What is commutator motor? Its types, construction, working, advantages, disadvantages & Applications

A commutator motor is a type of DC electric motor that uses a commutator to switch the direction of the electric current in the rotor winding. This type of motor is widely used in various applications, including power tools, household appliances, and automotive systems.

Construction of commutator motor:

  1. Create the frame: The first step is to create a frame for the motor using a non-conductive material, such as plastic or wood. The frame should be designed to hold the other components of the motor securely in place.
  2. Install the magnets: Next, install permanent magnets onto the frame. These magnets create a magnetic field that will interact with the armature, causing it to rotate.
  3. Wind the armature: Wind a coil of wire around a cylindrical object to create the armature. The wire used should be a good conductor of electricity, such as copper. The armature should be designed to fit inside the frame and rotate freely.
  4. Install the commutator: The commutator is a metal ring with segments that are connected to the ends of the armature coil. The commutator allows the current to flow through the armature coil in the correct direction, ensuring that the motor rotates in a consistent direction.
  5. Connect the brushes: Two carbon brushes are installed on opposite sides of the commutator. The brushes make contact with the commutator segments, allowing the current to flow through the armature coil.
  6. Connect the power supply: Finally, connect the motor to a power supply, such as a battery or a DC power supply. When the current flows through the armature coil, it interacts with the magnetic field created by the magnets, causing the armature to rotate. The brushes and commutator ensure that the current flows through the armature coil in the correct direction, causing the motor to rotate in a consistent direction

Working of commutator motor:

When electric current flows through the field winding. It produces a magnetic field that interacts with the magnetic field produced by the armature winding. This interaction causes the rotor to rotate. As the rotor rotates, the commutator switches the direction of the current in the armature winding. which causes the magnetic field to change direction, thus continuing the rotation.

Types of commutator motor:

There are two types of commutator motors: brushed and brushless.

  1. Brushed motors use brushes to make contact with the commutator and switch the direction of the current in the armature winding.
  2. Brushless motors use electronic circuits to switch the direction of the current in the rotor winding, eliminating the need for brushes.


  1. High starting torque: Commutator motors can provide high starting torque, making them suitable for applications that require high torque at low speeds.
  2. Easy speed control: The speed of the motor can be easily controlled by adjusting the voltage applied to the motor.
  3. Reliable: Commutator motors are simple in design, which makes them reliable and easy to maintain.


  1. Brush wear: Brushed motors require periodic maintenance to replace the brushes, which can wear down over time.
  2. Limited lifespan: Brushed motors have a limited lifespan due to the wear of the brushes and commutator.
  3. Limited speed range: Commutator motors have a limited speed range, which can make them unsuitable for applications that require a wide range of speeds.


  1. Electric vehicles: Commutator motors are widely used in electric cars, buses, and other vehicles because they offer high torque and efficiency.
  2. Industrial machinery: DC motors are used in a wide range of industrial machinery, such as conveyor belts, hoists, and cranes. They are also used in manufacturing equipment, such as lathes and drills.
  3. Robotics: Commutator motors are commonly used in robotics, where they can provide precise and efficient movement control.
  4. Appliances: Many home appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, and power tools, use commutator motors because of their high torque and reliability.
  5. Aerospace: DC motors are used in various applications in the aerospace industry, including in aircraft actuators, control systems, and landing gear mechanisms.
  6. Medical devices: Commutator motors are used in various medical devices, such as dental drills, surgical hand tools, and infusion pumps.

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