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Festool - US models work in the UK?

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Anonymous

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I'm frequently in the US and am interested in purchasing some Festool equipment from there because of the HUGE difference in price - a TS55 with guide rail etc. and a MFT 1080 table is only £425.00.
Import duty only adds 6% and VAT is reclaimable. I have previously brought in computer and photographic equipment and not been charged anything despite declaring their true considerable value - maybe it pays to be honest!
I know that the US equipment is 110v so would I be able to use it here with a transformer?

Thanks

Kevin
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Kevin

kmhphoto":1lluv1qy said:
I know that the US equipment is 110v so would I be able to use it here with a transformer?
Welcome to UKW.

A 110V site transformer here is not the same as 110V US as it runs at a different cycle.

Have a look here: -

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/view ... 18&start=0

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1859

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1640

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1443

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1057

Cheers
Neil
 

Taffy Turner

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Kevin,

I am sure someone will be along in a bit to give a more comprehensive answer, but the short answer is yes, it will work off a 110v transformer, but most things will run more slowly, as the USA supply is at 60 Hz, whereas the UK one is at 50Hz.

This means a reduction in speed of 16.7%, which is significant. This could be a major issue on some items i.e circular saws, drills etc. I don't actually know what a TS55 is (plunge circular saw??).

Only you can decide if the saving in terms of cash is worth the drop in performance caused by the lower maximum speed. Don't forget to add in the cost of a decent sized 240v to 110 V step down transformer into your caclulations.

Regards

Gary

Edit - Sorry Neil - we must have posted at the same time.
 
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Anonymous

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Wow thanks for the quick response and can now see I should have looked for a "search" option :)

I think I'll go ahead with the purchase of the TS-55 plunge saw and the table along with a range of their non-electrical accessories and see how the saw performs before purchasing anything else.

I don't understand why an item manufactured in Europe costs FAR more here than in the US.

My main trade is as a photographer and the lighting equipment I use - which is multi-voltage - is manufactured in Clacton-on-Sea yet it is 30% cheaper in the US!

Thanks again - this is a great forum
 

Scrit

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Taffy Turner":plvh4p5h said:
... This means a reduction in speed of 16.7%, which is significant....
... Only you can decide if the saving in terms of cash is worth the drop in performance caused by the lower maximum speed. Don't forget to add in the cost of a decent sized 240v to 110 V step down transformer into your caclulations.
Actually Taffy the speed drop ONLY applies to induction motors (as in saw benches, planer/thicknessers, etc) where the motor speed is directly governed by frequency as opposed to voltage. Most hand power tools use universal motors where any drop in speed may well be down to how the electronics handle it. I've used Porter-Cable routers on a 110volt transformer for a few years now without overheating or problems, but they are fairly simple beasties without much sophistication at all (i.e. no electronics = agricultural) - and the stuff I use is rated by PC at "25 to 60Hz power supply" in their catalogues....

Kevin

I think you need to ask Festool in the USA if this is a valid approach - just tell them you're being seconded from the USA to the EU (not that you're already here as they'll direct you to Festool in Germany - been there, done that :? ) Festools tend to be quite sophisticated with electronic brakes and speed regulation so frequency may be an issue with regards the electrinics as opposed to the motors, so I feel you'd be well advised to check (and let us all know, too :lol: ) just in case you need a frequency inverter as well as a transformer. As to sizing the transformer, go for TWICE the VA rating of your tool's wattage rating (so a 1600 watt tool requires a 3.3kVA = 3300VA transformer). That recommendation is based on advice from the DW rep - he reckons that he sees a lot of DW742 flip-overs with motor problems because the site transformer was too small - the motor windings overheat on startup/heavy cutting because despite the capacitor start the transformer isn't big enough to handle the starting load and the motor is consequently held at too low a speed for its fan to cool the motor housing. Too small a transformer and your tool will potentially stall/run up slowly and the motor overheat. And it's overheating that kills motors. Period.

Sorry to be a little more guarded, but Festools are a lot of brass and you wouldn't want to cook a motor that Minden Industrial (Festool UK) can't/won't repair.

Scrit
 

Taffy Turner

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Scrit":2x1vyzx0 said:
Taffy Turner":2x1vyzx0 said:
... This means a reduction in speed of 16.7%, which is significant....
... Only you can decide if the saving in terms of cash is worth the drop in performance caused by the lower maximum speed. Don't forget to add in the cost of a decent sized 240v to 110 V step down transformer into your caclulations.
Actually Taffy the speed drop ONLY applies to induction motors (as in saw benches, planer/thicknessers, etc) where the motor speed is directly governed by frequency as opposed to voltage. Most hand power tools use universal motors where any drop in speed may well be down to how the electronics handle it. I've used Porter-Cable routers on a 110volt transformer for a few years now without overheating or problems, but they are fairly simple beasties without much sophistication at all (i.e. no electronics = agricultural) - and the stuff I use is rated by PC at "25 to 60Hz power supply" in their catalogues....
Scrit
I stand corrected! :oops:
You learn something every day!

Taffy
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for all the help. I've taken Scrit's advice and e-mailed Festool USA.
 
A

Anonymous

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After receiving and e-mail this morning which basicaly said "talk to our european company" I decided to support our own suppliers and placed an order this afternoon through Toolsave - they seem to have a good reputation on this site.
 
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