Home Tech Everything you need to know about electric motors

Everything you need to know about electric motors

by William Gist

Electric motors come in all shapes and sizes, but they have only one purpose. To convert electrical energy into mechanical motion. And even if you are not very familiar with them, we assure you that they are everywhere around you.

You probably have a couple of them somewhere in your home as well, you are just not entirely aware of it. Almost every mechanical movement that you can see around you is probably caused by an electric motor. You’ve probably already guessed what this article is going to be about, so let’s take a look. Here’s what you need to know.

What are the electric motors?

So just like we mentioned earlier, electric motors are used to convert the provided electrical energy into mechanical motion. There are two types of electrical motors. AC, which means alternating current, or DC, which means direct current electrical motor.

Img source: rundles.co.uk


In order to fully understand how electric motors work, we need to be able to understand how magnets and magnetism work, at least to some point. A motor uses magnets in order to create any kind of motion. If you ever played with magnets as a child, you probably know the basics. Opposite sides attract each other while the same sides repel. A very similar concept is used in all of the electric motors in order to create that circular or rotational motion.

You can find an electric motor in almost any toy that has some sort of mechanical movement included, such as toy cars. If you want to experiment and learn more about electric motors by yourself, feel free to disassemble an old toy and take out the motor out of it. If you hook the electric motor to a flashlight battery, for example, it will still work, and it will start spinning in one of the two possible directions. If you reverse the leads and connect it to the battery once more, the motor will start spinning in the opposite direction. It is really simple and easy to understand, but it’s even easier if you try it yourself.

However, electric motors are not always small and used in toys. According to AOMAG, about sixty percent of all electric motors are used in the industry or in more serious fields besides toys.

If you were wondering where you can find an electric motor in your home, here are a few examples

  • The fan over the stove inside your microwave device
  • The food disposal under your sink in the kitchen
  • In your can opener
  • Inside your refrigerator. Actually, there are more than two or three electric motors inside your fridge. One is used to power the compressor, the other one is for the fan that’s inside of the fridge, then another one is used in the icemaker and if you have one of those newer, modern refrigerators, chances are that you can find even more electric motors inside.
  • Inside your Mixer
  • The Electric Toothbrush
  • The Vacuum cleaner
  • Furnace Blower
  • The electric saw

And many others, but for the sake of the article we’ll not write them all down. There are no doubts that electric motors are fun, especially if you take one out of a device and experiment with it yourself. And, it is probably the best way to learn how they work. So if you really want to learn more, the best way is probably spending some time playing with them.