How to use your clothes iron in North Korea

North Korean power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can work in North Korea:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for North Korea but 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 clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt North Korean power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in North Korea, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for North Korea otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your own domestic clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your suitcase. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your clothes iron in North Korea read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in North Korea

Will my clothes iron work in North Korea?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 220 volts as used in North Korea. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 220 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you should be able to use the clothes iron in North Korea. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read the guide on do you need a voltage converter to use a clothes iron for help deciding which option is more suitable. [9] [AD]

North Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in North Korea?

Power outlets in North Korea are 220 volts.

What is the frequency used in North Korea?

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

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in North Korea?

Type A, C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes 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 - The power outlet (called the type A power outlet) can be identified by two thin adjacent slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (called a Europlug) is recognised by the two circular adjacent holes.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this wall outlet by two holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral, plus a pair of two grounding clips on the top and bottom.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use a 220 volt clothes iron in North Korea is a Type F power adapter - read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in North Korea with a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you also have to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron and could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in North Korea then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a North Korean power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage clothes iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in a North Korean power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in North Korea.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in North Korea or any other country.

Travelling to North Korea with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on to North Korea?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to North Korea will allow a clothes iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items.

If you do intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.   [12] [13] [AD]

Power converters for North Korea

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for North Korea?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for North Korea?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in North Korea, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter transforms a 220 volt North Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron. [9] [AD]

Do I need a power converter for North Korea to use my clothes iron?

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in North Korea. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who want to use their own domestic clothes iron, but it might be considerably cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. A power converter is substantially bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron. [9] [AD]

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

How to use your clothes iron in North Korea with a 2 pinned Type C travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some irons will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts, refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in North Korea isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. The Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the North Korean power outlet. The power outlet can be identified by two circular adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in North Korea.
How to use a clothes iron in North Korea using a type C power adapter

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

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in North Korea by using a 2 pinned Type F power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in North Korea. This power adapter will help fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the North Korean power outlet. The recessed circular plug outlet (called a Type F power outlet [5] or Schuko outlet) can be identified by two large circular adjacent holes and grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Then plug in the clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the North Korean power outlet. You can now switch on your iron for use in North Korea.
How to use a clothes iron in North Korea using a type F power adapter

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

How to use your clothes iron in North Korea with a three prong Type A travel adapter.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is found.
  2. Please check that you don't already own a clothes 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 clothes iron will work with a 220 volt power supply). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8] if the type of power outlet used in North Korea won't take the plug of your clothes iron. The Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the North Korean power outlet. The plug outlet (called a Type A power outlet [7]) can be identified by two thin slots parallel to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet blades slide into.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your iron to use in North Korea.
How to use a clothes iron in North Korea using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org page about North Korea
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel 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-£10.
  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, costs under £10.
  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, priced at £4-£5.
  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, under £110.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost £40-£45.