Best Motors: Increase the Efficiency of Your Power Tools
Improve the power output of your electric tools with these motors
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON March 19, 2021
Power tools such as drills may stop working after a period of time. That may be due to a blown motor, which you can replace by yourself if you are a DIYer. If you have a rough idea about how your tool's internal components work and would like to install a new motor, consider one of the options in our buying guide below.
A 12- to 36-volt DC motor with ball bearings in the front that can deliver up to 9,000 RPM.
- Delivers a large torque. Highly efficient and stable
- High-speed operation
- Runs quietly
- Cooling fan included
- Comes with two mounting holes for a perfect fit
- Can be used to power almost all electrical tools
- Lower RPM rating than most electrical motors
- No power labeling on the motos
- May be too large for some power tools
A 6- to 12-volt metallic motor with 12,000 RPM that can be used to power small DIY toys and electric power tools.
- Suitable for high torque applications
- Low-noise operation.
- Solid construction.
- Packed in a safe bubble bag
- Lightweight design.
- Great for powering electrical testing equipment.
- Low power rating
- Inadequate technical details on the product
- May burn out when used in power wheels
This motor has metal gears that resist high temperatures and abrasion. The motor has a high load capacity and a D-shaped output shaft
- Made with precision windings for more power
- Hardened steel construction provides impact resistance, extended service life
- High torque ability, low noise
- You can only reduce the speed of the motor, not increase it
- May be too loud for some
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Motors
- Versatility. Motors are used in a wide variety of applications. They operate everything from small electronic devices, such as your cell phone, to robotic gadgets, power tools, and much more.
- Highly efficient. Electric motors generate motion by changing electrical energy to mechanical energy. They are strong, useful in high-torque applications, and, depending on the brand, long-lasting.
- Replaceable. If you have a favorite power tool that stops running, you don't have to throw it away. With just a small investment and a little know-how, you can replace the motor to get it working again.
Types of Motors
This type of motor is one of the most common. It is used in toys, home appliances, and automobiles. The contact brushes connect to a commutator to direct the current. These motors are not very expensive to produce and are easy to control. They provide great torque at low speeds, which is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs). The drawback is you must replace worn-out brushes frequently. Also, they are not as fast as other motors, and they tend to be loud due to brush arcing.
These motors, which have permanent magnets in the rotor assembly, are also common and are used frequently by hobbyists. Compared to DC brush motors, brushless ones are more efficient, quieter, more powerful, and they don't require as much maintenance. However, they can be hard to control if you don't have a specialized regulator. They also need special gearboxes. Overall, they are more expensive and complex than other motors.
Printers, machine tools, and other equipment use stepper motors, which are designed for precision. They are high-torque motors that allow the user to go from one step to another. A controller sends a signal to a driver, which transfers the necessary voltage to the motor. Stepper motors are easy to make and control, but they have a tendency to draw a lot of current, and top speeds can be limited.
Hobbyists often use servo motors for remote control devices such as robots and RC toy vehicles. They provide position control but not precision. These motors feature a potentiometer and a control circuit. Electrical pulses are sent to a control wire, and the motors can be either AC or DC. DC is used for hobby applications, while AC is for industrial machinery.
German electrical engineer and industrialist Werner von Siemens founded the electrical and telecommunications company in 1847. Siemens manufactures a variety of motors, ranging from servo motors to high-voltage and DC motors. Two of its small motors include the Siemens 1800 Rpm 208 230/460-Volt 215tc General Purpose Electric Motor and the Siemens 3600 Rpm 230/460-volt 143t General Purpose Electric Motor.
Marathon is one of the brands of Regal Beloit Corporation, which is headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin. The company has facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The Marathon brand provides high-quality and efficient motors to hundreds of industries. One of its top products is the Marathon B208 Blower Belted Motor.
- Between $5 and $25: Motors vary in price depending on what type you purchase and what its application is. DC motors are quite affordable and usually cost less than $25.
- Between $6 and $85: Vibrating motors can be found for under $85.
- Between $12 and $45: This price range is where you can purchase a brushless motor.
- Between $13 and $125: Stepper motors are the most expensive motors. They can cost up to $125.
The current powers a motor. If there's too much, it can harm the device. Operating and stall current are critical on DC motors. The operating current is the amount of current the motor is likely to use under conventional torque. Stall current allows the motor to run at a stall speed or 0 RPM.
The voltage keeps the current running in one direction. The more voltage a motor has, the more torque it will have. To determine how efficient a DC motor is, look at the voltage rating. If you do not apply enough volts, the motor won't work. Too many volts will cause power loss or total failure.
The RPM determines the velocity and speed of a motor. Usually, motors are most efficient if they are used at the highest speeds. However, gearing may prevent you from using high speeds. The addition of gears decreases a motor's efficiency. As a result, you need to also consider speed and torque.
- Enclosures. Some motors have enclosures, while others do not. An enclosure keeps the internal parts of the motor protected and is recommended in certain environments. For example, motors used in an ambient atmosphere typically have open drip-proof enclosures. Some also have fan-cooled enclosures, which provide ultimate protection.
- Environment. Consider the type of environment the motor will be operating in before making a purchase. The device's dimensions and durability play a big role when you're working in a high-temperature, damp, or corrosive area, for example. In particularly rough environments, motors should have reinforced and shock-resistant casings.
- Efficiency. Energy efficiency is an important factor for many people. When you're selecting a motor, you want to determine how efficient it is. One benefit is that a motor that uses less energy will be more cost-effective. Therefore, if you want to save money, choose a motor that has a low energy impact.
Best Motors Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Before deciding that a bad motor is the cause of your power tool’s failure, consider checking the wiring and electrical outlet. Ensure that the power cords are well connected and that you are getting a steady power supply.
- If you recently purchased a new motor, inspect it for corrosion, rust, or any sort of damage before installing it. It’s not uncommon to receive a used motor, especially if you are buying it online.
- Any physical abuse or mishandling of your power tool can weaken the motor’s magnetic fields. Keep your power tools in a safe storage place and avoid dropping them.
Q: What are the signs of a faulty motor?
One of the major signs of a bad motor is an excessive rattling or vibration sound from the internal components, especially when running the power tool at high speeds. Also, the speed of the power tool may be difficult to control and may render the controls almost useless.
Q: What is a universal electric motor?
A universal motor can run on either a single-phase AC supply or DC power. Universal motors deliver high torque and can run at speeds of up to 3,500 RPM. They come as stock motors for most power tools, such as portable drills, and even domestic vacuum cleaners.
Q: Do motors need lubrication?
Yes. Proper lubrication of the motor’s ball and roller bearings can prevent premature motor failure that’s often caused by rust. Environmental conditions can also corrode the motor. You should lubricate it with grease as opposed to wet oil since it’s less likely to leach out when the motor is running.
The Qianson DC Moto is our top pick. It’s highly efficient and can be used to run any power tool or electronic toy. Its power rating is also high enough to power domestic tools, such as a sewing machine.
If you are looking for a cheap and high-quality motor, consider the AUTOTOOLHOME Mini DC Motor.