Can I Use Brushless ESC with a Brushed Motor?: All The Know-Hows

Does it even matter? 

People wonder whether brushless ESC and brushed motors have better compatibility or not! 

Now, you might be thinking that it doesn’t really matter. Like what would happen in the worst-case scenario? The highest problem you can experience is the brushed motor exploding. 

And certainly, that’s not a thing to be worried about, right? Jokes apart! This is not a pleasant thing to experience. That said, you’ll need to know if they’re both compatible or not! 

So to answer your question, Can I use brushless ESC with a brushed motor? 

You cannot use a brushless ESC with a brushed motor. Brushed motors need brushed ESC and brushless motors need brushless ESC. The brushless ESC’s outputs are 3 phase AC current whereas brushed motors run on DC current. 

So, before you try to connect your brushless ESC with your brushed motor, keep on reading this guide. Here, we’ve explained everything in detail- 

Can You Use a Brushless ESC with a Brushed Motor?

An ESC is a circuit that regulates the speed of a motor. Just like that, ESC can be brushed or brushless similar to motors. 

As mentioned before, a brushless ESC can be used with a brushless motor. Moreover, a brushed ESC can be used with a brushed motor. 

Reason 1: Different Type of Current

Brushed motors have 2 wires and it runs on DC current. On the other hand, brushless ESC has 3 wires and it runs on AC current. So brushed motors and brushless motors function in different ways.

Reason 2: Different Types of Wires

Brushless motors and brushless ESC both have three wires to each. Here, the colors might be red, black and orange. To create a connection, you have to link the middle wires of ESC and motor to produce DC current.

Reason 3: Different Types of Functions

Brushless ESC activates 2 of the 3 wires of brushless motors. The other one is used to generate a small amount of voltage. Using that small amount of voltage, ESC understands what position the motor is turning. 

However, ESC can’t determine the position before the voltage is generated. 

Apart from that, Brushed motors are water-resistant to some extent. So are brushless motors.  

That said, Brushed motors only connect to brushed ESC because it runs on AC current. So the structure is different. ESC replaces the commutator in brushed motors. Besides, Brushed ESC is DC which has two wires, positive and negative. 

To increase the speed in a brushed motor, ESC increases the time the voltage is supplied to each pole of a brushed motor. 

That’s why brushed ESC works on brushed motors and brushless ESC works on brushless motors. 

Why You Should Not Use Brushless ESC with Brushed Motor?

A lot of people think that brushless ESCs have 3 wires. They just have to figure out which ones are positive and negative wires. Then connect the wires to the brushed motor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Because Brushless ESCs do not have any positive and negative wires. 

But hear me out, some ESCs can have the brushed mode too. Usually, brushed ESC and brushless ESC have completely different designs and structures.

On that note, very few companies make ESCs that have both brushless and brushed modes. If the package of ESC specifically says it’s brushless then you have to understand it will not work on a brushed motor. Yet if you try, it might be catastrophic.

The ESCs need to have a switch that can work manually or in a software-based way. This is to disable the functions of a brushed ESC to be able to work it on a brushed motor. Otherwise, you cannot use a brushless ESC. 

Without software inside ESC that can sense both brushed and brushless motors, ESCs cannot work both ways. Companies like Tekin rs and castle systems make this kind of ESCs. These have both functions of brushed and brushless ESCs. But your brushless ESC doesn’t have a brushed mode to work with a brushed motor.  

Ways to Use Brushed ESC with Brushed Motor Together (or Vice-Versa)

So, by now if you’re with us, you would know that it’s not possible to use brushless ESCs with a brushed motor. But don’t worry, we got you! We picked out the best solutions for your convenience. See what fits for you and choose that! 

Alternative 1: Make Your Own Brushed ESC

Are you looking for a creative and fun method to solve this problem? You can make your own DIY Brushed ESC to use with a brushed motor. Well, the best part is that it’s cost-efficient. 

Also, it’s even easier to follow the guide we’ve provided and it will work on your brushed motor. 

Besides, it only requires a few tools and you probably already have brushed motors among them. The other tools are PCB Board, microcontroller board, FET Transistor, Resistor, soldering iron, etc. So, let’s get back to work! 

Alternative 2: Buy a Brushed Motor 

You do not want to make your own DIY brushed method? A lot of people do not have time or energy to spend on DIY methods. So you can get a quality brushed motor of your choice to avoid the hassle. It’ll go with your brushed ESC.

However, brushless motors are a better choice than brushed motors. So, if you want to buy brushless motors, here’s what you can buy: 

Alternative 3: Buy an ESC 

As mentioned before, some ESCs have both a framework of a brushed and a brushless mode. Why don’t you buy one of those ESCs? 

However, if you love drag racing, you should try specialized ESC for drag racing.

Surely, they’ll cost a bit more as they do not have just one function. But at least, these ESCs can be used on both brushed and brushless motors!

Alternative 4: Convert Your Brushed Motor into a Brushless Motor

Wondering what else you can do? Brushless motors are better than brushed motors because it’s a newer technology. On top of that, you’ll even have reduced maintenance as well as increased efficiency.

So if you want to get a brushless motor in the first place, we cannot blame you. However, to help yourself, you can follow this to convert your brushed motor into a brushless motor

These solutions should help you whether you have a brushless ESC or a brushed motor. 

So ultimately you can see 4 solutions to your problem. If you’re wondering my suggestion would be to follow how-to DIY brushed ESC to use it with your brushed motor. It’s more cost-efficient, less time-consuming and easier to do. 


Can I use any ESC with any motor? 

You can use brushless ESC with a brushless motor. And a brushed ESC with a brushed motor.

Can I replace a brushed motor with a brushless motor? 

Yes, you can replace a brushed motor with a brushless motor. But you have to buy a brushless motor first. Changing a certain type of motor into another one by itself is not possible. 

How long does a brushless motor last? 

A brushless motor lasts for 1000-3000 hours. That’s the average life expectancy 

Which is better, brushed or brushless DC motors? 

Brushless DC motors are a newer technology than brushed motors. And brushless motors have more advantages than brushed motors. 


So, by now you know the answer to your question: can I use brushless ESC with a brushed motor? We hope the given solutions helped your situation. 

Please let us know whether we could help you out by commenting below. If you want, you can give us suggestions too. 

Till then, take care!