Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Buying an Electric Motor
If you're like most woodworkers, you love power tools. I do, and a couple days ago I was over at the Woodsmith Store (our retail store here in Des Moines) poking around in the power tools department. And once again, I started thinking about just what horsepower ratings really mean, and should I care.

When I'm shopping for a power tool, any tool with an electric motor, I don't simply rely on the most prominently labeled horsepower rating. It may be mis-leading. Some manufacturers list the motor's maximum developed horsepower rather than its continuous duty horsepower rating.

Since maximum horsepower will only be reached just prior to the motor's overload or stall point, this rating doesn't accurately reflect the power the motor will produce in normal use.

For a clearer picture of a motor's output, check the amperage and full load efficiency ratings on the name plate. The higher the amperage number, the more powerful the motor.

If you're in the market for an electric motor, be an informed consumer: Read Workbench magazine's "Ten Point Check List for Choosing an Electric Motor." You'll find it free, here, on Workbench's web site.

Go to Tip #12
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