Power tools and some appliances use brushed AC motors. Brushes introduce losses (plus arcing and ozone production). The stator polarities are reversed 100 times a second. Even if the core material is chosen to minimise hysteresis losses ('iron losses'), this contributes to inefficiency, and to the possibility of overheating. These motors may be called 'universal' motors because they can operate on DC. This solution is cheap, but crude and inefficient. For relatively low power applications like power tools, the inefficiency is usually not economically important.
If only single phase AC is available, one may rectify the AC and use a DC motor. High current rectifiers used to be expensive, but are becoming less expensive and more widely used. If you are confident you understand the principles, it's time to go to How real electric motors work by John Storey. Or else continue here to find out about loudspeakers and transformers.