The 7 Best Isolation Transformers
This wiki has been updated 6 times since it was first published in August of 2019. Whether you're looking to protect sensitive medical or musical equipment in a hospital or recording studio, or you're a hobbyist trying to create the safest, most effective electronics workbench, one of these isolation transformers should do the trick. We've included a wide variety of models, some of which also boast features like battery backup and surge suppression. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best isolation transformer on Amazon.
September 05, 2019:
When seeking out an isolation transformer, its intended use is paramount. Hobbyists are going to have much simpler needs than experts in medical fields or engineers in a recording studio. Interestingly, the vast majority of isolation transformers currently on the market don't offer true circuit isolation, in that so many have three-prong outlets whose grounds — if you trace the circuit back to the building's breaker or the telephone pole outside — actually connect to the neutral line. This can create a potentially hazardous situation for the unsuspecting hobbyist, as he or she could easily hook up a grounding clip to an otherwise safe component and either experience the unpleasant effects of an electrical shock or cause significant damage to their equipment.
One of the reasons that there are so many Tripp Lite models on our list is that they're relatively easy to tinker with, so savvy customers can actually remove this grounding with relative ease to create true isolation for their workbenches. A simple shortcut to this would be to employ a three-to-two prong adapter, which is included with one or two of the offerings listed. Of course, this kind of thing is only really necessary if you're after that highest degree of isolation. Most users are happy with the noise and surge suppression that many of these models offer, whether it's for use in medical fields, musical spaces, or something else. And we took that general use into account when selecting things like the Tripp Lite model at number three, which offers an admittedly short period of battery backup, but that gives you enough to make sure you can save valuable projects and even back them up onto external hard drives before the power goes completely out or a generator can kick on.