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Author Topic: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?  (Read 14194 times)

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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2018, 10:02 PM »
Everything will be brushless in time.  It's just the manufacturing reality that the mass scale of cordless with brushless will make it more economical to use the brushless setup in everything.

More than anything expect hybrid tools to become the norm, where they are battery tools, but you can pop the battery off and plug on the adapter to take power from the wall.  1 tools, both options.  Better for end user, cheaper for manufacture.

Brushes work, though they do wear/spark.  The biggest downside of brushless is now you have to have a micro controller in there PWMing it.  Most tools, this is a potted brick of mystery. If it fries, the tool is dead and you are replacing the whole thing since the modules aren't standardized in any way.

Some tools it dying and being replaced is just annoying and not too bad on cost. But on bigger more expensive stuff, folks want to be able to re-pair/re-build them.

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Offline James Biddle

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2018, 09:52 AM »
If economics are the reason that Festool chooses not to use brushless motors in their cordless tools, how do you explain other companies like Makita and Milwaukee using brushless in a much wider variety of tools and selling them for less than Festool? 

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2018, 12:49 PM »
If economics are the reason that Festool chooses not to use brushless motors in their cordless tools, how do you explain other companies like Makita and Milwaukee using brushless in a much wider variety of tools and selling them for less than Festool?

Give them time.  I don't know the numbers but it's safe to assume Festool is a vastly smaller company than the others.  I would guess everyone in the festool engineering/design department knows everyone in it.  Resources to do these changes aren't tiny. Especially if you tend to be a company plagued with Not Invented Here syndrome.  The parts inside most brands of tools are standard.  Items like motors are the same and or interchangeable between different brands because they get them from the same places.  Once they get set up for the new stuff, and get some unique to their tool designs worked out or a flexible architecture you can run with it and start cranking stuff out.  Add to that the mass market brands refresh the tools constantly.  I have a ton of Milwaukee tools, every time I go past them in the store tools I have look to be yet another new model, and then that changes again.  Large companies with massive sales volume makes a huge difference.   Best I know, festool doesn't change stuff much. Basic designs can be around for decades (that's not a bad thing).  So if it's not broke, you probably won't change it anytime soon. And when you do make changes, they are probably limited in how much NRE they can put towards the changes.

It would be interesting to see how much tools Festool moves in a year.  That's why there being a full US operation is a bit surprising. While in certain circles they are well know, to the general public, even people who build stuff they are a completely unknown thing.  How they stay a float based on general guesses of how many tools they probably sell a year is a mystery to me. A couple lowes and HDs in a large metro area probably sells far more saws than all of Festool USA every year.

I will say I'm surprised they don't have more brushless stuff. I had actually assumed they had far more of them when I first learned about Festool.  But still I expect it will happen over time.  It's not like I think we will see a full redesign of the TS saws and such anytime soon.  I think people are more focused on things like not having to adjust brand new tools to get things square, or improved guide rails, or making all rails "holey" is a bigger priority for folks thank the motor.

Offline acknowlli

  • Posts: 8
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2020, 03:17 PM »
I know I am waking up the dead here, but I just can't let it unanswered :) I read the entire thread and ended up astounded  why the simple and straightforward answer just didn't come up :)

The reason corded tools don't have brushless DC motors, is because those can't run on AC from the grid. They need low voltage at a very high current. This is exactly what batteries provide, but the opposite of what the power cord has to offer.

If you had brushless DC motors in a corded tool, you would need to convert low current, high voltage AC power to high current low voltage DC. That means you have to implement an additional power supply, that is bigger and heavier than the BL-DC motor itself.
Brushless motors just don't make sense i a tool running on AC. It would only make the tool bulkier and heavier, with no added benefits.

Mirka has corded sanders with brushless DC motors, to provide a super compact sander with a very low center of gravity. It runs on 48V and comes with a heavy external power supply, that is bigger than the sander itself.
(I know, they are slowly sorting that out, too. But so far the universal motor has the better weight-power ratio when it comes to AC.)

Offline dallas8338

  • Posts: 19
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2020, 03:26 PM »
@acknowlli - The ETS EC is a corded brushless motor and so is the Planex Easy.

Quote from the Festool USA website:
The new ETS EC 150 EQ is perfectly built for manual operation to reduce fatigue when carrying out overhead sanding work and a good feeling on edges, as well as convenient operation in any position. This sander is only 4 1/2" (116 mm) high, contains a brushless EC-TEC motor, and ergonomic housing geometry with perfectly balanced center of gravity. This sander also comes with additional innovative details such as automatic dust control, integrated sanding pad brake, and the unique Vibration Control System for added health benefits.

Offline Pant

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2020, 03:52 PM »
The mirka brushless sander plugs directly into the wall.

Offline acknowlli

  • Posts: 8
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2020, 04:18 PM »
Agreed, the Planex has the power supply/motor combination because here it makes sense for improved weight distribution (away from the head). EC makes sense here because of the dustproof design.

Regarding Mirka, yes, as I said they are slowly figuring it out. The brushless sanders had external power supplies for many years. They start getting rid of those now.

Another benefit of BL DC is high torque at low speeds. That makes sense in sanders, because the addet weight from the power supply gets compensated, because you don't need a mechanical gearbox any more.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 04:20 PM by acknowlli »

Offline Alex

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2020, 06:05 PM »
The brushless sanders had external power supplies for many years. They start getting rid of those now.

Those Mirka sanders did not have that external power supply to make the sander brushless. They had that external power supply so the sander could run a on a low voltage and make it suitable for wet sanding.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1412
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2020, 06:53 PM »
Brushless has nothing to do with hi/lo current. hi/lo voltage.   

Brushless requires a controller, that is the difference.  It's an added cost, an if there isn't a need for it, they are not going to do it.

You design a motor for the need, if you need high torque, it will have high current draws.  Battery tools keep going to higher voltages so they can have more power without more amps.  Corded tools have never had much option, the voltage is either 120 or 230/240VAC.


Offline acknowlli

  • Posts: 8
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2020, 07:19 PM »
Ok, that sounds interesting. Mirka has replaced the entire Ceros series (external supply) with the newer Deros (internal power supply). Does that mean Mirka doesn't offer electric sanders suitable for wet sanding anymore?

Just curious :)

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 1007
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2020, 07:34 PM »
There is a fundamental difference in performance between brushed and brushless motors. The brushless motor is an induction motor so if it is overloaded, by being pushed too hard, it will drop out of sync and stall.

On the other hand a brushed motor will simply draw more current and keep going, for a short time untill it overheats and burns out.

This means that, for the same user performance, a brushless motor needs to be nearly twice the wattage rating.

This doesn't mean that a BL motor will use more power. Both motors will use roughly the same power for the same job but the B motor can easily exceed its rating if required. In battery tools a BL is more efficient, and has more torque at low speed, so the battery lasts longer.

Comparing the wattage rating between B and BL motors will not give you any indication of how they will perform in a power tool in actual use.

To prevent burnout on brushed motors manufacturers fit temp sensors which, like on the TS55, shut them down until they cool down.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2020, 07:38 PM »
There is a fundamental difference in performance between brushed and brushless motors. The brushless motor is an induction motor so if it is overloaded, by being pushed too hard, it will drop out of sync and stall.

As I already pointed out 2 years ago, brushless motors (specifically BLDC) are NOT induction motors, and these conclusions are therefore not correct.

Offline Alex

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2020, 07:38 PM »
Brushless requires a controller, that is the difference.  It's an added cost, an if there isn't a need for it, they are not going to do it.

There is a need for it because people want it. People want quiter motors that are more controllable and run smoother. Added cost? Hmm, not sure about that. Pretty sure that controller will soon be on a single chip costing 50 cents. Of course it costs a bit more now it is still new.

I remember how I bought my first hard disk drive back in 1997. Quantum Fireball 6,4 GB, top of the line back then. Paid €200 for it. Now you can buy a 2TB SSD for only €134. It has 300 times the capacity, 1/100th the size, and works about 80-100 times faster.

  Corded tools have never had much option, the voltage is either 120 or 230/240VAC.

Not much option? My smallest 220 volt tool draws 80 watts, my biggest 2600. Try that with your 36v batteries.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7357
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2020, 07:43 PM »
Ok, that sounds interesting. Mirka has replaced the entire Ceros series (external supply) with the newer Deros (internal power supply). Does that mean Mirka doesn't offer electric sanders suitable for wet sanding anymore?

Probably. I am not that familiar with Mirka's entire line. But I grew up in a body shop, and it was clear that Mirka wanted to offer their electric sanders as a replacement for the air sanders used in that sector, that's why they made them look exactly the same. When you work up your grits and you go above 800 you go over to wet sanding. Not a problem with an air sander, but not allowed with 220v electrical sanders. So they had to think up something, and the transformer was the answer. It was already used by diamond drills with water cooling and tile cutters.

But it is not hard to see people didn't like the separate transformer. Why carry two lumps around when you can just plug an air sander into your compressor line?

Smart move by Mirka to get rid of it. Their sanders are pretty popular now.

Offline acknowlli

  • Posts: 8
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2020, 07:52 PM »
Water cooled drills and cutters use an isolation transformer, so that the 230V coming out of it isn't referenced to ground, but floating. That prevents electric shock when touching a live wire while standing on conductive ground.
 
The low voltage DC power supply Mirka used for their Ceros sanders is an entirely different animal.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1412
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2020, 09:46 PM »
Brushless requires a controller, that is the difference.  It's an added cost, an if there isn't a need for it, they are not going to do it.

There is a need for it because people want it. People want quiter motors that are more controllable and run smoother. Added cost? Hmm, not sure about that. Pretty sure that controller will soon be on a single chip costing 50 cents. Of course it costs a bit more now it is still new.

I remember how I bought my first hard disk drive back in 1997. Quantum Fireball 6,4 GB, top of the line back then. Paid €200 for it. Now you can buy a 2TB SSD for only €134. It has 300 times the capacity, 1/100th the size, and works about 80-100 times faster.


Correct, my comment wasn't that people don't want it, or that there is not a benefit. Just that it is more expensive to make the brushless tool than the brushed tool. And as you say, the cost becomes very minor now.  Go back to my older post on this, and I said as much, that BL will take over in time.

  Corded tools have never had much option, the voltage is either 120 or 230/240VAC.

Not much option? My smallest 220 volt tool draws 80 watts, my biggest 2600. Try that with your 36v batteries.

Again, you missed the point.  I was responding to the lo/hi amps  lo/hi voltage nonsense.   The wall powered tools had fixed voltages. So any changes in power were purely Amp draw based.  Take further, you have a limit on power with a corded tool as the wall has a limit on both voltage and amps.  P=amps*Volts.

Battery systems  have fixed voltage too, but as we have seen over time, they keep increasing voltages of the battery systems, they do this because they don't want to pull massive amps to get that power.  18V ish tools will be a good norm for a long time, but as we see tool makers go into areas where gas powered stuff has been the norm (yard tools), you see the steady increase 36V, 56V, 60V, etc.  Those tools will probably be around 100V before long, as it's easy to make chargers with 120VAC, above that things get a bit more expensive.

Within the battery powered tool, if they don't need or want massive amps flowing, they can boost the voltage in the power electronics in the tool if they wanted to, but generally not worth the effort/cost.  Not sure if Dewalt or Milwalkee offer Tasers or Electric Fencers yet, give them time.

Offline Cheese

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Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2020, 10:18 PM »
Interesting...I went to wet sanding at the 400 level.

From my era, I’d use 400 grit on bare steel to abrade it down to a 500/600/800 level, who knows what level it was at, all we knew was that it was more than 400 grit.

30 years ago we didn’t have the luxury of choosing a 1200/2000 grit paper, it was simply a 3M Wet or Dry 400 paper worn out sanding steel. That was the best of the best.  [big grin]
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 09:35 AM by Cheese »

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7357
Re: What's the deal with non brushless new tools ?
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2020, 03:31 AM »
Cheese, you can wet sand at any level you want. When you get in the higher grits, the change is not as big as in the lower grits. The difference between 120 and 240 is bigger than between 400 and 800.

In the body shop we had a rack full of the black waterproof 3M paper, it ranged something like 400, 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000. Can't remember exactly anymore, that was around 40 years ago, but we had a lot of grits to choose from.