Eli’s a long-time friend of Toolmonger, and comments pretty regularly hereabouts. He’s moving to Austrailia soon, and finds himself in a bit of a fix regarding all his beloved power tools, both corded and cordless.
He writes: “Since RIDGID doesn’t make an Oz voltage charger, I’ve checked the Australian site of a certain online bidding service and come to the realization that tools are really pricey there. It might make sense after all to bring ALL of my tools with me when we move there, even with the hassle of having to use special converters. I’m pretty sure they are 240 volts @ 50 cycles, and we are 120 volts @ 60 cycles.”
“So I’ve been looking at step down transformers, and working out all the wattage of my tools. I thought maybe there was an electrical engineer or Australian ‘Monger among us that could help me determine safe working loads for the different stuff. For example, my Makita power planer is 4 amps, which as I understand it translates to about 440 watts (amps x current=watts). But I’m wondering how high a wattage transformer I should have for safety under load. A grinder or any saw or a thickness planer would all be different under load. I don’t mind buying several and hard mounting them right to the tool itself for the big ones, and keeping it with a U.S. extension cord in a bucket or something for the hand tools.”
We’ve contacted some of the manufacturers to see about conversion kits with no luck, but we wondered if some of you might have ideas for alternate solutions to the problem. To help out, we’ll kick out a Black & Decker AutoWrench to a single commenter of Eli’s selection in this comment thread. (And if you don’t care about the AutoWrench, we’d appreciate it if you’d offer your wisdom anyway. Remember, we Toolmongers have to take care of our own!)