Brushless motor tools rely on a computer chip to control the motor operation so with the ability to program performance aspects, it’s no surprise that these high-tech motors can being made to do “tricks” not feasible with typical permanent magnet DC tools motors. Hitachi has capitalized on this programmability to make some of their tools enter an idle mode which reduces the motor speed when it’s not under load to draw less energy. This function saves wear on the moving parts and makes the battery last longer in use.

To activate the function, you set the tool to Automatic mode and the tool does the rest. The motor senses when there is no load and backs down the speed. Similarly, when a load is applied when the tool is at idle, the motor quickly retruns to full power. It’s a promising feature that could be implemented in a lot of AC and DC powered tools to save tool wear and energy consumption, but it’s nice that it can be switched off for more predictable control of the tool by the user.

 The Hitachi CV18DBLP4 18-volt cordless oscillating multi tool with brushless motor. The cutting speed can be set manually between 6,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute or will vary between 15,000 opm at idle and 20,000 opm full speed when set in Automatic mode. The OMT also features an LED headlight.

 The Hitachi G18DBALP4 18-volt cordless angle grinder with brushless motor. In Automatic mode, the wheel speed idles at 5,500 rpm and rises to 9,000 rpm when a load is applied. This 4 1/2-inch paddle-switch grinder also features tool-free guard adjustment.