The main purpose of a step-down transformer or converter is to change the 220-volt electric output of an outlet to 110-volt. In the US, no conversion is needed to use 110-volt electric gadgets and appliances because the voltage standard in the whole country is 110 volts. However, you will need to bring a step-down converter when traveling to countries in Asia and Europe. That way, you can safely use your electric gadgets and protect them from overheating.
Step-down transformers on the market are not all the same. They vary in terms of features, rating, and sizes. Aside from these differences, there are other things that you should carefully consider when buying so you can choose a step-down transformer that suits your needs.
- Watt rating
The size of voltage transformers or converters is measured in wattages. By computing the total wattages of all the 110-volt devices that you need to plug, you can determine the right size of your voltage transformer.
- Appliances or devices with a motor
As a general rule, the watt rating of your transformer should be higher than the total wattages of your devices. This rule must be especially applied when you have power tools and appliances that need a surge of power when turned on. The right transformer to buy has a watt rating that is 25% higher than the device’s wattage requirement to allow buffering.
- Size and weight
If you will be traveling from place to place, then the ideal step-down transformer is light and compact. Usually, these units have 200 watts, which is enough for charging small electronic devices.
- Store reputation
Yours and your device’s safety may be put at risk when your step-down converter or transformer is made with low-quality materials. One way of making sure that the unit you are buying is high-quality is to check the reputation of the store. Look for reviews and see if their previous customers are recommending them. Aside from this, consider the brands of step-down converters they are selling. Lastly, read their shipping and payment policies.