Rockwell 14" bandsaw 115 or 230 voltage

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Forum topic by Cosmo posted 03-13-2010 12:04 AM 3941 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cosmo's profile


8 posts in 3322 days

03-13-2010 12:04 AM

Hey, registered here a year or so ago, and I finally bought my bandsaw. I ended up picking up an old rockwell on craigslist the other day. I guess my main question is, its currently wired for 230, but can be set for 115. Is there any benefit to keeping it at 230. I ask because the 230 plug isnt the most convenient to get to. Will the motor still run 1 hp on 115 or will it only put out full power on 230. I am planing to resaw a piece of maple thats 7 in tall once I get it set up, so if the 230 will help I will just get a longer cord.


-- Who is Joseph Cotton! Giddy-up

10 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 03-13-2010 12:24 AM

When it’s wired for 220,I think the amperage is split onto 2 110 legs so it won’t tax the breakers so much. The plate of the motor should have amp ratings for 110 and 220 (115-230). The 220 is usually half of the 110.


-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4060 days

#2 posted 03-13-2010 12:30 AM

Probably more flexability in where you can position it in your shop at 110. Not sure there would be any real benefit of running at 220.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View bobthebuilder647's profile


128 posts in 3215 days

#3 posted 03-13-2010 01:08 AM

220 will be less expensive to operate. If you do use a longer cord, make sure it is heavy duty and rated for the amperage and voltage you are using.

-- Rick, Pa. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3625 days

#4 posted 03-13-2010 02:24 AM

The bandsaw would start up faster if it’s on 220, but probably no more than seconds. Note that if you wire it to 220v you can afford to use a lighter gauge extension cord, or a longer cord, compared to 115v. And it’s possible that serious resawing your motor will draw more amps (cast iron wheels are better though) and pop a 115v 15amp breaker. Worse if you run a DC on the same circuit while you’re sawing

-- Ed

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3363 days

#5 posted 03-13-2010 02:38 AM

If its more convenient to run it at 120 v, then I would say do that. With 240v the motor will start easier as stated before but it won’t be cheaper to run it, because watts(hp) stay the same regardless of the voltage.

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3138 days

#6 posted 03-13-2010 03:52 AM

Cosmo, I like mine on 220, dont know jack about amps ,volts, or jigamathings, but it cuts better on 220. try yours both ways, that 7inch maple will let you know real fast which one works better

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3700 days

#7 posted 03-13-2010 04:10 AM

If you go the 110 route make sure you change out the existing receptacle with a 20 amp rated receptacle. Most of the receptacles sold today are rated at 15 amps. This small detail does make a difference.

However, 220 volts would be best if you can swing it.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#8 posted 03-13-2010 04:24 AM

1 hp is a full load for a 120 v 20 amp circuit. Your 20 amp breaker may trip starting it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View LeeG's profile


40 posts in 2984 days

#9 posted 03-13-2010 08:23 AM

1 HP = 746 watts. Figure 60% efficiency for an induction motor. So it takes roughly 1250 watts to produce the max 1hp power. Watts=Volts*Amps. So, figuring for some voltage drop in the line, we get 1250/110 = 11.4 amps at 110v and 5.7 amps at 220v. Even at 11.4, you are still well within the safe range of your average household 15amp breakers.

Where 240v becomes more important is in motors in the 1.75+ HP (20amp) range. At that point, you are not getting full power to your motor because you cannot supply it with enough current.

You are billed for power by the watt (actually kilowatt/hour). The voltage doesn’t matter.

-- Lee in Phoenix

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#10 posted 03-13-2010 09:49 PM

I wish you guys would forget you ever heard 746 watts = 1 hp. It is nearly twice that for single phase motors. 1 hp motor nameplate will be close to 16 amps on 120 volts and 8 amps on 240 volts. Code requirements for 1 hp motor are #12 wire and 30 amp breaker for 120 vlts and #14 wire and 15 amp breaker for 240 volts.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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