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BLDC motors provide battery boost

Longer battery runtimes in power tools thanks to innovative drives

Not too long ago, a glance at the tool shelf of a well-equipped hobby workshop revealed a veritable smorgasbord of battery-powered tools with just as many rechargeable batteries and their chargers. It was easy to lose track of them all and, in the worst case, have the wrong battery with you at the construction site. Now manufacturers and users are cleaning up their act.


One battery for all tools

The possibility of one battery for all tools is intended to put an end to the confusion of countless chargers and batteries. Many manufacturers of battery-powered tools are working toward common standards. The “Power for all Alliance,” for example, is one of the largest cross-brand battery systems. In this case, many tool and power tool manufacturers share the 18-volt battery with a single charger. This is a cost-saving solution which also has a positive impact on customer loyalty. This idea is not new: several years ago, individual well-known manufacturers of power tools had already started to equip their tools in the range with the same battery. This gave the customer a big advantage, because without batteries and chargers, tools were suddenly cheaper. Currently, the share for battery-powered power tools in Germany is at about 50 percent and rising. Cordless screwdrivers, in particular, are in high demand on construction sites.


Longer runtimes thanks to BLDC motors

In the field of battery-powered electric tools, devices with brushless DC motors (BLDC motors), such as those developed by MinebeaMitsumi Technology Center Europe GmbH in Villingen-Schwenningen, have an immense advantage. The electronics and motor are optimally matched to the customers’ needs. Machines that are operated with a brushless motor not only have better efficiency, but the battery also usually lasts 10 to 20 percent longer. The efficiency advantage over a brushed motor ranges from 5 to 30 percent. In addition, the BLDC motor produces much higher peak power, which is noticeable in the overload range of the machines. Tool manufacturers can design their tools to be even more compact, since a BLDC motor requires less space than its brush counterpart. The brushless machines can be equipped with numerous intelligent additional functions via the electronics. The advantages of the BLDC motor come into their own particularly during short, fast screwdriving operations, as it fully develops its power even in the lower speed range. Even if you reduce the pressure on the throttle switch and thus the speed of the motor, the maximum torque develops. This prevents slipping when tightening screws, for example. The key to the performance of brushless motors is the electronics. Anyone who replaces a brushed motor with a brushless motor in a power tool is only rudimentarily exploiting the potential of this technology. The higher price that craftsmen pay on average for BLDC machines today is then hardly justified. The price difference is also the reason why cordless tools with classic brushed motors are still frequently used. However, many tool manufacturers regularly talk to professional users in order to develop new products precisely in line with their requirements and wishes. Here, the service life and maintenance effort are particularly decisive factors. The brushless motor ensures that craftsmen can enjoy their power tools for longer and that the maintenance effort is significantly reduced. The further development of batteries and BLDC motors is the key to an almost perfect power tool.