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A Guide to Plugs Adapters and Voltage

We often take plugs and chargers for granted, such technology allowing us to quickly recharge portable electronics such as cell phones, laptops, and other devices with ease as long as there is a plug available. Despite this, not every plug is exactly the same when traveling globally, and things become even more complex when one considers the fact that voltage standards may also vary based on the country one is in. Luckily, there are a number of adapters and converters one may use to ensure compatibility, preventing one from accidentally causing a surge or damaging devices. In this blog, we will discuss plug shapes, voltage values, and adapters, allowing you to have a better understanding of how powering devices may vary across the globe.

As stated before, plug shapes will generally differ based on the country one is in. For instance, countries like the USA use the Type A plug shape where two vertical prongs are provided and the Type B plug shape where two prongs and a single rounded prong are provided. While Japan uses very similar plug shapes as the US, areas in Europe often differ with plugs featuring two round prongs as their plug types include C, E, and F variations. The United Kingdom differs from other European countries, utilizing the Type G plug which can also be found in Singapore, and these plugs utilize two horizontally laid flat prongs and one vertical prong. As there are a wide variety of plug types that range from Type A to Type N plugs, it is important that you research the area that you may be traveling to beforehand so that you are better prepared for what plugs and/or chargers you may need for your electrical devices.

Aside from the shape of the plug, countries also differ in the amount of voltage that is delivered. Because of this, having the right shape plug will not always ensure that the proper charge will be provided. For example, the US electrical delivery standard is 120V, while the EU often utilizes the 220V-230V standard. Meanwhile, a country like Japan utilizes 100V outlets, showing how just because it shares the same shape as the US plug, not everything is the same. Due to these differences, one will certainly need a proper adapter when traveling to ensure that both plug shape and voltage differences are accounted for. While some differences may only lead to a device not working properly, others can lead to your device becoming damaged to the point of being unusable. Just like choosing the right plug shape through research, one should always take the time to look up the standards of the country they are going to.

There are two types of adapters, one simply being to change the shape of the socket, while the other type will also adjust voltages. One will not always need to adjust both based on their device, so it is good to have a general idea of your needs to save money as well. Once you figure out what solutions are required for your needs, utilize Hardware Orbit to save time and money on the procurement process!

On Hardware Orbit, we present customers with an unrivaled inventory hosting over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts, all of which are purchasable from our platform at any time. Explore our offerings as you see fit, and utilize our provided search engine and filters to narrow down results with ease if you already know what you need. With our online RFQ forms, you can quickly and easily request quotes for your comparisons, and using your provided details, our team will best formulate a solution that caters to you! Fill out and submit a request today and experience how Hardware Orbit can operate as your strategic sourcing partner for each and every one of your operational needs!


November 7, 2022

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