brushed motors run hotter than brushless (learn why)


Brushed and brushless motors are designed by their manufacturers to do the same thing. 

Although both are popular among users, there has been a question of whether brushed motors get hotter than brushless ones.

This and more will form the crux of this article.

Why Do brushed motors run hotter than brushless?

Yes, brushed motors run hotter than brushless motors. Brushed motors run at a temp of 180F-220F while brushless motors run at temps of 160F-175F.
This makes the brushed RC motors less efficient than brushless RC motors since some of their energy is converted into heat rather than speed or torque.

Why do brushed motors run hotter than brushless?

The mechanical design of brushed motors makes for more friction during use. Let’s look at it this way. The brushed motors are built so that the brush is always in contact with the commutator to generate a charge. This steady contact between these two components causes a lot of friction.

Of course, with steady friction, the brushed motors generate more heat and get hotter when in use.

Another way of explaining this is to imagine a motorcycle moving while the brake pad is in steady contact with the wheels. Apart from slowing down the movement of the motorcycle, this will essentially make the wheel hotter over time.

So, brushed motors run hotter than brushless due to the differences in their designs. In other words, this is not to say that brushless motors do not get hot; of course, they do. Every electronic tool that runs a motor eventually gets hot when used over some period.

Again, due to the friction that comes from running the brushed motor, the bearing gets weaker easily and begins to seize over time. This also makes the brushed motor hotter than the brushless one.

Are brushed motors supposed to get hot?

Yes, brushed motors are supposed to get hot. Think of the components of brushed motors and how they connect with one another, and you’d see why brushed motors get hot during usage. 

All brushed motors are typically designed to have their coil rotate inside their surrounding magnets. As such, there is an unavoidable contact between the brush and the commutator as the coil rotates

This process turns on the current flow through the coil of the motor. This may sound like a simple electrical design, but it’s not that simple as many mechanical wastes come from this.

One of them is that with the constant contact between the brushes and the commutator, the current is generated through the coil so that the brushed motor can perform.

In other words, this is not to say that it is wrong for your brushed motor to get hot. However, there is a limit to how hot the temperature of the brushed motor can get.

For instance, every car engine gets hot after being used for a while. However, there is a limit to this as indicated on the dashboard, so the driver will know when it’s overheating. If the temperature goes beyond the limit, you can suspect a fault.

The same goes for how hot a brushed motor can get.

What is the ideal working temperature for BRUSHED motors?

Every motor engine has an ideal temperature; hence the brushed motor is not an exception. Experts generally placed the normal working temperature of brushed motors around 180F to 220F. However, you must understand that you increase the durability of the brushed motor when used at a moderate temperature.

Although, some experts have argued that since most brushed motors come with ceramic magnets, they can work at a higher temperature of about 250 degrees celsius. So, the point is to identify whether your brushed motor comes with the ceramic magnet or the rare-earth magnet, before working at a higher temperature.

If you must overwork the brushed motor, you can keep a fan close to the motor to act as a coolant. However, you must remember that this does not reduce wear and tear.

how hot is too hot for a brushed motor 

Any machine without a heat regulator or a thermostat can overheat if not managed properly. The brushed motor does not have a temperature regulator, and as such, when it runs for a long period above the 170F mark, then it might get too hot.

Thorough read: How Hot Should A Brushed Motor Get

Do brushless motors get hot?

Yes, brushless motors do get hot. It’s only natural for the brushless motor to get hot despite being powered electronically, but allowing it to get too hot might be detrimental. 

While some brushless motors can accommodate higher temperatures than others, it’s recommended that it should not exceed 175F.

Most brushless motors now come with thermal overload protection, so, they can shut down by themselves if you let them reach an abnormal temperature.

What is the ideal working temperature for BRUSHLESS motors?

For optimum performance, the brushless motors should run at 160 degrees. Although some brands can allow for higher temperatures, it’s generally advisable to allow your brushless motor to run at 160 degrees.

Don’t damage your motor: How Hot Should A Brushless Motor Get (avoid overheating)

Can brushed and brushless motors overheat?

The brushed and brushless motors can overheat if used wrongly.

However, the brushed motors tend to overheat faster if used mindlessly since they do not come with a thermostat.

How to keep brushed RC motor cool

You can keep the brushed RC motor cool by doing the following:

  • Use in a well-ventilated environment

A brushed RC motor needs enough air to reduce the heat it generates. The stuffier the environment, the hotter it gets, especially when used for a long time. In providing ventilation to the RC car, your attention must be on the motor as it does almost all the work.

  • Keep a fan close to it.

To further keep your brushed motor at a cool temperature, you should consider keeping a fan close to the device. With this, you channel air directly into your brushed motor.
Motor cooling fans are very efficient in heat reduction and can lower the motor’s temperature by 10 to 20F.

  • Use a heat sink

A heat sink will help draw out heat from your brushed RC motor if positioned appropriately on your RC car. The good thing about heat sinks is that you can get a small one and attach it to your motor.

  • Adjust the gearing.

There is no doubt that gearing is critical in regulating your RC motor’ temperature to keep it in good shape. Plus, the first line of action most RC car owners take is to adjust the gearing when overheating occurs. So, in this light, how do you know if you are over-geared or under-geared? A general rule of thumb is:

  • A hot motor and a cool ESC show that you are under-geared.
  • A cool motor and a hot ESC show you are over-geared.


The brushed and brushless motors are important devices that aid our daily functions. Therefore having a basic understanding of how to manage the temperature is a knowledge you need if you use the devices.

Hence, this article answered some salient questions regarding both types of motors and gave recommendations on managing their temperatures better.