Another electrical question

Hello all, Does anyone know if a tool from the UK can be converted to
use here? Is it just a matter of changing the plug?

Karen Olsen Ramsey

Karen - buy an electrical converter - they sell them in travel
stores. Be sure you know the details on the power your tool uses,
as most of the converters are designed for things pulling small
amounts of electricity, like electric razors and hair dryers. If it
pulls a lot of power you will need a more expensive converter, which
will adapt both the plug part and the power flow to meet the tool’s
needs. We have a portable nebulizer for medical purposes, and I have
a VERY heavy and VERY expensive converter for it. I have cheap
converters that really just adapt the plugs for most other electrical
items we travel with.

Hope that helps!
Beth in SC

Hi Karen, By ‘here’ I assume you mean the US.

The answer to the 2nd question is relatively easy; NO.

The answer to your 1st question is: ‘It depends’. It depends on what
the tool is & how it’s made.

The UK & most of the rest of the European continent use 50 cycle 220
volt current. The US uses 60 cycle 110 volt current.

Probably the best thing to is to take the tool to a competent local
electrician or shop that services power tools & have them take a
look at it. They should be able to answer your question. There’s one
thing that can be said, if it’s a motor driven tool, the speed rate
listed on the motor will be incorrect when it’s run on 60 cycle
current. The motor will run faster than the listed speed.


Hi, You’ll either need a 230volt a.c. supply,or some sort of
convertor/transformer to take your domestic supply to
230volts.unless of course the tool is equipped with a transformer to
step the a.c. current down to 12volts d.c. for example, in which case
you’ll just need to change the transformer to one that outputs the
d.c. current you need from your domestic a.c. supply. DON’T just
change the plug as using a 120v US supply will simply run the tool at
half speed…I think… regards Steve Holden

Yes, they can using a power converter. It may not be worth it
depending on the size converter you are going to need. Here is a
link that may help you. It includes a phone number to this company
and they should be able to answer all your questions.

Jim D

I don’t think you can just change the plug if you are using a mains
supply. Our voltage is 230-240V, whereas I believe in the US it is
110v. I know we have to have voltage adapters if we want to use hair
dryers etc. that we bring with us on a trip to the States.


Dear Karen,

I've read all the advice you've gotten and still think the fastest,

easiest, most reliable way to do this is to have an electrician come
in for 1 hour and set up a 220 volt circuit. They do it all the time
for installing electric clothes dryers, electric stoves & ovens,
etc.It’s not a big deal and MUCH better than converters, etc.

Michael Knight
CASTALDO(r)Products Mfg. Corp.


Correct in a way, Pat. Our volate is 110-120v. However, in my
workshop, when they were wiring the house, I had them put in a couple
of 220v outlets (for a kiln, in this case, and perhaps a saw). They
do require a different plug. So, if one has a 120v wiring system in
the shop, and acquires a 220v appliance, probably the smartest thing
to do would be to just have an electrician put in a 220v outlet for
that appliance. (As I understand it, it is just a matter of how the
outlet is wired.) From what I’ve heard the adapters are OK for razors
and hair dryers, but the “heavier demane” things burn out pretty