Category: Universal motor

Where can a universal motor be used?

The previous post mentioned that we would show typical applications or appliances where motors can be used. Before we list a few, we need to define what is meant by a “universal” motor. A universal motor is one that can use either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). Most, if not all, motors on this site use direct current to power them. A universal motor uses a a different type of armature winding. People will generally refer to a universal motor as a series motor because the armature winding is connected in series with the field winding. If you go to the top of the page and look at videos of Advanced Motor #3 and Advanced Motor #4 you will see how the armature winding is connected in series with the field winding. This means it can handle direct current or alternating current.

One of the problems with the universal or series motor is it does not have very good speed regulation because the speed of the motor varies as the load is increased from no load to complete load. One of the positives about the series motor is that it creates higher torque as the speed decreases. It can also be used at high speeds. As such, these features permit the motor to put a large amount of power in a small package.

Here are some typical applications of a universal or series motor. How many others can you name?

  • Robot motors
  • Blenders
  • Kitchen mixers
  • Electric shavers
  • Electric wheelchair motors
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Hair dryers
  • Food processors
  • Drills
  • Routers
  • Sanders
  • Automobile starter motors
  • Golf cart and electric car motors


 Quotes for the Day – and they said it couldn’t be done:

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

“I think there is a world market for about five computers.” — Remark attributed to Thomas Watson, chairman of the board of IBM, 1943

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” — Ken Olsen, President of Digital Equipment Corporation, at the Convention of the World Future Society, 1977