The difference between 240v and 110v power tools

If you’re in the market for new power tools, you’ll be presented with two options to choose between – 110v & 240v.

But, what do they actually mean?

Our handy guide will explain the differences between the two voltages and help you decide which one is best for you.

The main difference between 110v and 240v power tools is the voltage levels.

It’s important to note that there is no difference in the power of these two sets of tools or how they work, in fact the main reason we have them is down to the health and safety of workers. 

240v tools are compatible with domestic plug sockets (the 3 pin ones), while 110v tools are mainly for site use. 

This makes 240v tools the best option if you are wanting to carry out some DIY projects at home or in the workshop.

However, 110v tools are needed for heavy duty site use, where a transformer will also be required in order for them to operate.

The network that you are connected to will simply determine which voltage level you are working with. This is why 110v power tools are best designed for site use, as they are deemed safer in the event of an accident. Essentially, if you do happen to slip and cut a cord, there is a much less chance of being injured by a flowing electrical current.

The main takeaway should be that 110-volt tools are your best bet if you are looking to work on bigger jobs whilst on site.

240v to 110v transformers – How do they work?

A transformer (and no, not from the films!) is used to convert a standard 240v power supply into 110v, connected up to your power tools usually with bright yellow leads.

They are made up of 2 x 55v lines which work together to produce the total 110v power supply, which is a much safer voltage to work at if an accident was to occur.

Although the voltage may be less, users must still remain extra cautious when working alongside transformers as they do pose a high level of risk.

It’s a legal requirement that 110v is used on most job sites, with very rare expectations. Meaning 240v power supply is simply banned from many on-site jobs due to health and safety concerns.

It’s always a good idea to check with the site owner before you start working to run through the rules and find out what voltage supply is permitted.

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