I have an American razor, seen in the first picture, that is marked as 120V ~60HZ 12W.

I went to Belgrade and bought an coverter, seen in the second picture, with output of AC 110V and 45W. The razor worked, but it was clear that too much power was going to the device, as the motor was running very fast and very loud. It actually hurt my ears, but I used it anyway.

Now I'm in London and I bought a new converter (picture 3 and 4), hoping to be able to use my device normally, that is with the proper amount of current. The box says it has an output of AC 110V and up to 100W. Is this thing going to blow my razor? What do I need to buy to use this thing properly?


I'm using Airbnb's so would need a solution for a regular UK household.

Also, this is a hair clipper that plugs directly into the wall. No battery involved at all.

American razor blade first adaptor I bought in Europe second convertor second convertor

4 Answers 4


The adapter only changes voltage, not frequency. Since the frequency is about 20% lower than what it was designed for, but the voltage is as designed, it will draw significantly more current into the inductive motor load and heat up more.

It's not really economically practical to change both voltage and current in an inexpensive adapter (many of which are bordering on the criminally dangerous to begin with). Maybe if you used it in a car you could buy an inverter.. but that's a bit silly.

I would suggest either getting a local unit or a travel unit that uses an intermediate conversion to DC so that works from universal power (85-250 VAC 50/60Hz) if they exist, or a battery (primary or USB rechargeable) type.


The wattage on the converter is the maximum it can handle, it's not physically possible for it to supply your razor with more energy than it needs.

The change you experienced in speed and sound with the old converter must be due to something else. Given my (admittedly limited) knowledge on how motors are build, I would guess the frequency was a more likely culprit.

As none of your converters have a listed output frequency it's hard to say anything sane about that, but I wouldn't have guessed it could be wrong (another testament to my limited knowledge on the subject).

In any circumstance: It's extremely unlikely your razor will blow up.

  • The frequency issue came to mind, but the US uses 60 Hz while in Europe we use 50 Hz, so you would expect the razor to run more slowly rather than (seemingly) go wild.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 12:55
  • @jcaron: I considered that the 50/60 Hz difference would give the opposite effect, from what the OP describes, but I simply don't know enough about how those converters work to rule out that some might produce a new frequency. Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 7:15
  • Alternatively, the Chinese-made converter is simply a fake with no transformer in it, and actually delivers the same 240 volts you put into it. The sellers then hope what people plug into it will be phone/laptop chargers that actually work well on either voltage. Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 11:01

It's the frequency, the timing of the moving parts under the plastic is off, causing a metal arm to bang into the inside of the plastic.

It's really loud, and the timing problem may cause you to pull your hair once in a while. It could also wear out your clippers faster, but should not be a safety issue. If they seem to overheat, stop.


Most hotel bathrooms in the UK have a dual-voltage shaver socket, with both 230 and 110v outputs - so you shouldn't need to buy anything in order to use it.

  • This is true, but they also all have standard "bathroom" sockets, ie round pin. If you look at the adapters the OP is using, they're all standard US flat-pin, which suggests to me that his power connection is US flat-pin.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 10:31
  • See my edits. This is a hair clipper that gets plugged directly into the wall. It uses no battery. I'm also staying at an airbnb, so need a solution for a regular household. Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 10:36
  • @MadHatter most of the ones I have come across have had both round and flat pin sockets - I've got one in my house that has round pins marked 240v and flat ones marked 115v. Doesn't help Eric if his Airbnb doesn't have one though!
    – Nick C
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 18:32
  • @NickC that's fair enough! Sorry if I muddied the water unhelpfully.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 22:30
  • @MadHatter no worries! Shame it doesn't help the OP though, but at least it might help a future visitor...
    – Nick C
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 21:02

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