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Step Up vs. Step Down Voltage Converters

step up vs step down voltage convertersIf you're moving to another country, traveling overseas, or have electronics or appliances that are not compatible with the voltage in your home, RV or boat - you're going to need to purchase a voltage converter.
 
Voltage converters - also known as voltage transformers - are devices that do exactly what the name implies. They convert voltage up or down, making it possible to use electronics and appliances that require a voltage other than what you currently have available.
 
There are many reasons for needing a voltage converter, including:
 
• Moving overseas with electronics or appliances that were purchased in your home country
• Traveling overseas for an extended period with electronics
• Purchasing electronics or appliances from a foreign retailer
• Using 110 or 120 volt appliances or electronics in a yacht/RV that utilizes 220 or 240 volts
• Using specialty tools like welders which often use an operating voltage of 220 volts
 
Whatever the reason, voltage converters make it easy to use your electronics and appliances at the voltage they were designed to be used with. Attempting to use a device at a higher or lower voltage than it was designed to be used for is dangerous and can damage your device, cause personal injury, and result in a fire.
 

Step Up vs. Step Down Converters

There are two main types of voltage converters available to use, Step-up and step-down. A step-up voltage converter takes the voltage up, allowing 220/240 volt devices to be used with a 110/120 volt electrical outlet. A Step-down voltage converter takes the voltage down, allowing a 110/120 volt device to be used with a 220/240 volt electrical outlet.
 
What type of voltage converter do you need? See the examples below.
 
Step-up Voltage Converters: Used by people from 220/240 volt countries (most european countries) who are traveling or relocating to North America (or other 110/120 volt country) with their electronics and appliances. Likewise, a step-up voltage converter can be used by anyone in North America who needs to use a 220/240 volt product.
 
Step-down Voltage Converters: Used by people from 110/120 volt countries who are traveling or relocating to a 220/240 volt country with their electronics or appliances. Likewise, step-down converters can be used by anyone in a 220/240 volt country who needs to use a 110/120 volt product.
 
It's actually quite simple. Step-up converters step your voltage up, while step-down converters step the voltage down. Several years ago when traveling to Europe, I brought a step-down converter with me so I could use my large computer monitor and desktop computer during an extended business stay. I plugged the unit into the 220 volt wall outlet, and it safely stepped the voltage down so I could use my system at the 120 volts it was designed for. It made life easy, and with a power strip connected to the converter I was able to use a few other 120 volt devices I had brought with including my Playstation 3. The converter was easy to use and eliminated any chase of harm or damage to my devices.
 

Dual-Purpose Step-up/Step-down Converters

Some people prefer to have the ability to step the voltage up and down with a single device. These people can purchase a dual-use step-up/step-down converter that is capable of bringing voltage both up or down. The dual functionality of these causes them to cost slightly more, but the difference is negligible if that's what you really need.
 

Where to Buy a Voltage Converter

Voltage converters can be purchased in many places, but it's important to look for a quality product. It's also important to know that the converters are rated in watts, and you need to be sure that the model you purchase is rated for sufficient wattage to handle the devices you're planning on using. Sizes range from a very low 100 volts up to 5,000 volts or more. You can learn exactly how to choose the proper voltage converter here by using our detailed buying guide.
 
As specialists in international electronics & appliance use, we sell a complete line of voltage converters for any situation. We have multiple sizes and styles, including converters with voltage regulators to enhanced safety. You can shop our complete inventory here, from the comfort of your home. We guarantee the lowest prices and ship worldwide.
 
With over 35 years of experience in international relocation and global electronics, 220-Electronics is a trusted source for consumers all over the world. Our low prices and decades of experience ensure a pleasant purchase experience and the help of a knowledgeable and dedicated staff. Shop our online store with confidence! We have helped end of thousands of customers in the last 5 years alone and we hope that you'll be one of them.