re-wiring TS motor for 220 volt.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 02-23-2012 07:21 PM 2156 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8034 posts in 2324 days

02-23-2012 07:21 PM

Many of the contractor saws that pull 1.5 HP come wired for 120 volts with a standard plug, but can be easilly re-wired (per the instruction in the owners manual) to 220 volts by swapping which coils are wire nutted together.

Mine came this way and I’ve always ran it on 120 volts. And provided that I run it on a 20 amp circuit, it has never tripped a breaker on start up (unless I did something stupid, like ran the shop vac, space heater and halogen lights off the same circuit….. for which I can neither confirm, nor deny any knowledge of such an event ever happening).

The starting kick is pretty substantial, however, and it jerks the saw a bit.

So, now that I’m setting up my new basement shop (with a dedicated 100 amp sub panel), I can easilly wire up a 220 volt outlet on a dedicated circuit to the saw, and I’m wondering if anyone out there has swapped their contractor type saw over to 220 volts and can comment on whether the saw runs smoother, or whether the starting kick is softer after doing so.

Inquiring minds want to know.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

11 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4088 days

#1 posted 02-23-2012 07:47 PM

No change in the motors performance.

The motor will consume the same amount of power (watts), so no change in your electric bill.

Motor will start and stop the same way. The motor will not run any cooler or hotter, faster or slower.

Food for thought…

Running at 220 will cut the current in half. This would allow for longer runs from your breaker box, or smaller gauge wire (less $$$)

I hope this helps.


-- Nicky

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 02-23-2012 07:48 PM

I didn’t do this on my TS but I did on my bandsaw. The kick might be a little smoother but a lot of that could as easily be observational bias. I mostly did it because I had a 220v socket available that was much more convenient than trying to reach a 110v one.

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#3 posted 02-23-2012 07:53 PM

If you’ve got 220v readily available, I’d make the switch….10 minutes, and $10 for a new plug, with no real downside, and maybe some potential upside. Every circuit and every situation is a little different, but overall there’s less voltage loss with 220v. If you’re 120v circuit is at all starving your saw for peak amperage, you may notice a small difference in startup and recovery time. I switched two of my saws and could easily note an improvement in those regards.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#4 posted 02-23-2012 07:59 PM

I think the biggest practical advantage would be that you would never have to worry about that “hypothetical” breaker-tripping situation you described. :-)

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

View JollyGreen67's profile


1669 posts in 2759 days

#5 posted 02-24-2012 02:45 AM

Changed both my TS and BS to 220v a long time ago, amps cut in half. Seems to me that both have a better start and run smoother. Plus I changed the belts to the link style – maybe that’s why the smoother starts?

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3392 days

#6 posted 02-24-2012 03:05 AM

A motor wired for 220v will develop more torque, how much, varies from one manufacture to another. Its all in the way they do the windings. So some have little torque improvement others have alot.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

348 posts in 2557 days

#7 posted 02-25-2012 03:09 AM

My Ridgid R4511 hybrid table saw spins up more quickly on 240VAC and seems to shudder less when slowing to stop.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2993 days

#8 posted 02-25-2012 03:30 AM

Under heavy cutting conditions the motor will last longer. If you look on the tag on the motor it will say something like 15 amp at 120v and 7.5amp on 220volt. AMPS is what creates the heat. The more AMPS you need to run (heavy loads) the hotter the wiring will get. So keeping the wires cooler helps give you constant power to the motor, which in turn makes the motor run cooler, therefore it will last longer. There is more detailed explanation, this is quick explanation.
As far as saving money. LITTLE difference. AMPS x VOLTS = WATTS.
120 volt x 15 amp = 1800Watts
220 volt x 7.5 amp = 1650Watts TOPAMAXSURVIVOR where are you lately ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#9 posted 02-25-2012 03:57 AM

220 volt x 7.5 amp = 1650Watts

“220v” is sort of a misnomer from years past… actual voltage will be closer to 240v, so 1800 watts for that too.

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

View buffalosean's profile


174 posts in 3383 days

#10 posted 02-25-2012 04:23 AM

you”ll notice the blade gets up to speed faster. Its as if the motor is more consistent and does not labor as much during tasks. If your reconfiguring your electrical, its a no-doubter.

As far as efficiency, I’m not an electrician and I’m not a betting man, but i’d say the difference varies, depending on the quality of the motor itself.

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2987 days

#11 posted 02-25-2012 04:39 AM

Yeah, folks get all kinds of confused when you start talking 120 vs 240. As in, usually you see it referenced as 220, and I’m not sure why because as knotscot said, the aggregate voltage is actually 240. But, when you compare load, say you have a saw that wants 20A at 120V and 10A at 240V, you look at the numbers and say hey I’m only using half as much electricity at 240V! Not really, as has also been pointed out, amps times volts = watts, which is what the your power meter counts and the wattage draw will be the same regardless of operating voltage. How you get away with less current draw / smaller gauge wire is instead of running the load on one “phase” (I quote that because I know it’s the wrong terminology, but not sure what else to call it) with 120V, with 240V you’re spreading the load across both phases. If you look at the power feed from the pole to your house, you’ll see that there are two hot wires coming in. Each of these is 120V, and when you use both, that’s how you get 240V. Similarly, that’s why your dryer plug (if it’s a newer dryer anyway) has four conductors instead of three (two hots, a neutral and a ground). So when you spread the load over two phases, each phase only has to supply half of the total load, so for your saw that pulls 20A at 120V, each of the two 120V legs in your 240V circuit only has to supply 10A, so you can use a smaller gauge wire and/or run the wire further. 240V is also kind of confusing when it comes to amp rating because if you were to pull the cover off your breaker box, you’ll see that a 240V breaker has two hot wires coming off of it. If you were to use an ammeter on a circuit connected to a saw that draws 10A at 240V and you measured the amperage draw on each leg of the 240V circuit, you would see 10A on each leg, so TO ME that adds up to 20A, which just kind of goes even further to show you that you’re using the same amount of power regardless of the voltage.

Sorry for the rant. I feel obliged to mention that I am not an electrician and you probably shouldn’t rely on anything I’ve said as I’m only basing it off of what I’ve picked up from personal experience.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics