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Brushed vs Brushless Lawn Mower

Posted by Darrell Ross on
Gardening Tools
Brushed vs Brushless Lawn Mower

The main difference between a brushed and brushless lawn mower lies in the type of motor they use, which affects their efficiency, durability, maintenance requirements, and performance. Brushless lawn mowers offer improved efficiency, durability, and performance at a higher upfront cost, while brushed lawn mowers are more affordable but come with higher maintenance and lower efficiency.

Brushed Lawn Mowers

Motor Design

Brushed motors operate with carbon brushes that maintain physical contact with the motor’s commutator to facilitate electrical conductivity. This traditional motor design is simpler and has been used in various electrical devices for decades, providing a proven but somewhat less efficient method of power transmission.


The efficiency of brushed motors is generally lower compared to their brushless counterparts. The friction generated by the brushes against the commutator results in energy loss, primarily through heat. This not only reduces the motor’s overall efficiency but can also lead to faster depletion of the power source, particularly in battery-operated lawn mowers.


The physical contact between the brushes and the commutator leads to wear and tear over time. As the brushes degrade, their performance diminishes, which can result in the motor running less smoothly and eventually requiring maintenance or replacement of the brushes to maintain performance.


Brushed motors are less expensive to manufacture due to their simpler design and the established production processes. This cost advantage is often passed on to the consumer, making brushed lawn mowers a more budget-friendly option for those who prioritize initial cost savings over long-term efficiency and maintenance.

Heat and Noise

The friction between the brushes and the commutator not only reduces efficiency in your mowing practices but also generates heat and mechanical noise. This can make brushed lawn mowers noisier and potentially overheat during prolonged use, which might be a consideration for user comfort and the longevity of the mower.

Brushless Lawn Mowers

Motor Design

A brushless lawn mower has a motor that eliminates the need for physical brushes by using an electronic controller to switch the current within the motor. This advanced design allows for more precise control of the motor’s power and speed, leading to enhanced performance and efficiency.


Without the friction and energy loss associated with brushes, brushless motors operate more efficiently. This translates to less heat generation, lower energy consumption, and the ability to provide more power to the cutting blades when needed, making them ideal for varying lawn conditions.


The absence of brushes in these motors means there’s no wear and tear from brush friction, significantly extending the lifespan of the motor. Brushless motors are known for their reliability and reduced maintenance needs, making them a worthwhile investment for those looking for longevity in their lawn care equipment.


The technology behind brushless motors is more sophisticated, leading to higher production costs. These costs are reflected in the price of brushless lawn mowers, which are typically higher than their brushed counterparts. However, the increased upfront cost can be offset by the motor’s longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.


Brushless motors can adjust their power output based on the resistance they encounter, such as when cutting through thick grass. This adaptive power delivery not only conserves energy when the load is light but also provides extra power when needed, ensuring efficient and effective mowing under various conditions.

Comparison Chart

This comparison chart that outlines the differences and similarities between brushed and brushless lawn mowers:

FeatureBrushed Lawn MowersBrushless Lawn Mowers
Motor DesignUtilize carbon brushes for electrical conductivity, simpler design.Use an electronic controller for current switching, more complex and efficient design.
EfficiencyLower due to friction and energy loss from brushes.Higher as there's no brush friction, leading to better energy use and less heat generation.
DurabilityLower because brushes wear out over time, requiring maintenance or replacement.Higher as there are no brushes to wear out, leading to less maintenance.
CostGenerally cheaper due to simpler design and established manufacturing processes.More expensive upfront due to advanced technology and manufacturing costs.
Heat and NoiseTend to generate more heat and noise due to brush friction.Typically run cooler and quieter as there's no brush friction.
PerformanceConsistent power output but may struggle under heavy load due to efficiency losses.Can adapt power output to the task, providing more power when needed and conserving energy when not.
MaintenanceRequires periodic maintenance to replace worn brushes.Minimal maintenance needed, mainly for cleaning and blade care.
LongevityGenerally shorter lifespan due to brush wear.Longer lifespan due to lack of mechanical wear in the motor.


Functionality: Both types are designed to cut grass effectively, with options available in various sizes and power outputs to suit different lawn care needs.

Power Source: Both brushed and brushless lawn mowers can be powered by electricity (corded) or batteries (cordless), offering flexibility in how they are used.

User Interface: Typically, both types will offer similar user interfaces, with controls for power, blade height adjustment, and safety features.

In summary, the choice between brushed and brushless lawn mowers involves considering the balance between initial cost and long-term benefits such as efficiency, durability, and performance. Brushless mowers offer significant advantages in these areas, making them a preferred choice for those willing to invest in higher quality and performance.