Which travel adapter will I need for using a curling iron in North Korea?

North Korean power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can work in North Korea:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for North Korea however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt North Korean power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in North Korea, so check that the voltage transformer has a suitable power adapter for North Korea otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your domestic curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk damage in transit. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your curling iron in North Korea please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in North Korea

Will my curling iron work in North Korea?

It depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 220 volts used in North Korea:

North Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in a North Korean power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a North Korean power outlet is 60Hz. [10]

What mains voltage is used in North Korea?

The residential voltage used in North Korea is 220 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in North Korea?

Type A, C and F power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in North Korea?

There are three different types of power outlets used in North Korea, these are type F, A and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the plug outlet by two thin slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type C - This unearthed power socket can be recognised by the 2 holes adjacent to each other where the twin pins sit.
  • Plug Type F - This circular plug outlet (also known as a Schuko socket) can be identified by two large holes 19 mm apart from each other along with thin metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A Type F power adapter allows you to use a 220 volt curling iron in North Korea, read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in North Korea with a travel adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your curling iron will support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron and could also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in North Korea then you should be able to use your curling iron with a North Korean power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 220 volts used in a North Korean power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in North Korea.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in North Korea or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to North Korea with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that your airline who is flying you to North Korea will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [12] [13] [14] [AD]

Is it better to bring your domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to North Korea?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron as opposed to packing your existing domestic curling iron to North Korea as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a North Korean power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for North Korea. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by airport baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs involved in repairing an expensive quality curling iron in North Korea could be higher than purchasing a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.  [13] [AD]

Power converters for North Korea

Can you use a curling iron with a voltage converter in North Korea?

A suitable power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in North Korea. Travellers who want to bring along their own domestic curling iron can use a power converter, but it might be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when travelling. [9] [AD]

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 220 volts from a North Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in North Korea. [9] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in North Korea with a Type C power adapter.

  1. Please make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then don't continue as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in North Korea; consult the user guide for more details on where the switch is.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in North Korea doesn't take the plug on your curling iron you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in North Korea by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Firstly insert the Type C plug adapter in the North Korean power outlet. You can identify this power outlet by the 2 circular adjacent holes where the twin plug outlet pins go.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet. Your curling iron can now be switched on. [AD]
How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type F power adapter

How to use your curling iron in North Korea by using a two pin Type F power charger.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts to use in North Korea; please consult the manufacturers instructions to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to use a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in North Korea. This Type F plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type F plug adapter in the North Korean power outlet. This round plug outlet, also called a Type F power outlet [5] or Schuko outlet, can be identified by two large round holes 19 mm apart from each other, plus a pair of metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be used in North Korea. [AD]
How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type F power adapter

How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type A power adapter

How to use a curling iron in North Korea by using a three blade Type A power charger.

  1. Ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply but if not then do not continue because you may blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts for use in North Korea, please consult the instructions to find out where the switch is found.
  2. Check that you're not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your curling iron will work with a 220 volt power supply). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in North Korea doesn't accomodate the plug on your curling iron. The plug adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. You can identify this wall outlet by the 2 slots for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be used in North Korea. [AD]
How to use a curling iron in North Korea using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about North Korea
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart.
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade.
  9. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.