Worth installing a 220v line just to upconvert my R4512?

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 07-23-2013 02:23 PM 7071 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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800 posts in 2133 days

07-23-2013 02:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve got the R4512 saw, and I’m about to start running dedicated electric lines to my shop. I’m installing two separate 110v circuits, one for my tools and one dedicated line for my dust collector. As long as I’m having this work done, I’m thinking about having a 220v line put in so that I can upconvert my table saw.

Assuming I’m not getting a new 220v table saw in the future, is it worth getting this line installed and rewiring the R4512? If I were going to get a new saw, it would probably be the SawStop 110v contractor model, so I don’t see myself getting a 220v saw any time soon. So, is it worth the extra cost to put this line in? None of my other tools are 220v, and I’m not sure how much benefit I’d see from rewiring the R4512. Thanks!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

41 replies so far

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Bill White

4948 posts in 3985 days

#1 posted 07-23-2013 02:30 PM

I had the AC and the TS set on separate circuits (240) when we built 4 yrs. ago. I find the units start up quicker, and don’t have to worry abt. overloading stuff. Just seems to me that a couple extra 240 lines would cost practically zip, and ya never know when ya might need ‘em.


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800 posts in 2133 days

#2 posted 07-23-2013 02:34 PM

Yeah, I should have used a different thread title. My question really is, is it worth the extra cost of having a 220v line put into my shop if I don’t have any 220v tools now, and likely won’t be getting any in the near future – even if I get a better table saw. So, I’d just be getting the 220v line put in ONLY for the R4512 (which I’d have to upgrade), or the off chance that I get a 220V saw.

I suppose a related question is: can the SawStop 110v contractor saw be rewired for 220v?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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800 posts in 2133 days

#3 posted 07-23-2013 02:35 PM

For clarification, I will have a dedicated circuit for all of my non-DC tools, and I don’t see myself running the TS at the same time as any other tool. So really, if I keep the TS at 110v it will always be the only draw on the line when it’s on. All my other tools will be off, and all of the lights, battery chargers, etc. in my shop are on totally separate circuits.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2045 days

#4 posted 07-23-2013 02:37 PM

I dont think you’ll see any real world difference between a dedicated 220V vs a dedicated 110V. A watt is a watt (watts = volts * amps). This is assuming that the motor is rated at and putting out 1.5HP (I think thats what the R4512 is?) at both 220V and 110V.

Me personally, I would still run 220V. I’ve learned w/ power equipment, you should never say never and now have 3 220V machines.

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800 posts in 2133 days

#5 posted 07-23-2013 02:40 PM

I guess it’s just a question of the cost of installing a 220v line now, versus the cost of installing a 220v line down the road if I end up getting a 220v tool. If I do it now, it will be less labor cost (as compared to a future line install), because my contractor can install all the lines at once. But, I don’t really want to pay extra for parts and labor that I likely won’t need – especially in a shop as small as mine, which is never going to hosue a cabinet saw (my shop is 12×16).

What other tools would I possibly get that use a 220v circuit? I just got the HF dust collector last month, so I don’t plan on upgrading that any time soon, and I’m sticking with the R4512 for a LONG time – and then maybe swapping it for the SawStop 110v saw. I just don’t know if it’s worth the extra money to run the 220v line.

I suppose I suppose I should ask my contractor for estimates with and without the 220v line?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Ralph's profile


166 posts in 2158 days

#6 posted 07-23-2013 03:10 PM

Marcus is right- “A watt is a watt (watts = volts * amps)”. BUT, in this case, the Watts remain the same. the Volts double, so the Current drops in half. This makes the voltage-drop at the motor half (assuming the same wire size) at 220 than 110. The percent loss in voltage drops by four since the voltage doubled and the voltage-drop halved! Motors like that. I would opt for 220V.

-- The greatest risk is not taking one...

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1163 posts in 2045 days

#7 posted 07-23-2013 04:33 PM

Ralph -

That was the one caveat I thought about mentioning but didnt want to muck up the conversation anymore than it inevitably will be =) The motor will definitely “like” 220V more, but I think w/ most electric motors, 110 or 220, they’re going to outlive me at this point, so that skews my point of view a bit!

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800 posts in 2133 days

#8 posted 07-23-2013 04:40 PM

So then, let me rephrase my question: is it worth paying a little extra to install a 220v circuit now, while I’m installing two 110v circuits, if I do not have any tools that would use 220v except for the R4512 (which I’d have to convert), and am unlikely to get any 220v tools in the future?

Will the performance difference from the saw alone be enough to warrant the cost of installing the 220v line now, or should I just get the 110s installed and cross the 220 bridge if/when I come to it?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2653 days

#9 posted 07-23-2013 04:41 PM

220v will probably get the motor up to speed faster but will not result in any additional power for machining operations. what 220v will do is provide for more “mileage” out of whatever subpanel is feeding your shop area. i learned this the hard way in my 30A shop when i refurbed a 70s vintage unisaw.

it’s 3hp baldor motor was a dual voltage motor drawing 32A at 110v and 16A at 220v. those are FLA specs. in theory, that meant that, under full load, the saw wouldn’t operate in my shop at 110v. but being wired for 220v, it only drew 16A (not 16A per wire, but 16A total). this allowed for the saw to operate within my electrical load parameters and also allowed me to operate both the unisaw and a 220v delta 50-850 (6A at 220v) on the 20A 220v same circuit.

IMHO, it’s more than worth the $100-200 additional cost for a 20A 220v home run.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#10 posted 07-23-2013 04:43 PM

As long as you aren’t acquiring old semi-industrial
machinery or stuff like a woodmaster or a
drum sander, you can get by just fine with
no 220.

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1163 posts in 2045 days

#11 posted 07-23-2013 04:50 PM

Dan -

If your decision is being made purely on current equipment, I would not run 220V. As Loren said, there are plenty of people who only have 110V and are more than content their whole lives.

If you think there is the slightest chance that you will at some point get a 220V machine in your shop in the future, I would get the 220V line now so you’re not kicking yourself later.

View Doug 's profile


28 posts in 2119 days

#12 posted 07-23-2013 04:52 PM

Your added cost for running thicker gauge wire SHOULDNT really add any extra labor costs if you were going to run 110 v in its place(not sure if thats what you were doing). The only added cost in my mind would be the lower gauge wire, higher amperage breakers, and receptacles. IMO the benefit of having 220 run now would far outweigh the cost.

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 2636 days

#13 posted 07-23-2013 04:52 PM

Go for it. You know you’ll see some tool that some fool is giving away for practically nothing that will take 240VAC. I ran it for my lathe, but ended up getting a 120V lathe. I was able to get a 220 dust collector so I’m glad I ran the extra wire for the minimal cost.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

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8056 posts in 3401 days

#14 posted 07-23-2013 04:59 PM

I guess it depends on how much extra it would cost. 220v tends to have lower voltage loss, and the motors start and recover faster from heavy load, which can make them seem to have more power, even though theoretically they don’t. It’s probably easier and cheaper to do now….you just never know when the need for 220v might come along in the future. I’d hate to see you pass up the chance if the price difference in minor.

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

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2133 days

#15 posted 07-23-2013 06:38 PM

All good advice. I think this will hinge on what my contractor quotes me for the project with or without the 220v line. I honestly think I will be just fine with only the 110v circuits, based on my shop size and the type of work I do, but if the marginal cost is insignificant I might as well get the 220v while the work is being done.

I worked out of a garage for two years with all of my tools and my shop-vac run on one set of outlets on a single circuit. Now, even without the 220v line, I’ll have three sets of outlet pairs and one quad-outlet on one circuit (for my bench tools), another set of outlet pairs on a separate circuit just for my DC, and two other outlet pairs on the opposing wall – each of which is connected to a separate circuit.

So in all, I’ll have my shop running off four different circuits – meaning I can have a dedicated circuit for DC, a dedicated circuit for bench tools and table saw, a dedicated circuit for lighting, and a fourth circuit for anything else that may come up. That’s an awful lot of circuits in a 12×16 shop. (My house has some very strange wiring; the pre-existing outlets in the shop area were each on a separate circuit to begin with.)

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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