Which power adapter do I need for using a curling iron in Tonga?

Tongan power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Tonga:

  • If your curling iron can run on 240 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron won't fit.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need the correct power adapter for Tonga however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 240 volt Tongan power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Tonga, so please check that your power converter has a suitable power adapter for Tonga otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your luggage. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 240 volts you run a risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Tonga read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Tonga

Will my curling iron work in Tonga?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 240 volts as used in Tonga. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to handle 240 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in Tonga. If not then you will need to consider bringing either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read our section on can you use a voltage converter with a curling iron in Tonga for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Tonga power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Tonga?

Power outlets in Tonga are 240 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Tongan power outlet?

The frequency from a Tongan power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Tonga?

The type of power outlet used in Tonga is type I. You can identify this wall outlet by 3 slots in an upside-down triangle shape with the top two slots sloping upwards for the live, neutral and earth blades. A Type I plug adapter allows you to use a 240 volt curling iron in Tonga, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Tonga. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Tonga?

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will have a button which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Tonga with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Tonga?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Tonga as it ensures that it will work with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Tongan power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for Tonga.

Please note that packing your expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers in Tonga. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Tonga might be more than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a boot or sneaker 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 transported right after use without risk of burning.  [8] [AD]

Can curling irons go in your carry on to Tonga?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Tonga 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, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.   [8] [9] [10] [AD]

Power converters for Tonga

Do I need a voltage converter to use a curling iron in Tonga?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 240 volt power outlet used in Tonga. Travellers who want to use their own domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it could be less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when travelling. [5] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter transforms a 240 volt Tongan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt curling iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Tonga. [5] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Tonga using a type I power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a curling iron in Tonga by using a 3 pinned Type I travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 240 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some curling irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 240 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Tonga you will need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4]. The Type I plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Tonga by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 240 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type I plug adapter in the Tongan power outlet. You can recognise the power outlet by the 3 slots for the live, neutral and ground.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Tongan power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your curling iron for use in Tonga.
How to use a curling iron in Tonga using a type I power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Tonga country Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, costing £5-£10.
  5. 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, £100-£110.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, £10-£15.
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price around £35.