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How Much Power Do Tools Need [Explained Properly]

Tools obviously need power to function. Sometimes you might not know the right amount of power they need. As a result, your breaker might trip really often. With time this situation might get worse.

How much power do tools need?

The functionality of the tools depends on their amps. That’s why you should check the needed amps to know how much power your tools need. For example, tools that are considered small powered need 2-8 amps. But with larger tools the amps range is 6-16. Last but not least, for your “Power tools” the required amps is more than 16. 

This doesn’t give you the proper idea, I understand.

That’s why I have explained the info in a detailed way. 

If you wish to know more, please do keep reading!

How to Tell the Amount of Power Your Tools Need? 

Different types of tools need different amounts of power. That’s why it’s so important to know how much power your tool needs. 

The basic way to know about your tool’s required power is by knowing the amps of the tool. Because the rating of the amps indicates something important. 

That is the load of electrical current that a motor can hold and carry for an indefinite time. This is without degrading its insulation and the motor’s other extra electrical compounds. 

You also have to know about voltage. Because for some power tools, you have to see the volts. Voltage is supposed to measure the energy of the battery, unlike amperes that measure the current. 

Battery that has a high level of voltage tends to work with a more powerful cordless tool. This is to provide the energy needed for high-torque uses. 

That’s all the info you need on amps and volts. All you need to do now is check the info regarding volts and amps. You’ll find that on the tool label. 

But sometimes you might not find the actual rating. But don’t worry! I have mentioned the info on the upcoming segment. 

Needed Power for Your Power Tools

You’ll find different PVC pipe types. Just like that, there are various types of power tools available in your house. To work with the tools you’ll need enough power. 

As mentioned above, you have to learn about the rating of the amps along with the volts. But the label of the power tools might not always be useful. 

This is why I have divided the required power range into 3 types of power tools. The types are based on how much power they need. They are mentioned below- 

Small Tools 

Small power tools are referred to as the ones that don’t require much power. They can function efficiently with the lowest amount of power. 

Jigsaw that can cut ductwork is considered a small power tool. Sander is known to be another example of this type of power tool. 

These can work with amps in between 2-8. As a result, yes, you don’t need to provide much power to them.  

Large Tools 

These types of tools require a bit more power than the smaller ones. Some examples of this type are router, lathe, and circular saw. 

Wondering about your table saw? 

Table saw is also under this type. The power needed for this tool mainly depends on its motor size. But the amps range for all of the three large tools is 6-16. 

By providing this much power you easily use your circular saw to cut your marble tile while avoiding chipping.

Larger Tools 

The last type is the largest power tool. These tools need a lot of power to operate. 

Air compressors and dust collectors fall under this type. They need more than 16 amps and this range can go up to 25 amps or more. 

Remembering this will help you supply your tool with needed power. 

How to Tell If You Have Enough Power to Draw From? 

If your house is not older than 40 years, you’ll have enough amps to provide the tools. Because almost all of the houses that were built within that time have 100-200 amps service. 

But you might have a shop and don’t want to share the circuits with your house. In that case, you can ask an electrician to install one subpanel in the shop.

This way you’ll have short wiring. This also decreases the chances of heat buildup and power loss. You’ll also have the access to shutting down power to your shop when not needed. 

Your house might have been built in the pre-1950 era. You might also haven’t updated your electrical facilities. In that case, you won’t be able to provide more than 60 amps. 

Because of this, your circuit breakers will trip while you’re using a powerful tool. This is a dangerous situation and can definitely cause electrical hazards. 

That’s why you need to call an electrician and install a new electrical panel. But if you want to do it yourself, do follow the safety rules. 

For example, while rewiring, maintain the safety tips. You also have to wear safety gloves while inspecting the electrical wiring. 

That’s why here are some suggestions regarding that- 

Product 1
Product 2

Be sure to use these!

How to Size Circuits?

You now know the power amount for your tool and if you can provide that or not. But this is where you might face a dilemma. 

Sizing your circuit for the tools is super important. The sizing depends on the power that’ll be used for the tools. 

To size your circuits, check the list you’ve made of the needed amps for your tools. Remember, electrical codes need the load on your circuit to not go over 80% of its capacity. 

As a result, for a table saw that needs 16 amps, you’ll have to get a 20 amps circuit. For working with two different tools simultaneously, you need two different circuits. 

In conclusion, the power of the circuit should be more than your tool’s power. 


Question: Is it beneficial to rewire from 120 volts to 240 volts?

Answer: According to common belief, yes. Because doubling your voltage cuts your amperage that’ll be used in half. As a result, you can operate a table saw with 12 amps and a dust collector with 13 amps at 26 amps. 20 amps for these power tools should be enough to function at the same time. But even if the amp is half now, the wattage remains the same. As a result, there is no benefit. 

Question: How much power does a cordless drill need?

Answer: Most drills used in our household need around 12 to 16 volts. But more powerful ones require up to 20 volts. These drills are heavier as well. 

Question: How many volts does a police taser have?

Answer: A police taser falls under a very powerful tool. It has around 50,000 volts. The voltage number is super high but the amperes level is low. Because it’s below the safety limits. 

Final Words 

That’s everything regarding how much power do tools need. Hopefully, you’ll find the info I’ve provided helpful. Because these are from my own experience. 

The last piece of advice is that if you rewire or double your volts, don’t do it yourself. You can attempt doing it if you’ve expertise. Other than that, take help from an electrician. 

Good luck! Stay safe!