We saw in a previous article the difference and advantages between a traditional brushed motor and brushless technology (basically a reduction in the wear of moving parts and a significant reduction in friction losses, which results in greater energy savings).
In this note we will see what maintenance brushless motors need, and what care they should receive.
Maintenance of brushless or brushless power tools
Maintenance of this type of tool must be carried out in two stages: a daily one —after each use— and a periodic one — every three months, for example.
Daily cleaning: brushless motor
It is a superficial and very simple cleaning, which does not take more than a couple of minutes. Only the ventilation openings at the rear of the engine (and if any, elsewhere) need to be cleaned with a brush. After removing lint and loose dirt, wipe with a cloth dampened with water and a neutral detergent to remove any remaining dirt.
Repeat the same procedure in the chuck area, taking care that the dirt does not fall inside. At this point, once every fifteen days, it is advisable to insert a drop of lubricant (which must be formulated oil for machines). This should only be done if the interior is clean. If not, wait for regular maintenance.
Periodic review: brushless motors
It consists of a general review of the tool once a month. The cable or battery, housing, chuck, vents, and actuation buttons need to be inspected.
When inspecting the cable, look for cracks, peeling, and any other abnormalities. You can take the opportunity to clean it with a cloth dampened with water and a neutral detergent.
The housing must be clean, free of grease and dirt, and free of cracks or tears. The ventilation openings must be open, clean and unbroken. The actuation buttons must be clean and without cracks.
General cleaning: engines without carbons
In general, manufacturers advise against cutting the tool apart; in the case of power tools brushless The intervention of a knowledgeable electrician or electronics technician is advised, as it can be a risky operation if the person in charge of disassembling does not have knowledge of electricity, safety and hygiene.
However, it is still important to periodically carry out a more thorough cleaning, which involves cutting the tool for internal engine cleaning.
Component cleaning: brushless motor
Each manufacturer and model has a catalog and an exploded drawing that must be consulted before starting the disassembly. It is very important to take this into account, since these motors are usually a bit more complex than traditional brushed motors, and people unfamiliar with their design may later find that they do not know how to put it back together.
With the appropriate exploded drawing, the engine is disassembled into its components. Each of them should be brushed over with a soft brush to remove any loose dirt particles. Then the remainder must be removed with a compressed air blowtorch. If there is adhering dirt, it must be removed with a piece of tissue paper moistened with a special foam for electrical components.
Once all the pieces are clean and dry, the assembly must proceed. This is a good time to lubricate the shaft and bearings.
Lubrication: brushless motors
The shaft must be lubricated with a thin film of machine oil. On the other hand, if the bearings feel dry, they must receive a lubricant specially formulated for them.
It is important to understand that bearings should only be lubricated if there is a need for it; otherwise, it is counterproductive.
If the bearings require lubrication, it is necessary to determine what type of lubricant they should receive. For most motor bearings, grease with a synthetic base is indicated; failing that, lithium grease.
Internal cleaning of the housing
In addition to cleaning the engine, it is important to clean the inside of the casing. This is achieved with the use of a soft brush, a cloth dampened in water and neutral detergent, and tissue papers to dry everything.
The interior of the case, being plastic, attracts most dirt particles due to its tendency to store static electricity. You may also receive microparticles of lubricant. All this forms a substance that adheres to its walls, causing a film to form after a period of use that must be removed to allow the free flow of clean air. If not removed, lint and loose dirt will adhere to the film, causing the engine components to become dirty as well.
The greatest danger of this film of dirt is that, over time, adhered particles can loosen and fall on the motor, contaminating the interior of the bearings, stator and rotor, causing those components to be scratched or damaged.
That is how simple it is to maintain brushless motors, well done, it considerably increases the life of the tool.