800w or 1.5kw Spindle VS Makita

I’ve been running the Makita without any issues now for a few weeks.

I’m in an old building and it’s unclear what the wiring situation is. I have a 15amp breaker but I’m trying not to push it. I’m running my shopvac on the same circuit. So far so good.

I have been pondering the 800w or 1.5 kw spindles. the 2.2 is likely way way too much for my breaker.

Does anyone have any real knowledge about how much power they draw relative to the Makita? And are they as or more powerful than the Makita?

I’d eventually like to make the switch for noise reasons. I would be going water cooled.


Hey Paul,

Do you live in the USA? If yes, there could be a good chance that you have split-phase electric power in your building, since it is common in North America. This is a kind of residential power where you have 120 Volts in two phases shifted by 180° to each other which means 120 V between one hot and the neutral, but 240 V between two hots with different phases. An electrician could open your fuse box and see if this is the case, and if it is, they could easily provide you with a NEMA 14 wall outlet with 240 Volts and an appropriate circuit breaker. 240 V would mean half the Ampères than with 120 V and thus half the wire’s required cross-section area (thinner wires) both for VFD and spindle.

The 800 watt spindle will provide the same power as the Makita palm router. They both pull approximately 6.5 amps. A 1500 watt spindle is going to putt 12.5 amps. Only issue with the 800 watt spindle is clearance with the stepper motor mount on the z axis using the stock 65mm mount. The larger spindles in the 80mm mount do not have this clearance issue.

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Hey Paul,

It is not only the question whether they are more powerful, but they are very different types of motors with very different behaviour. The motors found in power tools for residential single-phase power like in trim routers are commutated series-wound motors, also called universal motors. They are in fact DC motors that are made to run on AC. By the use of commutators, their speed is totally independent of the frequency of the alternating current, and if they had no electronics to control their speed, they would destroy themselves by running faster and faster when they have no load. Their typical motor characteristic is that their speed is dependent from load. Maybe you observed that some hand power tools have a high speed when switched on but become slower immediately when you give them some load, e.g something to mill. This effect can be prevented by sophisticated speed control electronics, which can be found on more expensive tools.

Spindles on the other side are asynchronuous induction motors. This is a very old type of motor, and because of its advantageous characteristics it is the widespread motor of choice in the industry. They are made to run on three-phase current that acts on coils that are a multiple of three and that are only on the stator, not on the rotor. The speed of these motors is controlled by the frequency of the three-phase current, and their characteristic is that they can have high torque over a wide speed range and that their speed is very easily controllable by altering the frequency. The device that provides the three-phase current with variable frequency is called VFD, you need one to drive such a motor.

So the first difference you will see is that in comparison with the router not only the ugly noise of the sparks of carbon-brush commutators is gone, but also that spindles hold their speed completely independently of load. If you exceed the power of the spindle by a too high load, the spindle will not become slower but the VFD will trip instead.

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Ok that’s interesting…so I could get 240v on the same wire and it would actually be safer?

It’s an old office building that’s now a mixed use space (on my floor there’s therapists, painters, accountants, etc etc). It’s really unclear what the wiring is, and the owners don’t seem to know. The mainantence guy opened up the box and showed me I have 2 15amp breakers (which is lucky because some of the spaces have screw in fuses). No idea if the wiring matches up to the breakers. It’s not an industrial building.

But if I had a 240v wall outlet, would everything then need to be 240v? Like my shop vac?

Can you explain that a bit more? Is the body not long enough to reach the wasteboard?

I actually had the 2.2kw and bought it without considering the amount of Amps it might use. I wired it and it ran well and quietly. But I ended up boxing it up because I was pretty sure I was going to be blowing the breaker with it.

Hey Paul,

Pete is right. See here, here, here, and here.

This affects 0.8 kW and 1.5 kW spindles with 65 mm diameter. By the way, the trim router is also affected, as referenced here (scroll down inside posting a little bit).

See also this interesting view comparing the 65 mm and the 80 mm spindle mount.

Hey Paul,

I would phone your electrician and let him come and open the fuse box internal cover and ask him whether or not two “hots” with different phases are there. In this case, ask him the price for making you a NEMA14 outlet. Then you have 240 V and a new additional circuit breaker.

Not on the same wire but with an additional outlet. For keeping price low, you could let him make the outlet just on the fuse box.

With the same power rating, say 2.2 kW, a 120 V device needs a current of double the Ampères than a 240 V device. And it is the current, not the power, that says how thick your wires have to be. With 240 V, your wires from wall to VFD and your wires from VFD to spindle will only require wires with half the cross-section area than with girly power :slight_smile: errm I meant with 120 V.

No, your 120 V wall outlets would not be affected and you can use them as before.

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ok just so I understand this, this would involve running another wire? That’s not really possible economically, the breaker box isn’t in my space, it’s down the hall unfortunately.

Hey Paul,

down the hall, really. Shit. This would be very expensive to lay a new wire. You don’t have the right to have an extension cord through the hall I assume?

There could be a slight possibility to dedicate one existing wire between your room and the hall to the new use, you said you have two circuit breakers so you would need to know how many wires are laid between the fuse box and the wall outlets in your space.

Theoretically you could run 240 V on a wire which had 120 V before but you would have to replace all wall outlets that are on this wire by 240 V NEMA14 outlets.


yeah. it’s not going to happen.

The 1.5kw spindle would likely be a larger draw than the Makita? I didn’t know the thing about the stepper motor…

Hey Paul,

the rated input power of a VFD is about 1.7 to 2.0 times bigger than the rated power of the spindle you can drive with it.

So for 2.2 kW spindle you have 3.8 to 4.4 kVA input rating which means on 120 V you would need a circuit breaker that allows approx. 31 – 36 A and with 240 V you would need a circuit breaker that allows approx. 15.4 – 18.3 A.

For 1.5 kW spindle you have 2.7 to 3.3 kVA input rating which means on 120 V you would need a circuit breaker that allows approx. 23 – 28 A and with 240 V you would need a circuit breaker that allows approx. 12 – 14 A.

Of course the VFD/spindle mostly will not draw that current, but it would not be safe to connect such a device to a power installation that is not able to provide that power.

But what you could do is limit the power of the spindle inside VFD. It is the setting “rated motor current” that you can alter to a smaller value. This is necessary anyway in case you would connect a 1.5 kW spindle to a 2.2 kW VFD. This way you could use a 2.2 kW spindle and limit it to behave like a e.g. 0.75 kW spindle.

By the way, the efficiency of the trim router is much worse. What the manufacturer specifies there is the input power, not the power exerted. For universal motors (as explained in the posting above) like in the trim router, the efficiency is 30%–70% max. which means of your 747 W, what you get as output is about 224–522 W at maximum.

This is not comparable with the excellent typical efficiency of a spindle of 85–97%(!).

So yes, a spindle with the same rated power as the trim router is much more powerful.

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Have you blown breakers with the Makita? I’m guessing not. Are you planning on doing anything different (larger bits or deeper cuts) where you’ll need more power? If not then it doesn’t matter the maximum power the spindle will draw. You’re going to use about the same. But keep in mind the water pump will draw power (if you go with a refrigerated cooling unit even more power) but not a lot.

My advice is to go with the 1500w spindle. You can use it without trying to find 240v power or maxing out a 20amp 120v circuit by itself. As long as you continue to do the same things you do now you’ll be fine.

As for power, do you have a breaker panel for your shop? If so turn off one breaker at a time with something like a radio plugged in to figure out which breaker controls which outlets. Then just plug different components into different outlets. I don’t think I would bother with an electrician to upgrade to 240v if you don’t have it. Not unless you plan on being there for a very long time to justify the cost or have a real need to upgrade to a 2.2kw spindle.

Do you have a multimeter? You can use one with an extension cord to check to see if you have outlets that are on split phases. Don’t touch the metal part of the probes while pushing them into the slots. Just plug the cord into one outlet, bring it next to a different outlet, and then put one test probes into the smaller slot, one in the receptacle and one in the extension cord. If the meter, on AC, reads 0v then they are on the same phase, if they read 240v then bingo.

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Hey Alex,

I had the same thought after I had finished the last post: Of course if Paul has two breakers as reported, it is probable that he has outlets on one breaker and outlets on the other, and it is probable that they are on different phases so he may have 240 V in his space anyway.

But I don’t know if he would be able or ready to make the 240 V accessible based on the existing wiring in a serious (and safe) way. As far as I understood you Paul, you fear the cost of an electrician and I can understand this.

But already only to find out which outlets are on which breaker makes much sense, as @Dr-Al said, since then you can better distribute your components over the two 15 A circuits (e.g. dedicate one of the two 15 A circuits for spindle).

Regarding spindle you can always limit a more powerful spindle by limiting the current inside VFD, instead of buying a spindle with less power. This would mean you could buy VFD and spindle bigger than your today’s installation can deliver and remove the limitation inside VFD should you move to a place with bigger power.

Paul @paulmcevoy75, do you still have this spindle?

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I have the Huanyang 110V 2.2KW spindle. My impression so far has been that it draws significantly less power than anticipated. Granted, I have not pushed it overly hard yet as I’m still getting used to it.

My observations so far:

  • Spooling up draws the most current: 10-11A
  • Running at no load: 3-4A
  • 1/4 up cut end mill @ 20000RPM, 80in/min: 4-5A

I am still working on dialing in feeds and speeds, but here are a couple of basic tests with video to demonstrate the types of readings I am seeing.

Videos may be loud! Sorry.

VFD/spindle readings can be seen on the lower current transformer display.

Spooling up to max @ 24000RPM.

Slot paths in solid Walnut with a 1/4 up cut end mill.

  • 1st cut: 0.125" DOC @ 20000RPM, 80in/min
  • 2nd cut: 0.25" DOC @ 20000RPM, 80in/min


Thanks for the reply guys.

I still have the 2.2kw spindle. I’m planning on selling it at some point. I was really stupid in moving into the space and not checking out what power was there…I never had a shop of my own before.

I know which outlets are on each breaker (I think so anyway). I have the controller and the monitor on one circuit and the router and shop vac on the other.

I’m pretty sure I have fairly basic 110v power. The building is from the 1920s and I don’t think it’s ever been heavily updated. I do at least have breakers. The other issue is that no one really knows anything there.

I did have the 2.2kw spindle running in there but never under load and never with the shop vac going.

So you think the 1.5kw spindle at the loads I’m doing would probably be ok? My real concern is that the wiring is janky and they just threw the 15a breakers on it and I’m going to start a fire. I don’t have a real reason to fear that but that’s sort of my nightmare scenario.

I have not blown the breaker. I have two 15amp breakers. I have not had the router above 4.

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Hey Paul,

I don’t think it really makes sense to sell your 2.2 kW spindle for buying a 1.5 kW spindle! As I showed above, for their rated power, your circuit breaker 15 A is too small for both of them. But if you decide to use a spindle and to limit its power inside the VFD, it does not matter whether it is a 2.2 kW or a 1.5 kW spindle. You can set both to behave as if they were 0.75 kW spindles by altering the “rated motor current” setting inside the VFD in order to stay under 16 A VFD input power.

To be clear: With a spindle with power set to a limit inside VFD, you will not notice the difference to an unlimited spindle as long as you do not put heavier loads to the spindle. Neither the speed nor the torque will be different if you limit a 2.2 kW spindle to behave like a 0.75 kW spindle, as long as you do not exceed the load (e.g. larger (wider) bits, deeper cuts, as @Dr-Al said) that you limited it to. And as said above, if you exceed the load, the VFD will just trip.

What I mean is in fact not much different than what Dr-Al said but with the difference I would not connect the higher power spindle/VFD to a weaker power source without limiting the power inside the VFD. This way you make sure that in case that you exceed the power by putting a too heavy load, it is the VFD that trips and not the circuit breaker. This is not only important for safety and for protecting the VFD, but also means that in case the VFD trips you don’t have the power out on the CNC Controller too.

So what I would say is: You have a spindle, so you could simply use it and set the “rated motor current” inside VFD to a fourth of the rated current on the spindle’s nameplate, and if your loads are like we estimated here, you will not exceed the power you can get. And the best thing is: If the load is exceeded, it is not the circuit breaker that will trip, but the VFD, which is made for that.

Also a 2.2 kW spindle has other advantages over a 1.5 kW spindle: Not only you avoid the limitation of the 65 mm spindle mount which will not allow the spindle to clear the stepper but also it has bigger bearings which means longer life. Also you need less cooling because both the mass of metal body and the mass of water inside is greater.

It is not likely that you produce fire if you exceed the circuit breaker or the VFD and it trips. These safety mechanisms are there. But what can produce fire are bad connections, both soldered and screwed. To avoid this, make sure you have a pre-made spindle cable and don’t put stranded wire into the VFD terminals without wire ferrules or ring or spade connectors (depending on terminal type on VFD) which have to be properly crimped to the stranded wires.

Regarding the test for finding out whether you have two phases and subsequently have already 240 V in your space is not difficult if you a own an extension cord of appropriate length, and a multimeter. If you have two phases and 240 V, it is clear that there is some way to have a 240 V outlet.

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If the breakers are modern and it’s a commercial space then an electrician did the work needed to make it safe or someone is criminally negligent. If it was a house, maybe, but not a commercial space with all the zoning laws we have had for decades in this country. An easy thing to check would be the outlets themselves. Are they 3 prong with a ground? 1920s would be 2 prong. You can also remove the outlet cover and look inside the box (don’t touch anything) to see if the jacket on the wire is yellow or white vinyl. If the wiring has been upgraded then the risk of fire is there no matter what you plug into the outlets.

Hey Alex,

:triangular_flag_on_post: OT

When reading the term zoning laws I was not sure where to put it so I just read this article about Zoning and the related article Single-family zoning. This is very interesting!

Zoning laws that limit the construction of new housing are associated with reduced affordability and are a major factor in residential segregation in the United States by income and race.

Single-family zoning in the United States restricts development to only allow single-family detached homes. It disallows townhomes, duplexes, and multi-family housing (apartments) from being built on any plot of land with this zoning designation. It is a form of exclusionary zoning, and was created as a way to keep minorities out of white neighborhoods.

I noticed that both articles have no german equivalent article. Of course we have “Bebauungsplan” and “Flächennutzungsplan” and I think Germany is one of the most regulated countries, especially when it comes to house building. I matters of construction, practically nothing is permitted without application and authorities decision and permission, not even a car port, in some municipalities you don’t even have the right to choose a different roof tile’s profile and color. This is very sad in Germany, in contrast to the many positive things here. It is a very bureaucratic country.

Edit: What I found in german, is the article Zoning Resolution which is linked to the english article Zoning in the United States. I also read german article Zoning Resolution für New York City which is corresponding to english article 1916 Zoning Resolution. Very interesting this all.

Graph of the 1916 New York City zoning ordinance with an example elevation for an 80-foot street in a 2½-times height district

– Source: Cmglee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons