Author Topic: 120v v. 240v  (Read 1756 times)

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Offline Northern Early

  • Posts: 54
120v v. 240v
« on: July 25, 2017, 01:50 AM »
Driving around today between jobs it occurred to me from a recent toolaholics post on insta.  The TS55 is less powerful in NA compared to running of 240 in EU. I happen to have a cordless so that has no mater to me. The mater to me is really with the Kapex. Tmk the kapex was designed with a motor not compatible with NA grid system. As such they die on an average higher odds than i would ever  bet on.

So heres my thought, could i get a 240v Kapex for my shop and run it 240 in my shop in Oregon US NA and get past the possible motor issues? This expanded to the idea of running a TS55 on 240v dedicated in my shop?

I would love to just go cordless but i see no reason for Festool NA to follow suit with the recent yellow 50 something volt 12" product. nor do i care to go full cordless for my needs . i would rather have my electrician wire up euro 240v receptacles in my shop (if thats even possible).

I don't post often because i'm making things but i knew this would be the place to come with my query. So am I an idiot? Or am I on to something?

Secondary question, is the plug it cord the same on the tool side? is this as easy as getting differnet recepiticals in my shop and different cords. I would love to see my TS75 at full power.

Thanks for telling me i'm dumb, sorry to mods if you have to delete this, and heck yea if someone else thinks this is a possible option.

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 02:53 AM »
I have no clue how the electricity distribution is done in NA and it probably varies from state to state. When we lived in Canada our utility room had a 240 volt washing machine and tumble dryer. Despite there being 240 volts in that room I took a transformer for my electronic keyboard. My point here is, can a 240 volt supply be provided by the utility company as it was for me in Canada?

It is my understanding that the frequency (50 Hz v 60 Hz) does not cause any issues with Festool motors. It may make a difference to the power but I would rather an expert talk about that.

I think I know how Toolaholic discovered the difference:



Peter

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 07:29 AM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 634
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 07:18 AM »
For those not in NA here is the setup without getting into detail which you can certainly find online easy enough. All states in the US use the same power, same voltage and frequency that is. They have to because power is in many cases generated in one state and sent hundreds of miles without regard for state lines to homes and businesses throughout the country. The utilities are all tied together in big co-ops (RTOs and ISOs) and pool their power on the grid in service areas that cover anywhere from one to over a dozen states. The ISO for my area serves ~65M people and covers over 80K square miles in 14 states.

Today, almost every home in America should have 240V AC run to the main panelboard. I say almost because undoubtedly there are some with no power and maybe a few with 120V only that were built many years ago but the standard for anything built today would be 240V into the meter socket and on to the main breaker panel.

So, it should not be a problem to have a 240V 60 cycle circuit run to your shop or wherever you may wish to have 240V power available. As far a line frequency most breakers made for use in the USA are happy with either 50 or 60 cycle power. However GFCI, AFCI and other special purpose breakers are sensitive to power frequency and can only be used with 60 cycle power unless designed for other operating conditions. The reason is the frequency can affect the trip mechanism operating characteristics. You will not find 50 cycle power I think in the US, not sure about Canada.

My first home built in 1905 was >4000 SF and had 27 rooms of which only 6 had AC power. Most of the rooms were piped for gas lighting and those gas fixtures were still operable in 1982 when I bought the house. Nothing had been changed in the house since it was built in all those years, it had remained with the original owner and I was the second owner. None of the beautiful white oak woodwork had been painted and was in excellent condition. Five of those six rooms had a single outlet and two had ceiling fixtures. The sixth room being the kitchen had four duplex receptacles but no 240V power. Cooking was gas as was the clothes dryer. Heat and hot water were oil-fired. There entire third floor had no power at all. Only the bathroom on the second floor had power, a light over the sink and a single receptacle. All this was run through a fuse panel that had four 15A glass fuses. The electric meter was rated for 60A. I wired the whole house with a new 200A service through two 40 circuit panels, one in the basement and the other on the third floor which I used to feed down to the second floor as it was easier than trying to pull all those individual circuits up from the basement.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 07:21 AM by Bob D. »
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 165
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 08:21 AM »
Driving around today between jobs it occurred to me from a recent toolaholics post on insta.  The TS55 is less powerful in NA compared to running of 240 in EU. I happen to have a cordless so that has no mater to me. The mater to me is really with the Kapex. Tmk the kapex was designed with a motor not compatible with NA grid system. As such they die on an average higher odds than i would ever  bet on.

So heres my thought, could i get a 240v Kapex for my shop and run it 240 in my shop in Oregon US NA and get past the possible motor issues? This expanded to the idea of running a TS55 on 240v dedicated in my shop?

I would love to just go cordless but i see no reason for Festool NA to follow suit with the recent yellow 50 something volt 12" product. nor do i care to go full cordless for my needs . i would rather have my electrician wire up euro 240v receptacles in my shop (if thats even possible).

I don't post often because i'm making things but i knew this would be the place to come with my query. So am I an idiot? Or am I on to something?

Secondary question, is the plug it cord the same on the tool side? is this as easy as getting differnet recepiticals in my shop and different cords. I would love to see my TS75 at full power.

Thanks for telling me i'm dumb, sorry to mods if you have to delete this, and heck yea if someone else thinks this is a possible option.


I sympathise with your dilemma, but don't really understand why you really need to radically change your current reasonably satisfactory setup.

Should you wish to change your tooling to 240v you'll be faced with an unenviable dilemma: from whence do you source the tooling?  It's not going to be (easily or readily) available domestically, necessitating private import.  You will therefore be kissing any possible warranty or even after-sales service & repair goodbye, despite having "purchased" said warranty, by buying at retail from an alien marketplace.  Repair would require return postage expenses offshore to its country of source or an alternative with indigenous higher voltages and access to the requisite higher voltage parts.  All without warranty protection!  A change of plug, or even voltage frequency (50-60hz.) could result even in the country of sources' warranty being dishonoured.

There's much "better" alternatives available locally anyway.  Most manufacturers are eminently capable of providing robust, reliable tooling that perform flawlessly with your native voltage characteristics, with the power, reliability and capability that you currently lack.  Makita has a brand new SCMS, that whilst relatively untested as yet appears from the owners' reports filtering in to be superficially the equal of a Kapex for a mere fraction of the price (some US $500 odd inclusive of freight).  Mafell offer robust, reliable 110v track saws in a range of (albeit expensive) configurations that are in many ways superior to their Festo/ol counterparts.  Mafell market an even more specialised range of track & plunge saws, both corded & cordless, that are purpose-designed to withstand the rigours of commercial & industrial workplaces that are (relatively) easily obtained domestically.  That they also employ an infinitely superior track system and feature immensely powerful & reliable Cuprex motors is an additional incentive to upgrade.

Another disincentive to change voltages will be the additional complication of voltage incompatibility.  You cannot have auto on/off switching for a 240v tool from your 110v extractor.  That will require a change also.  It could get prohibitively expensive, whereas an incrementally upgraded, carefully "cherry picked" suite of tools from the world's best would be in the medium term much more practical & affordable.  Your new tools won't "travel" well either.  Should you wish to leave the workshop even temporarily you will always have the problem of finding an adequate 240v power source.

If you find your TS75 a trifle gutless, then an upgrade to a 2300w K85 or one of its sisters will be revelatory.  If you require a plunge saw then Mafell's (albeit smaller than a TS75) 1400w MT55cc is also worth a look, and I'm fairly confident that a company as large, experienced & professional as Makita will be eminently capable of providing a robust SCMS in their new LS1019L.  It so far appears to share most of the benefits of the Kapex equivalent with (hopefully) its inherent flaws well-engineered out.

In other words, why trade sideways when it may be a better strategy to incrementally trade up instead?
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1301
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 08:55 AM »
K85 is NAINA , so that's not an option.

Mafell has a couple of  240v saws available here though.  At $3-5k you'd better be using one a lot. Or be a serious well funded collector.

Euro receptacles can be used with U.S. wiring.  Most inspectors will beef;  lately  because the receptacles aren't "tamper resistant" which seems to be high on their priority list.  We do it ocassionaly for German clients wanting to use their favorite expresso machine or mixer they bring with them. Be sure to order a Euro rough-in box too.


Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 165
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 10:13 AM »
You may very well be correct.  I'm not doubting what you say, but Timberwolf have the K85 "family" listed (& priced) on their website in 120V for much less than you're suggesting:  less than half in fact.

They certainly can't be described as cheap, but where I'm from Festo/ol prices are some 150%-1000% over USA equivalents, which makes Mafell extremely good value in comparison.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3915
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 03:34 AM »
... Be sure to order a Euro rough-in box too.

Do you have a link?

You may very well be correct.  I'm not doubting what you say, but Timberwolf have the K85 "family" listed (& priced) on their website in 120V for much less than you're suggesting:  less than half in fact.

They certainly can't be described as cheap, but where I'm from Festo/ol prices are some 150%-1000% over USA equivalents, which makes Mafell extremely good value in comparison.

This is a fact

...
So heres my thought, could i get a 240v Kapex for my shop and run it 240 in my shop in Oregon US NA and get past the possible motor issues? This expanded to the idea of running a TS55 on 240v dedicated in my shop?
...

You have 3 options.
1) 220 v out the a euro plug, or into a cheater with euro on the email end and US 220 on the wall end.
2) Timberwolf and other sell 120-240v transformers for when you are in the field.
3) a 230v generator.

You then open access to other tools like Mirka and Rupes sanders, and Mafells and Lamellos.


... Be sure to order a Euro rough-in box too.

Do you have a link?

You may very well be correct.  I'm not doubting what you say, but Timberwolf have the K85 "family" listed (& priced) on their website in 120V for much less than you're suggesting:  less than half in fact.

They certainly can't be described as cheap, but where I'm from Festo/ol prices are some 150%-1000% over USA equivalents, which makes Mafell extremely good value in comparison.

This is a fact... the price for a delivered MT55 from the Eu was less or around the same as the TS55, and the p1cc was about the same as a Carvex after adding in the carvex accessories.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3482
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 11:27 AM »

So heres my thought, could i get a 240v Kapex for my shop and run it 240 in my shop in Oregon

Secondary question, is the plug it cord the same on the tool side? is this as easy as getting differnet recepiticals in my shop and different cords. I would love to see my TS75 at full power.


If this were my issue and I really, really wanted to run a Euro Kapex on 240V , I'd just swap out the connector on the end of the Kapex cord to a US version as the saw will not be under warranty anyways. Then run US 240V receptacle/receptacles to where you want.

The TS 75 swap is a bit more difficult, as it currently runs on 120V. The armature and field coil would have to swapped out as well as 1 or 2 electronic boards for 240V components. That's an expensive conversion.


Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1958
Re: 120v v. 240v
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 12:12 PM »
For those not in NA here is the setup without getting into detail which you can certainly find online easy enough. All states in the US use the same power, same voltage and frequency that is. They have to because power is in many cases generated in one state and sent hundreds of miles without regard for state lines to homes and businesses throughout the country. The utilities are all tied together in big co-ops (RTOs and ISOs) and pool their power on the grid in service areas that cover anywhere from one to over a dozen states. The ISO for my area serves ~65M people and covers over 80K square miles in 14 states.

Today, almost every home in America should have 240V AC run to the main panelboard. I say almost because undoubtedly there are some with no power and maybe a few with 120V only that were built many years ago but the standard for anything built today would be 240V into the meter socket and on to the main breaker panel.

So, it should not be a problem to have a 240V 60 cycle circuit run to your shop or wherever you may wish to have 240V power available. As far a line frequency most breakers made for use in the USA are happy with either 50 or 60 cycle power. However GFCI, AFCI and other special purpose breakers are sensitive to power frequency and can only be used with 60 cycle power unless designed for other operating conditions. The reason is the frequency can affect the trip mechanism operating characteristics. You will not find 50 cycle power I think in the US, not sure about Canada.

My first home built in 1905 was >4000 SF and had 27 rooms of which only 6 had AC power. Most of the rooms were piped for gas lighting and those gas fixtures were still operable in 1982 when I bought the house. Nothing had been changed in the house since it was built in all those years, it had remained with the original owner and I was the second owner. None of the beautiful white oak woodwork had been painted and was in excellent condition. Five of those six rooms had a single outlet and two had ceiling fixtures. The sixth room being the kitchen had four duplex receptacles but no 240V power. Cooking was gas as was the clothes dryer. Heat and hot water were oil-fired. There entire third floor had no power at all. Only the bathroom on the second floor had power, a light over the sink and a single receptacle. All this was run through a fuse panel that had four 15A glass fuses. The electric meter was rated for 60A. I wired the whole house with a new 200A service through two 40 circuit panels, one in the basement and the other on the third floor which I used to feed down to the second floor as it was easier than trying to pull all those individual circuits up from the basement.
  Neat house, and I've DEF. seen the 60 amp service with 4 glass fuses in many places here in the Midwest on buildings that haven't been upgraded in years....
 I worked with someone who inherited the family home with the death of the parents, it only had a 110 service, not 240, and it was a mid-century build too.
 Your candid description of the lack of outlets is something that a much younger person would look at you strangely for..... WHAT, NO POWER on this floor????   [eek] [eek] [eek] [eek] [poke]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....