If you’re into woodworking, whether as a profession or hobby, it can be difficult to execute some tasks manually. It’s not only time-consuming but also strenuous and cumbersome. This includes cutting wood planks or drilling holes for screws. This is where power tools come in handy.

With power tools, carpentry and other tasks will be as easy as 1-2-3. However, keep in mind that using such devices requires a certain skill level. This is crucial since some power tools can cause serious physical damage, especially when it comes to saws and drills.

The inner mechanism of power tools involves converting mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa. Inside, there’s a solder connected to the rotor to facilitate the conversion, but you have to ensure that they won’t get entangled during the process.

That may seem complicated, but it’s certainly possible—thanks to carbon brushes. If they sound new to you, then you’re on the right page. Below are the things you need to know about carbon brushes, from the basics to replacement and some maintenance tips.

What Are Carbon Brushes?

Every power tool has an electric motor system powered by direct electricity or a battery. You’ll find the carbon brush inside the electric motor. It’s a small yet crucial component that permits the flow of electric current between the static and dynamic wires. 

A carbon brush is made with multiple blocks of carbon connected to a spiral-shaped wire on one of its ends. Carbon is an effective element in the process because it conducts electricity effectively. However, it’s soft enough to get damaged, resulting in significant wear and tear over time.

On top of that, it acts as a contact mechanism between the solder and the rotor, ensuring they won’t get entangled while working and processing the flow of electric current. This is where a single electric circuit gets completed. Without a carbon brush, static and rotating wires will get intertwined, disrupting the current and preventing the tool from operating.

Can You Buy Replacement Carbon Brushes?

Yes, you can buy a new carbon brush to replace the worn-out or damaged carbon brush of your power tools. But be sure to grab one perfectly suited for the power tool to be repaired, as not all use the same carbon brush to function.

If you’re looking for a trusted supplier of new carbon brushes, visit Replacement Carbon Brushes or other hardware stores near you. Replacement Carbon Brushes is a site in the UK that offers a range of new carbon brushes for power tools.

Carbon Brushes for a Circular Saw

How Would You Know If Your Carbon Brush Needs Replacement?

Carbon brushes are indeed much stronger and better than traditional wire brushes. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re indestructible. They’re not as long-lasting as you might think, especially when you use your power tools a lot. So, how would you know when they need to be replaced?

Here are the signs that will tell you when to replace the carbon brushes of your power tools.

  • Decreased Performance: If your power tool is not as functional as before, its carbon brush might be defective. Shaking it may revive the engine to run for a moment, but it can no longer deliver the same performance as before. 
  • Power Inconsistencies: If your power tool suddenly stops functioning, it means that its carbon brush is completely damaged and has to be replaced as soon as possible. 
  • Burnt Smell: This is a common sign of faulty carbon brushes. If your power tool starts emitting a burnt odor, its carbon brush might be completely damaged. This causes its internal parts to collide, resulting in friction that produces a burnt smell.
  • Large Sparks: If you occasionally see tiny sparks from your power tool, don’t be afraid because they’re common. But if the sparks become frequent and grow larger over time, it means the carbon brushes are starting to wear out. You need to replace them as soon as possible to prevent inconsistency in your tool’s performance. 

How Much Does A Carbon Brush Cost?

Replacing carbon brushes won’t be a cause for concern for someone on a tight budget. A pair only costs around USD$5 to USD$8. This is way cheaper than buying a new power tool, which may cost hundreds of dollars or even more. 

So, before ditching your defective power tool and buying a new one, make sure the carbon brush isn’t the issue. 

How Should Carbon Brushes Be Maintained?

Although buying a replacement for your worn-out carbon brush won’t break the bank, it’s still crucial to maintain and keep it in good working condition. Doing so will ensure that your power tools will operate without a hitch. Now, the question is how?

To answer that, here are some maintenance tips that will keep your carbon brushes in the best condition:

  • Conduct regular motor cleaning using an air compressor. This will help prevent potential issues.
  • Inspect the commutator for potential issues. If it isn’t functioning as it should, you might need to have it repaired or replaced.
  • Ensure the carbon brushes are free of dirt, dust, or other debris.
  • Check the spring’s pressure occasionally and recalibrate it when necessary.
  • Clean the risers routinely.
  • Make sure the carbon brushes can move smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll start having problems.
  • Check the commutator and see if there’s any blackened or burnt area.
  • Check the bearings and see if they’re vibrating too much. If they do, you might need to recalibrate the pressure or adjust the positioning of the carbon brushes.

What Causes Carbon Brushes To Wear Out?

There are many reasons carbon brushes get worn over time. To extend the service life of your carbon brushes, be sure to avoid the following:

  • Faulty commutator
  • Carbon brushes that aren’t suited to the commutator
  • Electrical overloading
  • Incorrect installation of carbon brushes
  • The extreme flow of electric current to the electric motor system

If problems persist, immediately consult an expert to pinpoint the cause and repair your power tool accordingly. With timely maintenance and repair, you can prevent severe damage to your tool and avoid buying a new one sooner than necessary.

Final Words

Carbon brushes are vital to power tools. Without them, such tools wouldn’t be able to function properly or not at all. This is because the electricity won’t be able to flow and complete a circuit. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain and keep them in good condition.