Can I use a 220v 3-phase table saw in a residential garage/shop?

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Blog entry by LittlePaw posted 574 days ago 5138 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m a wood carver, definitely not knowledgeable in electricity. So after laughing your head off after reading this blog, would you mind telling me what I must do to use this saw on my garage/shop, PLEASE?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

27 comments so far

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 840 days

#1 posted 574 days ago

Paul, we need more information. What kind of saw is it, 10, 12, 14in? and what size of motor is it?


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Grandpa's profile


3100 posts in 1309 days

#2 posted 574 days ago

You have to have a phase converter or 3 phase power installed. Most homes can’t get 3 phase so you go for the cheaper alternative. There are rotary phase converters and static phase converters. The rotary converter use a motor that has to be the same size as the motor you saw uses. I found that I could buy a new motor for the table saw cheaper than I could buy the converter. I bought a static converter. It is a box with a couple of capacitors in it. I was able to get a Christmas special on eBay for $48. You get 2/3 of the HP from the motor. They claim it will shorten the life of the motor. I talked to 2 guys locally that use them. The first guy told me he was making his own converters. The other told me he had used them in the oil field for over 10 years and had no problems with them or the motor but you can run anything that starts under a load….like an air compressor. If it takes half the life from my motor what have I lost. I am older and it will likely outlive me. If not I will buy a new motor and go on because it is still cheaper than the rotary. Those are my thoughts. If you can get the power company to install 3 phase go for that but …good luck there. BTW the static should match your motor in HP.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7685 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 574 days ago

You said you were a “Carver”... Why do you need a 220v 3 Phase Table Saw?

What are you going to use the Table Saw for? (beings you’re a carver?) LOL

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1712 days

#4 posted 574 days ago

Thanx to you guys for your input. I appreciate it. The saw I’m looking to buy – to replace my old Rigid ts – is a Grizzly Mod 1023 w/a 5 hp 3 Phase motor. If I were to buy this saw, what must I buy in addition to operate it safely in my home shop? Yes, I am mainly a carver, but since the wood don’t always come the exactly the size I need, I have to cut them to size and this happens to be the only saw I’ve found recently that’s affordable ($750). The cabinet saw retails (at Grizzly) for $1,400 (w/a single phase motor) plus $150 to ship. It comes with a 52” extension and a built-in router table, weighs over 500 lbs. Would you consider this a good buy, guys?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1121 posts in 2419 days

#5 posted 574 days ago

Being a carver I find plenty of need for my saw. Its a Jet cabinet saw similar to the one your looking for and love it.
I would be lost w/o my table saw.
Good luck with your electrical situation.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1712 days

#6 posted 574 days ago

Looks like I’d have to buy a 5hp single phase motor to replace the one that comes with the saw. Thanx guys. Grizzly sells one for $400 . . . ouch! I’ll see if I can find one locally for less. You’re right Jim, I too use the TS quite often for many things some unrelated to carving. The key thing, IMHO is that a TS is worthless unless it can repeat accurate cuts and my Rigid if starting to lose it. Thanx for your thorough input, Grandpa – funny calling you grandpa, since i’m probably older than you! :D

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View DocSavage45's profile


4910 posts in 1476 days

#7 posted 574 days ago


What are you cutting? 3 phase 220 requires a converter to up grade a 220 single phase which you can get wired into your box as long as the box has adequate amperage to handle the current needs of what ever you are running. Normal house line is 220 single phase.

You can get the 1023 with a 220 motor that does not need an 3 phase converter. Unless you are looking to buy a used commercial which are abundant on ebay.

I bought a used 3 hp 1023 which will function (I hope) for my uses. It was the main saw in a cabinet builders shop for 7 years and he bought the newer RL version. I was going to buy a new one but didn’t have the money.

Which would be adequate if you are not planning to run it all day?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13829 posts in 972 days

#8 posted 574 days ago

Check your options. Phase converter may be the way to go.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View davidroberts's profile


1002 posts in 2120 days

#9 posted 574 days ago

Someone may have mentioned using a variable frequency drive (VFD), or aka AC drives to run 3-phase motors on single phase household current. There are a lot of woodworkers and small shop owners that have bought equipment from school district auction sites. And larger shops mostly run 3-phase because it is much more efficient that single phase. In other words, there is a lot of 3-phase on the market from various sources. There are some advantages to going digital verses static, but then again, static has been around a long time, and it is cheap. Not as efficient but in a small shop, probably doesn’t really matter. VFD life cycle is usually rated at around 7 to 10 years of continuous daily use, or in the case of the average hobby woodworker, maybe much longer. They are affected by excessive heat (hot garage not good) and dust (need to keep VFD in an enclosure). The are about the size of a one lb coffee can, weigh 5 lbs or so, and for a 5hp will cost $150 to $200 or so. I recommend you check out this website link just to check out another option. There are a few companies that manufacture/sell/both VFDs. You will get several google hits on woodworking sites using Factorymation as your search criteria. They sell the TECO brand made by Westinghouse. I have one on a Leeson 2hp PM jointer. Works great.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View Ted78's profile


156 posts in 634 days

#10 posted 574 days ago

If you end up replacing the motor, you could probably get away with a much smaller, and cheaper motor. Unless you’re routinely ripping railroad ties, 5 hp is overkill. A commercial shop might need 5 horses so they feed long boards and sheet goods through really fast, and get away with longer periods between sharpening their blades.

I have a tiny 1/2 hp motor on an old 9” delta TS and am perfectly happy with it. While a 1/2 hp motor on a $1000 saw is letting a lot of the saws potential go to wast, I’d be willing to bet no one would even notice a difference
between a 3 and 5 hp motor on it., and there is a considerable price difference between the two.

Of course my old 80’s craftsman table saw proudly proclaims 2.5 HP DIRECT DRIVE in bold letters across it’s front, and it’s a screaming, inaccurate, seemingly underpowered piece of junk.

-- Ted

View dee2's profile


277 posts in 970 days

#11 posted 573 days ago

I know this much from looking at a house for sale with 3 phase in a huge workshop. You must have the 3 phase coming in into the building. So I would say offhand that the equipment would need reworked. Here in Ohio, they say it is much cheaper than normal service. If my hubby was not sleeping at the moment, I think he may know more about it

-- Dee2, OH Aromatherapy....fresh cut wood!!

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2527 days

#12 posted 573 days ago

I had the same problem and bought a rotary phase converter to the tune of 3,500 buckaroos, plus a significantly large invoice from a master electrician. Maybe you could find a used one ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1712 days

#13 posted 573 days ago

3,500 bucks! You’re kidding, right? It’s looking more and more like I just need to forget about this particular TB – sort of like buying a diesel semi to go grocery shopping at Walmart?! LOL :D?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1712 days

#14 posted 573 days ago

Boiling all this wealth of information and input, would you agree that I can just get a 3hp 220v single ph motor to replace what comes with the Grizz? I now realize that this TB is way over kill for me, but if I can make it work for no more than $750 total, I’d go for it. What do you think?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Grandpa's profile


3100 posts in 1309 days

#15 posted 573 days ago

Buy the static converter. I did. Then, if and when the motor dies, buy a new 3 hp single phase for $800. This may never happen….in my lifetime. Who knows. Depends on starts of the motor and use.

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