Learn Hand Engraving · March 20, 2023

Engraving Drills: Brushless Motor vs. Not

Can you guess the odd one out?

You may have heard that using a brushless (a.k.a. coreless) motor drill is preferable to a brush (non-brushless?) motor drill. In this post we’ll talk about why, AND the tell-tale way to immediately distinguish between the two when you’re shopping for a new engraving drill (aka micro drill, aka nail drill).

I would like to say, though: the best tool to begin practice with is the one you already have. Some of us may already have our own nail drills, or a Dremel in our toolbox. Build your skills with what you have, and upgrade when your budget allows.

Brushless motor drills vibrate less than brush motor drills, so engraving for long periods of time results in less hand-fatigue. Additionally, they can be used for long stretches of time because there is very little (essentially no) heat being generated inside the hand piece.

Which brings us to the tell-tale sign you’re looking at a regular brush motor drill: there are vents for the heat to dissipate through. You will not find such holes on brushless motor drill hand-pieces. The answer to the photo caption above? Second drill from the right. The other four are brushless motor hand pieces, and you will see no vents or rectangular slits for heat to escape from.

And just in case you’re curious, I talk about all the drills I’ve ever used here.

Happy Engraving!