International voltage converters/transformers..
May 30, 2007 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Advice on voltage transformers for using US kitchen appliances in Europe?

I'm moving to Europe in a few months and would like to take a few of my more expensive kitchen appliances (Food Processor and Toaster Oven)

Is this a particularly stupid thing to do, or can I get a big ol transformer, plug a power strip into it, and cook away? I'm gonna need a decent toaster oven and food processor in Europe, and I'm imagining that buying a suitable transformer is cheaper than buying new, European versions of these items. Is this true?

(I wonder about the differences between kits like this and ones like this, sold by the same company. Will my 1300 watt toaster survive on the 1600 watt "Heating" mode of the cheaper, lighter transformer? How about my 700 Watt Food Processor (and I have no idea how much wattage it uses when you pulse it)? Why is there a cheaper, lighter, 1600 watt transformer sold by the same company? What's the technology difference?
posted by sdis to Technology (10 answers total)
I think the cost of getting them over there might exceed the cost savings of not buying them there.
posted by mdonley at 2:55 PM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: I'm bringing them over in my checked baggage, which has a difficult-to-calculate additional cost since it means I won't be able to bring their weight in whatever else I'd like to bring
posted by sdis at 3:01 PM on May 30, 2007

I've fried a couple of American pieces of electronics using cheap transformers since I moved to the UK.

Forget it. Buy new stuff once you get here.

I do have a step-down transformer, but it's big, loud and hot. Not convenient.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:14 PM on May 30, 2007

You are probably going to have a huge pain in the ass. When we moved to Germany we didn't bring any kitchen appliances with us (well, save for the gigantic honking American-sized fridge that we kept in the basement for drinks). My parents just did the same thing, again, when they moved back from the States to England. You might consider just leaving the appliances with a relative for safekeeping until your return stateside.

That said, I think you should check out the specs on your appliances. They might be able to work on European voltages (though I doubt it). If it says something like "110-220V, 50-60Hz" on the back or near the power supply, all you'll need is a plug converter, which will not be expensive or noisy.
posted by kdar at 3:43 PM on May 30, 2007

Advice? Yes. Don't. (Unless the appliance has a universal power supply like kdar says.)

You should really be comparing the cost of transformers (which will include extra energy costs as well) to getting used appliances overseas, because that's what you're replacing. If you get new appliances, then you get the advantages of the excitement and extra reliability of new appliances, and EU consumer protections, yay!
posted by grouse at 3:48 PM on May 30, 2007

Where in Europe? You can easily check online prices at major discounters like ASDA (aka WalMArt) and Argos in the UK;sure same is true for elsewhere too.
posted by A189Nut at 7:24 PM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: Austria (Vienna)
posted by sdis at 8:44 PM on May 30, 2007

Don't do it. Eventually they'll fry. My dual voltage hairdryer nearly caught fire.
posted by wayward vagabond at 2:38 AM on May 31, 2007

Real transformers are too heavy (as in, weighs as much as a packed suitcase) to carry in luggage. They also cost several hundred dollars. These are the only kind that will treat your appliances well. The appliances of which you speak is sold in Europe, in a range of qualities and prices.

IF, however, you want a griddle, you better bring one from the States! I could find electric griddles nowhere in Europe/UK.
posted by Goofyy at 3:24 AM on June 6, 2007

I could find electric griddles nowhere in Europe/UK.

Froogle is your friend. It's what I always use to find U.S. products that I miss here. I also have a tabletop combination microwave/convection oven, which can work just like a toaster oven as far as I can tell.
posted by grouse at 3:43 AM on June 6, 2007

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