Home>Discussions>TOOLS & PRODUCTS>voltage requirements on power tools
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
voltage requirements on power tools

Most power tools stae they are 115 volts or 120 volts. I don't know much about electrical stuff. Can I use a 120 volt power tool with my regular house current?

Re: voltage requirements on power tools

Yes, regular household voltage is 120 volts or 240 volts for heavy items like water heaters, ovens, ranges etc. Most electrical tools in this country are designed for 120 volts + or - 5 or 10%.

Re: voltage requirements on power tools


"Household current" can range anywhere from 110V to 125V; it is nominally 120V. If the nameplate on the tool or appliance falls in this range, and a voltmeter shows the power in your wall outlet is somewhere in this range, it's compatible. If you are concerned that the voltage is too low or too high, call your electric utility.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: voltage requirements on power tools

some electric power tools like say a leaf blower/vac might have a 3-prong plug and require a grounded outlet and GFCI protection on the safety label. some tools will say how many amps which is current they require, some will say specifically that they should be used with a 20 amp circuit not 15 amps.

if you have a three-prong cord and plug you shouldn't use a cheater device to plug it into a 2-prong outlet or extension cord. make sure if you are using an extension cord the cord is a heavy enough guage for its length and the requirements of the power tool. if your power tool has a two prong plug and one side is wider than the other you shouldn't use a cheater device to plug it into old style outlets or file off the fat fin.

norm always says a blurb about reading all the instructions and follow all the safety warnings for any power tool before using it. good advice.

if you have regular household voltage not some low voltage or off the grid electrical system and in US or Canada you should be okay.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.