Without being there I have to take an "educated guess" at what you have which may or may NOT be what your post indicated. I just cant say settin here from your post alone, sorry.
If you really have a straight 220 volt (i.e. NO 120) device/saw and it has a factory installed 3 wire cord and/or plug Id GUESS THAT THIRD WIRE (especially if its bare or green instead of white) is the safety equipment GroundING Conductor NOT a Neutral !!!!!!!!!!!!
Put an ohm meter or continuity tester on that third wire and see if it's electrically attached to the saws outer conductive metal case/frame??? IF SO, ITS THE SAFETY EQUIPMENT GROUND ING CONDUCTOR NOT A NEUTRAL.
The ONLY reason you would need 4 (2 Hots, Neutral, Equipment GroundING Conductor) wires is iffffffffffffffff the device requires BOTH 120 and 240 volts. THEN AND IF SO YESSSSSSS USE 4 WIRES
HOWEVER if its straight 240 (NO 120) all you need is 2 Hots and the Equipment GroundING Conductor which is attached to the outer conductive metallic case/frame. Similar, if it were 120 volt ONLY, again all you need is 3 wires, Hot, Neutral, Equipment Ground
THE SAFETY EQUIPMENT GROUND ING CONDUCTOR ATTACHED TO A DEVICES OUTER CONDUCTIVE METALLIC CASE/FRAME SHOULD ALWAYSSSSSSSSSSSSS BE USED REGARDLESS IF 120 OR 240 VOLT.......... IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
NEVERRRRRRRRRRR MIX N MATCH OR USE GROUND FOR NEUTRAL OR NEUTRAL FOR GROUND IT CAN GET YOU KILLED THEY ARE NOTTTTTTTTTT REPEAT NOTTTTTTTTTTTTT THE SAME. The Neutral is a live return current carrying GrounDED Conductor, the Equipment Ground is a GroundING Conductor dedicated to provide a direct low resistance current carrying path FOR FAULT CURRENT ONLYYYYYYY so the breaker can trip and de energize the circuit and save your life.
The live current carrying Neutral is insulated for a reason, you wouldnt peel off the Neutral insulated jacket and touch the wire would you ??????????? BUTTTTTTTT if you start mixin n matching and using Ground for Neutral or Neutral for Ground THAT COULD BE WHAT YOURE EFFECTIVELY DOING
If I missed anything hopefully other professional electricians, electrical techs, and engineers (NOT Billy Bob and Bubba who wired their own houses over a case of beer lol) can add to this
John T Longgggggggg retired Electrical Engineer and yes rusty on latest NEC so no warranty, but believe all the above is still true and potentially life saving advice
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