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My wife's mom and dad are here from Russia. We'd like to buy him a dremel tool, a cordless drill, and a 1/4 sheet palm sander for his birthday to take back. I know the cordless drill is not a problem for a converter since it's a battery charger. The dremel tool probably is not either. But what about the 1/4 sheet palm sander. Is there any way to convert the tools once he gets there? I'm looking for the most sensible and durable way.

Also, he's kind of stubborn and there's really no way to give a "gift coupon" to take to Russia. It doesn't really work that way over there :) And as said, he'd be too stubborn to use it. Thanks.

  • Can you get him a 230V palm sander instead? – ThreePhaseEel May 12 at 2:41
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    People are saying battery, but the chargers are not a slam dunk 110/220... my universe is Dewalt, so limited in scope: my UK 18v chargers weren't 110 capable, and my current 20v dc/110 chargers (at least the two I could walk over and check) are solely 110v. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 12 at 3:20
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This seems like a really bad idea.

First, you can't just ignore the voltage difference problem. The battery charger might have a chance of working natively or with an adapter (read its labeling) - but that's a hokey way to hook it up. The Dremel is probably beyond the ability of cheap Chinese power adapters, not least because it's a motor and I seriously doubt that overpriced $23 thing with 50 cents of electronics inside it actually does VFD.

It's generally a fool's errand to try to convert tools from one voltage/frequency to another. If you want that, then get Euro or UK tools that are 230V/50 Hz.

Further, there's the matter of plugs. USA stuff will not plug into Russian outlets, nor should it. Russia uses the Europlug (ungrounded) or Schuko (grounded). This is the same as almost all of mainland Europe. So order your father-in-law European appliances if you must.

Lastly, tools are personal. You select the tool you like, and then you adapt to it and love it. It's a thing you've got to do.

Parents don't just use stuff you give them because you gave them. You know perfectly well this is the best you can hope for. 90% of the time it goes on the shelf or in the trash. Given that you'll be giving tools of incompatible voltage, and incompatible plugs, this is 100% guaranteed in this case. If you want to do a gesture like this, either recognize it for the foolhardy, empty gesture it is and hope your FiL will feel the love... or get serious and obtain Euro appliances. Or better yet, sort out the barriers to giving a gift card at your FIL's favorite tool shop.

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Almost all hand operated power tools these days are available in battery/portable versions. Palm sanders are no exception. The advantage of this should follow from your comment about the charger for the other cordless tools. Many battery chargers these days are designed to work on AC voltage from ~90VAC up to over 240VAC making then almost universal the world over save just for different power cord ends.

Also be aware that cordless Dremel Tools are a real existing thing with similar knock off tools from other vendors as well.

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Go cordless and make it a set. Probably won't find as a combination set, but that's OK. Actually better to have multiple tools to end up with extra batteries and even a 2nd charger so that he is set if things go bad. All the big names have everything available cordless now. For example, Ryobi (Home Depot):

Hammer drill + 2 batteries + charger + bag:

enter image description here

1/4 sander:

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Rotary tool:

enter image description here

If you can find a brand also sold in Russia that's better so he can get replacement batteries and other tools if he wants. But even if that is the case, start him off with at least 2 batteries for redundancy.

But do be careful and make sure that you either get a 220V (230/240/etc.) charger or that the charger handles a full range 100 - 240V (like a typical laptop charger). I checked my own Ryobi charger and it is specifically 120V. There are "modifications" available, but far better to find something where no modifications are needed, just an adapter (no transformer, no electronics) for the plug or a different power cable.

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