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What do I need to know to charge my American phone / razor / laptop in Europe? Do I need a simple converter, or do I need to take voltage in account?

  • 2
    Check the voltage on your power brick. If it says something like "100-240V" and "50-60Hz" then it's fine with a simple adaptor. If not, you need a voltage converter. – robert Aug 23 '16 at 0:16
  • A "converter" does change the voltage. In contrast, an "adapter" does not change voltage but merely makes your plug suit the different outlet. – Colin McLarty Aug 23 '16 at 12:44
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If your phone charger, and your laptop are relatively new, they should work in Europe as-is, so you only need to bring the power plug adapter. I've never seen a single-voltage phone/laptop charger in more than ten years.

Razor however is different. Even if it says 110/240, it still might not work due to frequency difference (i.e. it will work in South Korea with 230V/60Hz, but might not work in France with 220V/50Hz). I had a Philips razor which was like that. Note that "razor outlets" provided in bathroom hotels rarely change frequency, only the voltage.

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You should check what it says on the converter. My laptop charger, for example, says 110–240 V, 50–60 Hz. I have used it successfully in Europe and Canada (with the appropriate adapter where required. My phone charger says similar things (but I don’t have it on me right now).

My (American) PlayStation2 reads 110 V. This definitely needs a step-down converter.

There is some grey area in-between which I personally have never had to experience.


One hint, though: If whatever you’re using takes an AC input and internally turnes that into a DC output then it’s very, very likely that it’ll work (given it accepts the European 230 V at all). I believe all modern phones use a USB-type charger which is DC-based, so you should be fine with that (again assuming it can handle 230 V).

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