Author Topic: American electricity to European converters  (Read 5117 times)

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Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 416
American electricity to European converters
« on: February 03, 2016, 08:30 AM »
So I have an odd question and not sure if this was the right place to put it. My uncle travels to London on a weekly basis for his job. I am going to have him bring some tools back for me but I would like for him to bring me a few Festool power tools. The only problem is our electricity over here is not the same of course. I was wondering if anyone knew of a converter that could be purchased/made to accept these tools properly. Thanks in advanced.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 02:55 PM »
You have a few choices:
1) a transformer

www.timberwolftools.com/tools/protool/converter.html

www.amazon.com/Rockstone-Power-Voltage-Transformer-Converter/dp/B00CLYMMCC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_60_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0X4826GAEMT9MMTW0KDF

2) Wire your shop with 220v and put in a euro outlet.

3) Make an extension cord that plugs into a drier outlet.

#2 and #3 require a sparky, but you will save more $ than the sparky costs.

Offline Jbmccombe

  • Posts: 43
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 03:05 PM »
Or get him to buy the 110v units available in the UK and bring those back

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 416
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 03:17 PM »
Or get him to buy the 110v units available in the UK and bring those back

No I most definitely want all the 220 tools.

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 416
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 03:30 PM »
What about the HZ are they not different between america and Europe? I feel there needs to be a transformer somewhere in the mix for sure and I would only want it on one outlet. So I all I had to do is wire one maybe even two extra 220 outlets and buy to plug adapters that would be no problem at all. I just want to ensure the tools will function properly and operate at their designated requirements.

Offline Simon (UK)

  • Posts: 30
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 03:43 PM »
UK is nominal 230V at 50Hz.
If you use 220V supply then you will expect an approx 4% drop in power from the tool. Probably not noticeable.
Depending on the type motor the tool uses the 50Hz to 60Hz may or may not affect the speed of the motor (it may run correspondingly faster).  Standard wire wound transformers change voltage and current not frequency.
From memory U.S. circuit protection is not as reliant on a circuit protective conductors and building earth as the U.K. So if the tool you are wanting uses/ needs an earth check you can accommodate this. Some electronics like to have an earth to function. I'm afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough about Festool to offer specific meaningful advice apart from call Festool to check it'll work ok.

Simon.

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 465
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 05:53 PM »
The new Sys vac specifications show a greater pumping rate with 60 Hz compared to 50 Hz.

To the OP, remember that if something does go wrong with your uncle imported tool, Festool USA will not do warranty work. For 220 tools, they may not do any repairs at all even after the warranty runs out. Others may have experience or exact knowledge of this latter point.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 02:34 AM »
If it is the Mafell gear with Universal Cuprix motors, then you are fine.
I am not sure if the FT gear has "universal" motors.

Things like a Mirka or a FT "DC brushless" have DC presented to the motor, so it is not a worry.

Generally presenting 50 to a 60Hz motor results in an unhappy motor.
The 60 Hz presented to 50Hz motor is not nearly as bad, from some magnetic mumo-jumbo which I should understand, but don't.

Offline chris s

  • Posts: 110
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 07:44 AM »
I don't understand? Why don't you buy the tools here? What is the advantage?

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2016, 08:20 AM »
I don't understand? Why don't you buy the tools here? What is the advantage?

(metric) Tons of NAINA tools become available, and many of the tools seem to burn out motors with the higher amps in the 110v version than 220v.

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 416
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2016, 08:22 AM »
I don't understand? Why don't you buy the tools here? What is the advantage?

They have a lot more tools there than they do here. Such as, a belt sander, sword saw, carpenter circular saws that look awesome, and quite a few different CMS inserts.

I'm going to definitely have to do my research on this one before I decide to have him bring anything back. Besides the stuff like the CMS inserts. I figured if anything goes wrong he could take the tool back with him (possibly) and send it in to Festool from his London office and have it returned there when completed of course if it was electrical related I would take the blame and pay for the repair or just call it a day on using their tools over in the states.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6517
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2016, 08:59 AM »
The voltage difference isn't the big deal it's the frequency difference that's the issue. I believe they make frequency converters.

A long time ago, when we were building wafer fab equipment and shipping it around the world, we always shipped US spec gear, the same stuff we supplied to our domestic customers. In the sales contract we stated that the end customer was responsible for supplying the correct power to the tool. The majority of our customers ran their fabs 24/5 or 24/7, yet we had very few situations of replacing electrical components, so I know there's something out there that works well.

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 416
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2016, 09:09 AM »
The voltage difference isn't the big deal it's the frequency difference that's the issue. I believe they make frequency converters.

A long time ago, when we were building wafer fab equipment and shipping it around the world, we always shipped US spec gear, the same stuff we supplied to our domestic customers. In the sales contract we stated that the end customer was responsible for supplying the correct power to the tool. The majority of our customers ran their fabs 24/5 or 24/7, yet we had very few situations of replacing electrical components, so I know there's something out there that works well.

I feel there is definitely something out there. My friend is an electrical engineer and computer architect so I'm putting him to the issue. It's nice having someone you know well that you don't have to pay $240/hr for their service. I'll keep everyone updated as it's actually easy to find people that go to Europe a lot if you look hard enough. I have a friend stationed somewhere in Germany and he can bring anything back duty free. He's going to bring back some stabila levels for his dad and maybe throw a few in for me when he comes home on his leave.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2016, 03:30 PM »
When one starts talking about sword saws, then that is Mafell territory, and the already have the "universal" Cuprix motors.

The Mirka, and stabila and tall the other gear..

Offline chris s

  • Posts: 110
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2016, 09:01 AM »
Ah yes, I do wish they would sell the whole stable of CMS inserts here. I do see your reasoning.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5887
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2016, 04:24 PM »
This has come up before. If I remember correctly , It shouldn't affect the tool other then the RPM.

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2016, 08:47 PM »
50hz to 60hz is no big deal. At 60hz the rpms are going to be a little bit higher.

Either get the correct receptacle or cut the plug off and replace.

The real advantage of high voltage vs. Low voltage is nothing more then being able to use smaller conductors and less amp draw.

Heat rise will not change, tools are not burning up because of them being 120v.

Offline BadRobot

  • Posts: 52
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2016, 09:12 PM »
Another option that I would like to suggest.
Buy a Military generator, for instance, MEP-802A or MEP*803A.  It generates both 110V and 230V.  It can be adjusted frequency to 50MHz or 60Mhz.  It will cost you ~$1500 and up.  I bought mine for $2,500 for 2 generators with automatic fail-over switch for hi-availability.

Offline eddiestacker

  • Posts: 2
Re: American electricity to European converters
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2016, 04:57 PM »
Hi over there,  Re you're Euro voltage  desire. Most Euro countries have 220v but their own different plugs. From a UK angle,  I'm no technical 'sparky' but I do have several US tools brought back when visiting my English rels on Cape Cod.  I bought a US extension cord, replaced the mains  end with our 110volt  plug which plugs into my 110/240v transformer and the tool plugs into the extension cord !.   Been using some 15 years, no prob.       Construction sites in UK MUST use 110v tools, so all brands of hand tools supply 220 or 110v at same price. Just get the appropriate female end on your extension cord to accept our 110v plug.
Speaking of price, my experience of tools (and most other products) are cheaper in USA, remember we have 20% VATax here).
When I paid 99 dollars for a Makita impact cordless in US it came out the following year in UK at £160 (then about $260). [huh]!
Hope you find this helpful. Ed