When it comes to lawn care, the efficiency and performance of lawn mowers play a pivotal role. In lawn mower technology, a significant debate centers around brushless vs brushed lawn mower motors. These two types of motors, each with unique attributes and drawbacks, profoundly impact lawn mowers’ functionality and user experience. Deciding on the best mower for you is as important as selecting the right items to make your home cozy. Hence, understanding the differences between brushed and brushless motors is crucial for homeowners, landscapers, and anyone interested in lawn maintenance. This article delves into the intricacies of brushless and brushed motors, exploring their mechanisms, benefits, and limitations. It provides a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision in selecting the right lawn mower.

Quick Comparison Chart

FeatureBrushless Lawn MowersBrushed Lawn Mowers
MechanismUtilize an electronic control system to manage power distribution, eliminating the need for carbon brushes.Operate using carbon brushes to facilitate the electrical connection within the motor.
Efficiency & PerformanceHigher efficiency and performance due to better energy management and less friction.Less efficient compared to brushless motors due to energy loss from brush friction.
MaintenanceRequire less maintenance as there are no carbon brushes or commutators to wear out.Higher maintenance needs due to wear and tear on carbon brushes and commutators.
Battery LifeLonger battery life in cordless models due to higher efficiency.Shorter battery life in cordless models due to less efficient energy use.
Noise & WeightQuieter operation and often lighter due to compact motor design.Tend to be louder and heavier because of the mechanical design of the brushed motor.
Eco-friendlinessMore eco-friendly with reduced emissions and energy consumption.Less eco-friendly due to less efficient energy use and higher emissions.
CostHigher initial cost due to advanced technology and materials.Generally more affordable due to simpler technology.
Repair ComplexityRepairs can be more complex and often require professional servicing due to sophisticated electronics.Simpler construction makes DIY repairs more feasible for many users.
Durability & LongevityTypically longer lifespan due to reduced wear and tear.Shorter operational life due to friction and wear from brushes.
SuitabilityPreferred for professional landscaping and larger areas due to efficiency and durability.Suitable for residential use, especially for smaller lawns due to cost-effectiveness.

What are Brushed Lawn Mowers?

At the heart of traditional lawn mowers lie brushed motors. These motors have been the standard for several years, offering a simple yet effective solution for lawn mowing needs. Brushed motors operate using carbon brushes that facilitate the electrical connection within the motor. These brushes play a critical role in conducting electricity between the stable and rotating parts of the motor, an essential process in generating the mower’s power. Despite their widespread use, brushed motors have certain limitations, such as higher maintenance needs and less efficiency than their brushless counterparts.

What are Brushless Lawn Mowers?

The advent of brushless motors has revolutionized lawn mower technology. Unlike brushed motors, brushless motors omit carbon brushes, opting for an advanced electronic control system instead. This system manages the power distribution within the motor, leading to enhanced efficiency and performance. Brushless lawn mowers, powered by these sophisticated motors, are known for their longevity, reduced noise levels, and eco-friendliness. They offer a significant upgrade over traditional mowers regarding energy usage and maintenance requirements, making them a popular choice for modern lawn care. However, this advanced technology comes at a higher cost in terms of initial investment and repair complexity.

Advantages of Brushless Lawn Mowers

Enhanced Efficiency with Brushless Motor Technology

Brushless lawn mowers, equipped with advanced brushless DC motors, exhibit a significant leap in efficiency. These mowers utilize an electronic controller to manage the electric current, replacing the need for carbon brushes. This results in less energy loss and more power, especially notable when tackling thick grass.

Longer Battery Life

The efficiency of brushless motors extends battery life, a crucial factor for cordless models. Using a lithium-ion battery, brushless lawn mowers can operate longer on a single charge, making them suitable for medium to large-sized yards.

Reduced Maintenance

Brushless mowers require less maintenance compared to brushed models. The absence of carbon brushes and copper windings in the motor reduces wear and tear, leading to a longer lifespan for the mower.

Quieter Operation and LightWeight

The brushless design of these mowers contributes to quieter operation, making them less disruptive in residential areas. Additionally, the compact nature of brushless motors often results in a lighter-weight mower, enhancing user comfort and maneuverability.

Eco-friendly and Safe

Brushless motor technology in lawn mowers is not only efficient but also eco-friendly. They emit fewer pollutants, making them a greener choice for outdoor power equipment. The brushless design also reduces the risk of sparks, enhancing safety during operation.

Disadvantages of Brushless Lawn Mowers

Higher Initial Cost

The advanced technology of brushless DC motors and the added benefits of brushless lawn mowers come at a higher price than brushed models. This can be a significant factor for those on a budget considering a new mower.

Complexity in Repairs

The sophisticated electronic components in brushless mowers make repairs more complex. Unlike brushed mowers, which many can service at home due to their simpler construction, brushless models often require professional servicing.

Advantages of Brushed Lawn Mowers


Brushed mowers generally come at a lower initial cost. The traditional technology of brushed motors, using carbon brushes and copper windings, is less expensive, making these mowers more affordable.

Simplicity in Design and Repairs

The straightforward design of brushed motors makes them easier to understand and repair. This can be a significant advantage for individuals who prefer to handle lawn equipment maintenance themselves.

Disadvantages of Brushed Lawn Mowers

Higher Maintenance Needs

Brushed mowers demand more frequent maintenance. The wear and tear on carbon brushes require regular checks and replacements, adding to the overall upkeep cost.

Shorter Battery Life

In models using a lithium-ion battery, the less efficient nature of brushed motors results in a shorter battery life. This can be a limitation for larger yards requiring extended mowing times.

Louder and Heavier

Brushed mowers tend to be louder and heavier compared to brushless models. The mechanical design of the brushed motor contributes to increased noise and weight, potentially impacting user comfort and ease of use.

Comparing Brushless and Brushed Lawn Mower

man fixing a mower

In the brushless vs. brushed lawnmowers debate, it is crucial to understand how these two types of mowers stack up against each other in various aspects. This comparative analysis will delve into the key differences, focusing on performance, technology, and application in lawn care.

Performance Comparison – Brushless vs Brushed Lawn Mowers

Efficiency and Power Output

A brushless lawn mower, powered by brushless DC motors generally offers higher efficiency. Using permanent magnets in brushless motors leads to more effective power conversion, resulting in stronger torque and speed control. This translates to better performance in challenging conditions, like cutting through thick or wet grass. In contrast, while competent, brushed mowers may not match the power output and efficiency of their brushless counterparts.

Durability and Longevity

Brushless mowers typically exhibit greater durability, particularly models like the Ryobi brushless mower. The lack of physical contact within the motor minimizes wear and tear, extending the mower’s lifespan. Brushed mowers, however, tend to have a shorter operational life due to the friction caused by carbon brushes.

Technological Advancements – Brushless DC Motors vs Electric Motors

Motor Construction and Mechanism

The fundamental difference lies in the motor construction. Brushless lawn mowers utilize a brushless DC motor where the electric current and magnetic fields are controlled electronically, eliminating the need for physical brushes. This results in a more efficient and cooler-running motor. Brushed mowers use a more traditional electric motor design, where carbon brushes transfer electricity to the rotating part of the motor, leading to more friction and wear.

Control and Adaptability

Brushless mowers offer superior control and adaptability, as the speed and torque of the motor can be adjusted more precisely. This is especially useful in power tools and outdoor equipment where varying conditions demand different power outputs. Brushed motors, while robust, lack this level of adaptability and control.

Application in Lawn Care – Choosing the Right Mower

For Residential Use

For homeowners with small to medium-sized lawns, a brushed mower might be sufficient and more cost-effective. These mowers’ simplicity and lower cost can be appealing for routine lawn care tasks.

For Professional Landscaping

Professionals often prefer brushless lawn mowers due to their efficiency, power, and durability. The long battery life and robustness of brushless models make them suitable for extensive use in larger areas or for commercial lawn care services.

Environmental Considerations

From an eco-friendly perspective, brushless mowers are more advantageous due to their energy efficiency and lower emissions. They are a more sustainable choice for environmentally conscious users.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, the decision between a brushless vs brushed lawn mower hinges on individual needs, budget, and the specific demands of the lawn. For those prioritizing long-term efficiency and eco-friendliness, brushless mowers are the way forward. Conversely, for casual users with smaller lawns and budget constraints, brushed mowers remain a viable and practical option. In either case, understanding the nuances of each technology is key to making an informed choice that aligns with one’s lawn care requirements and preferences. We hope this has been helpful!