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What's the Difference Between 110V and 240V Power Tools?

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 6th Feb 2024

This Toolstop Blog Post has been created to talk you through 110V vs 240V. So what is the difference between 110V and 240V power tools? These tools are designed for totally different purposes, all will be explained in detail! We even discuss 240v to 110v transformers, what they're used for and why you may need one. To distinguish the difference between 110V and 240V tools, keep reading.

What's the Difference Between 110V and 240V Power Tools?

110V vs 240V - What's the Difference and Which Is Best?

When buying corded power tools, you more often than not get the option to choose between 110V (110 volts) or 240V (240 volts).

This can be confusing, as many people are not aware of the difference and end up purchasing the wrong one. This Toolstop guide explains exactly the difference between the two voltages, and which one you should opt for.

What is the Difference Between 110V and 240V Tools?

240V tools are compatible with standard domestic 3 pin plug sockets, therefore, are best suited for use around the home and in the DIY workshop.

110V tools are designed for heavy-duty site use, however, a transformer is needed in order for them to operate.

The different voltage levels are in most cases simply dependent on the electricity network you are connected to.

110V power tools are used on sites as they offer the user more safety in the event of an accident such as a cable being cut. You will have less chance of being injured by the electricity flowing through.

If you are going to carry out site work, you will need to have 110 volt tools.

240v plug

240V to 110V Transformers - What Do They Do?

Transformers, when plugged into a standard 240 volt power supply, drop the voltage to a safer 110V so you don’t have to use expensive circuit breakers. They are made up of 2 x 55V lines to form 110V.

Should a wire get damaged or accident occur, the voltage will be halved to increase user safety. It is extremely important that you are very careful when working alongside transformers as they are electrical appliances after all and come with great risk.

On many sites in recent years, 110V is the said requirement and 240V tools are simply not allowed. This relates back to health and safety and it is important you check with the site manager before carrying out any tasks.

Transformers allow for maximum versatility. Say for instance you need to hire a power tool for domestic/DIY use but it is not available in 240V. You can still hire it and use it at home, but you would need a transformer in order to convert the voltage to 240V.

240V tools aren't any less powerful than 110V, and vice versa. Both tools work in the exact same way, providing the exact same power. The difference is simply to do with health and safety.


Why do we use 110V on the site in the UK? For site use, 110V is considered to be safer than 240V.

I only work in domestic properties. Is 110V still the safest option? For domestic use, 240V works just fine. This is because you are never usually too far from an outlet socket and it avoids lugging around a heavy transformer.

If you don't fancy the thought of cables at all, why not opt for some cordless power tools?

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