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Author Topic: 230volt/50hz tools in the US  (Read 18287 times)

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Offline 3R PROJECT

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230volt/50hz tools in the US
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:27 PM »
Hi everybody ! I am moving to the states and I would love to bring along all my festool tools . Does anybody know if I will be able to use them without any problems ? Will my dominos behave properly or will I have any issues ? One of my main concerns are my buffers ( shinex , rap 80 , pollux, rotex 150-125-90) since they stay busy for hours non stop when at work and also my vacuums . All my sanders are lex2 and lex3 so my le vacuums work non stop and are pretty expensive to replace in the US , noone would buy them in Greece plus I can't ebay them cause due to size they cost 200usd to ship to Europe . I would appreciate tremendously an educated reply . If anyone knows how my fein , mafell and rupes tools will handle the us frequency that would be great also . Thanks
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 11:39 PM by 3R PROJECT »

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Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 01:03 AM »
Well, the EU tools are rated at 230/240 Volts which is readily available here in the US. I can't find any specs on 50 vs 60 Hz frequency, so I can't answer that, but I suspect someone will chime in soon who's actually done this.

Good luck on your move...
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 01:04 AM »
OH - and [welcome] to the FOG!
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Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 01:22 AM »
Thank you so much ! I already have sewing machines at my US location that use 230volt but they are three phase machines . I know that running small 60hz transformers on 50hz 230 is not smart , what happens the othet way around is my problem . Usually when I turn a tool on it goes off after several hours so my worry is will my tools run faster or just cooler as logic implies . Given the fact that proper step up transformers will handle the voltage . All my tools state use 50/60 hz but the vacuums .

Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 01:29 AM »
If your tools state 50/60 Hz then you'll be fine. Depending on the motor type you may experience higher RPM's or more power. It's worse when you have a tool designed to run only on 60Hz and try to run it on 50Hz as it has a tendency to heat up.

If you can run the proper feed to your tools, there will be no need for transformers. I have multiple 240 volt drops in my shop. They were installed for stationary tools, but there's absolutely no reason they couldn't be used for portable ones.
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Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 01:48 AM »
Thank you Sir !!!

Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 02:02 AM »
Has anyone tried it with no ill effect to perfomance , behavior or integrity of their tools ?

Offline SittingElf

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 05:51 AM »
Many of the Festool corded products are rated for both 50hz and 60hz frequencies. (Auto switching) Look on the ID plate. It will list the voltage and frequency requirements.

I use a step-up transformer to run the 220-240V tools with no issues. Amazon sells transformers...some with high wattage capability...pretty inexpensively. They are heavy to carry around though.

Having lived in Asia and Europe, we have found the thing that really is most affected by the frequency are appliances that use timers. (Clocks for example run slower at 50Hz if they are rated for 60Hz).  Heat issues are greater when using 60Hz machines on 50Hz than the inverse, but even then, it's not excessive in my experience. Just uncomfortably warm. 50Hz motors will run cooler, and faster (by 17-20%) on 60hz....but motors rated for both frequencies will have no issues at all.

As for cordless tools... the batteries don't care about line voltage. They just want to be charged properly, and Festool has 110V chargers available in the U.S., and they will happily charge the batteries that you bought in Europe. [smile]

Cheers,

Frank

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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 06:04 AM »
You'd have no problem wiring your shop with some 220V @ 60Hz 1ph receptacles.  Look at the ID plate on each tool to see if they accept that.  No need to buy a step-up transformer to turn 110V into 220V when that's what arrives at your service panel, unless the step-up isn't going to 220V.
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Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 06:21 AM »
I will do just that ! Thank you all so much . I don't work outside the shop . I make fancy contract furniture ( chairs , sofas , stools and etc ) so no need for transformer to carry around . I also picked up automotive refinishing for a few years now since everything went under and almost lost everything . My only concern now is the vacuums list only 50hz ( festool ctls ) . As do all my fein , mafell and rupes tools . The afformentioned companies told me that they will work fine with 60hz . Is it certain that they will run 20% faster ? The rupes tools will definitely not like that , the fein will probably won't even care . Again thank you so much for all your help

Offline ccarrolladams

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2014, 03:51 PM »
You will need to test each different tool to see if the RPM increases because of the difference between 50 and 60 hz.

As I see the situation, in the USA an employer must comply with both Federal OSHA and State safety orders. Almost always it is not permitted to allow hand-held tools wired for more than 125 volts to be used in a business even by the owner.

Of course if the tools will be used in a home shop OSHA and similar regulations do not apply, but use of such tools could void your home owners insurance policies. If you have a business without employees, in some jurisdictions there will be no problem and in others, such as California, as soon as you have a business license and tax registration number, you must comply with California Industrial Safety Orders. Maybe you won't be inspected, But, if there is any sort of problem, such as a fire, then there will be serious problems.

Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2014, 04:09 PM »
Thank you so much . I will take that into consideration . I am moving to Atlanta . I will have to check about the regulations . Do you know if the speed change will also effect soft start ? I don't  see how it could ever be a fire hazard . The frequency might be higher but the wiring and size of transformer is actually larger and of mucher higher quality . Logic implies that the will actually run cooler . I suppose I will have to start with a good transformer that will provide a stable current instead of two hot wires to get 220 . Anyone knows where I can get the best option possible ?

Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2014, 05:44 PM »
<snip> I suppose I will have to start with a good transformer that will provide a stable current instead of two hot wires to get 220 .

I'm not sure I understand this? There is no reason why a transformer will give you more 'stable current' than a direct power feed. Plus, transformers are typically not very efficient. Why intentionally introduce a loss into your circuit?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 05:46 PM by wow »
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Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2014, 12:17 AM »
There are trannys that supposedly regulate flow . US 220 has nothing to do with European 230 since the first is two 110s while the second is 230 from mains . Please correct me if I am wrong . Festool just emailed me that all my warranties will be voided . I got 6 bags of tools and boxed vacuums going on the plane with me on Thursday morning and I am starting to feel that I should just count my losses lick my wounds and leave everything behind . Anyone that can reassure me that I will be able to make a living with my E.U tools I will owe him a huge favor , naturally I wont hold him to it . I just don't want to end up with a bunch of busted tools and actually make my new life's beginning harder instead of easier . Thank you

Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2014, 12:45 AM »
There are trannys that supposedly regulate flow . US 220 has nothing to do with European 230 since the first is two 110s while the second is 230 from mains . Please correct me if I am wrong . Festool just emailed me that all my warranties will be voided . I got 6 bags of tools and boxed vacuums going on the plane with me on Thursday morning and I am starting to feel that I should just count my losses lick my wounds and leave everything behind . Anyone that can reassure me that I will be able to make a living with my E.U tools I will owe him a huge favor , naturally I wont hold him to it . I just don't want to end up with a bunch of busted tools and actually make my new life's beginning harder instead of easier . Thank you

You raise several questions:

1. Do the tools have any value if sold locally, and is there someone who can do that for you?

2. How much warranty is left on the tools?

3. Is your move to the US permanent?

As for the US 230/240 volts versus EU 230 volts - they are virtually the same. Our residential electric panels in USA are 240 volts - they just have a center tap that makes 120 volts as well - but the real line to line voltage is 240 volts. For 120 volt circuits, you connect to either Hot lead and the Neutral. For 240 volt circuits you connect to the two Hot leads. In your case, you can just ignore the neutral tap.

240 volts are typically wired to the electric dryer, air conditoning condensing unit, and maybe a couple other specialty items like a big air compressor in the garage. But if you just add a double pole breaker, line to line, you get 240 volts.

You will have 240 volts available all day from our panels. You will just need to rewire certain circuits to your shop outlets as well.

Or - if you're going onsite with your tools - yes, you will need a transformer to adapt the typical 120 volt outlet.

As for the legality of using those tools in the US - I can't answer. I can honestly say that I have never been asked if my tools are/were UL listed, and it would never have been an issue for me. I can't state or guess whether your experience would be the same. Sorry!

« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 12:47 AM by wow »
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Offline 3R PROJECT

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2014, 01:07 AM »
Thank you , thank you so much . Most of them are still on warranty , few of them though are newer than 2 years old . I can't sell them locally since I won't even get a fraction of their worth . I just sold my pressure washer , nilfisk neptune 3-26 for 1K wich is a fourth of its worth . I don't want to do that again . Selling them through out Europe is an option , shipping charges are ridiculously expensive though . It's 220euro for the ctl44 and 110euro for the df700 to be shipped to Germany . Take out ebay fees and loss from the sale and you're left with nothing . I don't work out of the shop . I make furniture , so besides cordless tools for fitting I don't need anything else . If hired to make a bar for a resteraunt I will invest in 120 tools since the work will jastify the purchase . I will have employees though from day one so I will get some tools for them . Thank you so much for all the time you have taken to help me . When in few months the guys in navy in green release their newest arsenal to destroy the guys up in the snow with yellow and black I will remember how nice you were . Thank you so much .
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 01:34 AM by 3R PROJECT »

Offline amt

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 10:19 AM »
If you wanted to be extra careful, you could even get a variable frequency drive inverter, so you could run the tools at 50 Hz.  If I were in your shoes, I would bring them with, and then try one lower cost tool to see if it works fine (and sander?).  If it fails (I would be very surprised), then you can get the VFD.

Offline Slartibartfass

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 05:08 PM »
I still have a German Bosch Hammer Dill that I run with a 3000w converter with no problem. Not sure if the drill is rated for both 50/60hz (~25 years old).

 

Offline greg mann

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2014, 08:18 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline elfick

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 09:14 AM »
I'm curious... along the same lines... would a UK 110v tool work on a US 120v circuit?

Offline ccarrolladams

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 11:28 AM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.

Offline greg mann

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 02:08 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.

I am sure you are correct CCarol. The person in question could have cut the plugs off and installed code compliant 240 plugs but chose to do it this way. He is a one man band, lives in a rural area, and could probably have had a local inspector look it over, who then just shrugged his shoulders knowing full we he could uncover a dozen far more dangerous practices with electricity by other residents within a stones throw. In truth, there really isn't anything dangerous about what he did. Non-compliant? Sure, but not dangerous.

Me? I changed the plug.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Online Peter Durand

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 02:10 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.

Why I wonder. UL, and CSA up here do not "allow" many things that are considered safe in regulation mad nanny state EU.

Cheers,

Offline wow

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 02:14 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.


Why I wonder. UL, and CSA up here do not "allow" many things that are considered safe in regulation mad nanny state EU.

Cheers,


UL is a FOR PROFIT organization that kind of created their own monopoly. It can be VERY expen$ive to get something UL listed.
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Online Peter Durand

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 02:26 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.



Why I wonder. UL, and CSA up here do not "allow" many things that are considered safe in regulation mad nanny state EU.

Cheers,


UL is a FOR PROFIT organization that kind of created their own monopoly. It can be VERY expen$ive to get something UL listed.


You hit the nail on the head. You don't pay their bureaucrats and somehow you are not allowed to sell or use things here. Same with CSA up here. And further, they take no legal responsibility when they have "approved" products that turn out to be unsafe. I recall a case a few years ago in BC house fires (a few of them) were caused by CSA approved wall and ceiling mounted radiant heaters. Court cases determined that it was not improper installation but that the heater design was faulty. CSA refused to accept any responsibility whatsoever. Needless I have no respect for those for profit approvers.

Cheers,

Online Peter Durand

  • Posts: 209
Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 02:28 PM »
I bught a CS70 from a furniture maker/designer who had spent about 15 years in England. When he returned to the US he had his shop wired for 240 and 120. The 240 circuits had UK outlets to match all of his Festools. He had run them for quite some time without difficulty or concern as I have the CS 70 since 2009.

Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.



Why I wonder. UL, and CSA up here do not "allow" many things that are considered safe in regulation mad nanny state EU.

Cheers,


UL is a FOR PROFIT organization that kind of created their own monopoly. It can be VERY expen$ive to get something UL listed.


You hit the nail on the head. You don't pay their bureaucrats and somehow you are not allowed to sell or use things here. Same with CSA up here. And further, they take no legal responsibility when they have "approved" products that turn out to be unsafe. I recall a case a few years ago in BC house fires (a few of them) were caused by CSA approved wall and ceiling mounted radiant heaters. Court cases determined that it was not improper installation but that the heater design was faulty. CSA refused to accept any responsibility whatsoever. Needless to say I have no respect for those for profit approvers.

Cheers,

Offline JimH2

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2015, 04:32 PM »
I noticed a UK tool site that has 110 volt and 240 volt models of the Mafell P1cc. I did not look at their other Mafell Tools. My question is will the 110 volt version work with our 120 volt supply in the US. I know the UK is 50Hz versus our 60Hz, but I have got to believe that Mafell's tools work at either 50 or 60 Hz. The Mafell also has a universal motor.

Furthermore I am guessing that the 110 volt model sold in the UK is the same model that is sold in the US. For as a small a market as Mafell has in the US there almost is no way they are making a special version of the P1cc for the US.

The P1cc is £333 (No VAT) which is roughly $500 USD. Not a lot of savings when shipping is considered, but combined with some accessories and maybe an MT55 the savings starts to get substantial. Repairs could/will be an issue.

Offline joiner1970

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2015, 02:50 PM »
I noticed a UK tool site that has 110 volt and 240 volt models of the Mafell P1cc. I did not look at their other Mafell Tools. My question is will the 110 volt version work with our 120 volt supply in the US. I know the UK is 50Hz versus our 60Hz, but I have got to believe that Mafell's tools work at either 50 or 60 Hz. The Mafell also has a universal motor.

Furthermore I am guessing that the 110 volt model sold in the UK is the same model that is sold in the US. For as a small a market as Mafell has in the US there almost is no way they are making a special version of the P1cc for the US.

The P1cc is £333 (No VAT) which is roughly $500 USD. Not a lot of savings when shipping is considered, but combined with some accessories and maybe an MT55 the savings starts to get substantial. Repairs could/will be an issue.
Should be ok , I know a few guys here have shipped 110v stuff the other way from the US and just put 110v UK plugs on them and they work fine.

Offline UncleBS

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2015, 10:53 AM »
Just as a note I don't think Festool will be able to repair the 230 volt tools in the states.

Offline fp1337

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Re: 230volt/50hz tools in the US
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2015, 06:24 PM »
Those UK-standard 240v outlets do not comply with the USA or Michigan electrical codes. It is astounding that a licensed electrician would install those and that a building inspector would allow this to happen. Those 240v Festools do not meet UL standards.

oh well