How Long Do Carbon Brushes Last in Power Tools?

how long do carbon brushes last

How long do carbon brushes last?

Carbon brushes will on average last between 1 and 5 years in most power tools but this is all dependant on how much they are used in number of hours, the more daily use the power tool has the quicker it will wear over a certain period of time. 

Some brushes can last longer than others all depending on the power of the tool (aka how much wear it puts through the brushes per use). High AH battery powered cordless tools can wear the brushes away really quickly.

On a side note, as the battery technology changes, many cordless tools are changing to brushless formats to combat the need to change parts so regularly.

Signs of Wearing Carbon Brushes

The classic signs your brushes are ready to be replaced are:

  1. More Sparks Than Usual - a little sparking is normal, but if it's gradually getting worse then it is a sign of excessive wearing of brushes.
  2. Drops in Performance - if the tool is losing RPM and general performance, then it's a sign of the carbon brushes wearing out.
  3. Burning Smell - Caused by arcing or flashing could be a sign of brushes not fitted correctly, excessive brush wear damaged or dirty commutator. There are different types of smells that can also indicate other underlying issues with armatures and winding insulations which all leave distinctive smells. In any case you should stop using the power tool immediately and seek professional advice from a repair technician to diagnose exact cause.

If you think you need to replace your carbon brushes, then checkout our range here, where you can search for the exact model you need for your specific tool, and we offer home delivery across the UK.

Why are Carbon Brushes Important?

Carbon brushes play an important role in the transfer of current from the static part fo the moving part of an electrical motor, helping to transfer energy into the moving part of a power tool.

A damaged or poorly functioning carbon brush can reduce the performance of your tool.

What Impacts the Lifespan of a Carbon Brush?

Different factors can impact the lifespan of your tools carbon brush:

  • Brush material - the type and quality of the materials used in your carbon brush can impact the lifespan, so use a high quality brush made from carbon and graphite.
  • Brush grade - choose the grade of brush that's appropriate for your power tool, to ensure it's designed to be used for that motor speed/load.
  • Operating conditions - high speeds, high load, and harsh environments can all increase the wear on carbon brushes.
  • Maintenance practices - regular tool maintenance, cleaning, and inspection can help to identify issues early and prevent wear.

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