio controlled” or “remote controlled”. RC cars include those cars that are being controlled via wire connections.

But nowadays, the term is commonly used to refer to the cars that are controlled via radio frequency connection.

The 2 most popular electric RC car types are

1 Off-Road Buggies R.C Cars

The Off-Road Buggy RC cars are specifically designed to explore off-road terrains. The rougher the terrain, the better you experience their functionalities.

This category of RC cars features an independent full-travel suspension with long-travel shock absorbers and a great ground clearance open-wheel design, as well as spiked tires for grips and traction.

2 On-Road R.C Cars

The On-RC cars are designed for flatly paved grounds since they cannot take jumps; hence, they cannot travel off-road due to their low chassis and less shock absorbent.

However, they travel faster at a higher speed. They are commonly designed as sports cars.

Electric-powered R.C Cars

An electric-powered remote control car is powered by an electric motor engine.

The power sources are batteries which give this category of RC cars a higher operation efficiency and excellent acceleration performance.

Since there is no burning of fuel, the engine is cleaner and eco-friendly.

Every RC car needs a motor for it to move and the motor is the most important feature of a car.

As a beginner in this great hobby, you may be wondering what types of motors are in RC cars and how these motors operate as well as their benefits and disadvantages.

In addition, it is important you understand the mechanisms behind the different types of R.C car motors so that you can make the right choice while considering having an RC car.

The following is the beginner’s guide to brushed and brushless RC car motor.

The Difference Between Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors

There are two types of electric RC model car motors:

  1. Brushed RC car motor
  2. Brushless RC car motor

Both types of RC motors have the same internal operating mechanisms. Both motor types are powered by direct current (DC) in which the motor wire windings have DC current that is supplied to them.

As a result, an electromagnetic- field gets generated. The generated electromagnetic field alternately pushes and repels against these permanent magnets, thereby causing these shaft to turn.

The pushing effect of the turning shaft successively transfers kinetic energy from a set of these windings to the other set and as a result causes the motor-shaft to rotate continuously.

However, there are basic differences in the operation of the two types of R.C car motors.

Brushed RC Motor

The brushed motor has wire windings which are fixed onto a central shaft. Therefore, the windings spin along with the shaft as the current gets applied.

In addition, the magnets are permanent, they do not move as they are firmly fixed onto the inside parts of the motor.

The motor windings receive electric power through two brushes of positive and negative poles.

The brushes are usually made of copper, silver or graphite. These brushes push against a commutator that’s located on the central shaft.

The frictional force is always generated between the commutator and the brush which makes the motor less efficient and with a less run time.

Due to the friction, the brushes as well as the commutator will wear off with time, and this explains why a more powerful RC brushed motor wears faster than a less powerful one.

However, RC cars with a brushed motor are more affordable.

Brushless RC Motor

Unlike the RC brushed motor, brushless motors do not require any physical commutator, and this is among the reasons many buyers go for brushless RC cars.

Due to the absence commutator, RC cars are easy to maintain and it saves the buyer great maintenance costs since there are no wearing brushes and commutators and the bearings can last a fairly long time.

Since a brushless-Motor does not make use of any current carrying device (commutator and brushes), it uses components such as an external rotor and three-phase driving coils as well as an integrated electronic drive.

In addition, there is a sensor that detects the position of the rotor.

Hence, the coils are gradually triggered synchronously, one phase after the other, and the electronic drive is initiated by the sensors.

Though brushless motor RC cars are more expensive than the brushed-motor RC cars yet you will be able to find an affordable RC car with a brushless-motor system.

Advantages of Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors

Brushed RC motor

  1. Brushed RC motors are relatively cheaper to produce; hence, less expensive.
  2. Brushed RC motor is less complex as it only requires two wires in order to power it.
  3. It is more rugged and robust, so it can withstand rough environments.

Brushless RC motor

  • Brushless RC motor requires very low maintenance as no brushes or commutator wear out and replaced. Hence, it saves the buyer a great deal of maintenance cost.
  • Compared with the brushed RC car motor, brushless RC car motor features a higher efficiency.
  • It has a longer run time.
  • It has a higher speed than the brushed-motor.
  • It is more durable.

Disadvantages of Brushed and Brushless RC Motors

Brushed RC Car Motor

  • Brushed RC car motor has high maintenance cost because the brushes as well as commutator will wear out with time.
  • It is much less efficient than the brushless RC car motor because more power gets wasted due to friction between commutator and the brushes.
  •  Due to the friction, it may overheat.
  •  As a result, it has a lower run time.
  • It is less durable.
  • It has a lower speed.

Brushless RC Car Motor

  • It requires an Electric controller.
  • It is expensive to produce.
  • It has complex electronics.
The Difference Between Brushed and Brushless RC Car Motors

Conclusion

Hope the above information has been helpful to you and I hope you will find it easy to buy an RC car with the right motor that will be suitable for you.

Though there are three major features to be considered, when choosing your motor, the most important is the motor system while considering efficiency, maintenance and lifespan.

Nevertheless, you need to be aware of the status of your wallet.

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