Power tool’s next frontier: Brushless

Home Depot’s Bill Palmer on brushless technology: “Innovate the innovation.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon. “Brushless technology” is the next big thing coming to the power tool aisle.

Bill Palmer, Home Depot’s senior merchant for power tools, is preparing a big push for brushless beginning in May. In layman’s term, the engineering feat eliminates the standard friction-fighting brushes inside the small motors powering drills and drivers. In marketing terms, there’s a high sizzle factor.

“Virtually, it’s the motor you can’t kill,” said Palmer, during a Home Depot organized media tour of power tool technology in New York City recently. Brushless won’t exist in a vacuum. Rather, it will stand along with lithium-ion batteries, which will power 60% of cordless drilling sold in 2012, Palmer said.

“With lithium and an upgraded brushless motor, now you’ve got more than one thing to lay your hat on,” Palmer said. “Innovate the innovation.”

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