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110 vs 220

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Forum topic by Docopac posted 1142 days ago 2281 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Docopac

41 posts in 1210 days


1142 days ago

I have noticed in my shopping for a table saw that some can be used with either 110 or 220 volts. What if any advantage does 220 have over 110 for weekend wood worker?

-- Docopac (a carpenter in a different medium)


49 replies so far

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1295 days


#1 posted 1142 days ago

My vintage saw was terribly underpowered at 110V. A beast at 220V.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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CharlieM1958

15667 posts in 2821 days


#2 posted 1142 days ago

I’m going to put some popcorn on and enjoy the show. These kinds of questions always stir up a lively debate.

I’m no electrical expert at all, but what I’ve read indicates the main advantage to 220 is that your saw will likely be the only thing on the circuit, so you will not experience the light dimming and breaker tripping more common when running your saw on a circuit with other household draws on it.

In theory, running on 220 will not make your saw more powerful (although Al (Bertha) will disagree).

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1295 days


#3 posted 1142 days ago

^I’m pulling up a chair, too, Charlie;) I know that in theory, it shouldn’t. Many electricians (which I am not) have told me this. Maybe my saw defied physics somehow but it struggled on the simplest of task at 110V and blazes without delay at 220V. Nothing else at all was changed on the saw except the wiring. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t in some sort of fugue state and/or dreaming;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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CharlieM1958

15667 posts in 2821 days


#4 posted 1142 days ago

Al, maybe Rand’s friend, the wood fairy, also does horsepower upgrades on the tools of sleeping Lumberjocks. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


#5 posted 1142 days ago

Chomp, chomp, chomp,... gulp….burrrp! I’m just watchin’ Al and Charlie go at it….

Chomp, chomp,.... RRRip! Oh ‘sceeuz’ me! Whew!.... I’m outta’ here!... ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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TopamaxSurvivor

14610 posts in 2278 days


#6 posted 1142 days ago

Al, it may seem that way, but the real reason is voltage drop on 110.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


#7 posted 1142 days ago

Topa,
Isn’t that why the supply voltage comes in at 120v?... to allow for the voltage drop to 110v?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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BlankMan

1487 posts in 1955 days


#8 posted 1142 days ago

Oh there definitely are some advantages of 220V over 110V and it does relate to more power at the blade.

First off, half the voltage, double the current. Double the current the wiring has to carry quadruple the power loss in the wiring. Hence the voltage drop in the wiring reduces the 110V available at the saw to double that of what it would be at 220V. So roughly as an simple example if you’re pulling 10A at 110V and the wiring has a 1 ohm resistance (it’s not this high this is just for example) you lose 10V in the wiring and the saw sees 100V. That same wiring operating at 220V pulling 5A with the wiring having a 1 ohm resistance has a 5V drop across it so the saw sees 215V. (Assuming typical 20A household circuit wired with 12ga wire for both 110V & 220V.) Losses in this example are 9.1% at 110V, 2.3% at 220V and this scales.

This is an exaggerated example and rough calculations (not taking into account it’s actually a divider circuit) to show Voltage does make a difference, the higher the voltage the lower the losses thus more of the power is delivered to the load in this case being the saw. That is why transmission lines are at hundreds of thousands of volts to lower the current thus lowing the losses and delivering more of the power to the load.

And power losses in the wiring produces heat and heat increases the resistances which further increases the losses.

Physics at its best.

Right Topa? And Howdy!

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1295 days


#9 posted 1142 days ago

So I wasn’t imagining things, Curt? ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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BlankMan

1487 posts in 1955 days


#10 posted 1142 days ago

Nope. And I had a buddy that claimed the saw comes up to speed faster too at 220V. Makes sense, haven’t been able to prove that one way or the other though. Makes sense in that voltage is akin to pressure and it’s pushin’ those electrons faster to the load to do the work.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1295 days


#11 posted 1142 days ago

Sweetness.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

83 posts in 2380 days


#12 posted 1142 days ago

Of course if you had a DVR motor there is a major difference, you get just over 1.25-1.5 HP on 110 and a full 2 HP on 220.

The reason it seems to come up faster on 220 is most likely due to less voltage drop on the 220 dedicated line.

Soon to be a proud owner of a DVR table saw. :-)

-- Paul, Beaverton OR, www.TravelbyPaul.com

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BlankMan

1487 posts in 1955 days


#13 posted 1142 days ago

Coming up to speed faster may have something to do with the inrush current as it’s coming up to speed being double hence once again the voltage drop (loss) in the wiring being double thus it takes longer. Theoretically makes sense.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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knotscott

5369 posts in 1978 days


#14 posted 1142 days ago

There are benefits to using 220v as mentioned, but the benefits can vary a lot depending on the particular circuit and the particular motor in question. It’s possible that there’s no noticeable difference in some cases, and a very noticeable difference in others. If 220v is readily available, I’d make the switch. If it’s not readily available but lights are dimming and the saw is slow to come up to speed and struggling, I’d consider making the switch. If 220v is not readily available, and there are zero issues with running a tool on 110v, it’s probably not worth bothering.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

196 posts in 1207 days


#15 posted 1142 days ago

Outside of a physics class there is an amazing amount of superstition when it comes to electrical matters. I think a lot of this is from the fact there are so many folks out there that got their electrical knowledge in an apprentice style system. They do something a certain way because their old boss taught them that way. Their old boss did it that way because he learned to do it that way from his boss and so on.

Folks will swear up and down certain methods or wiring choices are the only way to go while others will swear up and down that they are wrong.

The point is simply this, chances are getting real solid comparison data out of the internet concerning any kind of electrical issue is going to be slim to none.

There is however a very obvious and practical difference between the two. All the 220 wiring configurations for motors I have seen use less amps then their 110 counterparts. What this means is that 110 motors of 2hp tend to use at least a full 20 amps and often times are just over that amount. So unless you have a 20 to 30 amp circuit. you can not run a 2hp motor. 3hp motors will need more power still and since most folks are not running 30 amp outlets they might as well re-wire for 220 volt. This issue becomes even more prevalent when you run out of amps in your box and still need to power your machines.

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