Quick Guide to European Plug Adapters
There is a significant difference in voltage and frequency of the mains power in Europe and the USA. Also, wall power sockets are different.
So, to use devices, tools, and gadgets intended for the US market in Europe, You need a European plug adapter. But that is not all ...
Published: September 14, 2022.
Adapters, NOT Voltage Regulators
The main differences between European and the US mains power are:
- Voltage: 220V (200-240V) in Europe, 110V (100-130V) in the US,
- Frequency: 50 Hz in Europe, 60 Hz in the US.
So, for devices, tools, appliances, gadgets, etc., intended for the US market in Europe, one needs a voltage regulator that transforms 220V/50Hz mains power into the 110V/60Hz with the receptacles intended for US devices.
However, some devices are built to be powered by 100-240V voltage and 50-60 Hz AC mains power.
Note: In order to prevent damages, injuries, or worse, the device MUST clearly state input of 100-240V and 50-60Hz. If not, do NOT use that device in Europe with plug adapters.
But, if your device does support 100-240V and 50-60Hz AC power, using a suitable European plug adapter, allows You to power that device directly, even without a voltage regulator.
Today, many small device chargers support the use of 100-240V and 50-60Hz and can be powered using EU to US plug adapters.
However, to help travelers, some brands offer EU plug adapters that feature USB charging ports AND US receptacles.
Such adapters can save some space and weight and can come in handy in many situations - some of them can even be used in the US using US to EU plug adapters, but that is already a topic for another article...
Long Story Short: European plug adapters are adapters that allow the devices intended for the US market to be plugged into the European wall power outlets.
But, they are NOT voltage regulators; they are "just" adapters featuring 200-240V and 50 Hz output voltage when plugged in Europe.