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Foreign Electrical Plugs and Outlet Types - The Global Information List

Some may know and some may not know, that electrical plugs and outlets differ throughout the world. We're not going to discuss why they differ in this post but we are going to bring you the information you're after. If you travel overseas often or plan to permanently relocate, this is information that could be very valuable to you. So let's get started.
Electrical plugs, as well as outlets can differ greatly from one continent to another and even from country to country. There are 14 different types of matching plugs and outlets that are commonly used throughout the world. The list below will show an image and short description of each, as well as the areas where they are utilized.
Type A
type a plug and outletThis is a Type A plug and outlet. These outlets have two single vertical slots and are primary used in North America as well as Japan. However, beware! Although the outlets used in Japan look identical to those in America, they are slightly different. The electrical outlets in Japan have two slots of the exact same size, while in North America one slot is just slightly larger than the other. Because of this, Japanese plugs will fit into North American outlet but North American Plugs will not fit into Japanese outlets.

Type B
type b plug and outletThis is a Type B plug and outlet. It has two single vertical slots similar to a Type A outlet but it also has a third circular slot for a grounding prong. The ground slot is located directly between and below the two main slots. Just like a Type A outlet, these are primary used in North America as well as Japan. Type B outlets also share the same difference as Type A when it comes to the exact size of the Japanese slots and the slight difference in size with the North American slots.

Type C
type c plug and outletThis is a Type C plug and outlet. The Type C outlet is the primary style that is used throughout Europe with the exception of the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta. This is an ungrounded outlet with two circular holes and is widely known as the "europlug". The Type C is also the most commonly used international plug and outlet type. Since they are ungrounded, Type C outlets are no longer being used in new construction and in many cases are being replaced. Don't worry though, Type C plugs are a perfect fit for Type E, F, J, K, L or N outlets which are grounded & being used to replace the old ungrounded Type C outlets.

Type D
type d plug and outletThis is a Type D plug and outlet. This outlet is typically used only in India, Nambia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. WHile this used to be the standard British style outlet before 1962, India has adopted the design as their standard. The Type D plug and outlet use three round pins that are organized in a triangular shape. Although these plugs have been phased out in most other places, they can, on occasion, be found in use in the UK and Ireland, although this is rather rare.

Type E
type e plug and outletThis is a Type E plug and outlet. The Type E outlet is the primary style used in France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Tunisia and Morocco. This outlet is similar to a Type C outlet except that the plug has a third component - a female ground receptacle while the outlet has a protruding pin onto which it fits. Due to the unique design it employs, the Type E plug could be easily explained as having a grounding clip, rather than a grounding prong.

Type F
type f plug and outletThis is a Type F plug and outlet. Used in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Spain and Eastern Europe, the Type F plug and outlets utilize two circular prongs and slots, similar to a Type C. However, the Type F has a ground which is located near the top and bottom outer edges of the plug, in the area where the plug and outlet make contact. Type F outlets are also used in other countries, but only rarely. A Type C plug will fit perfectly into a Type F socket.

Type G
type g plug and outletThis is a Type G plug and outlet. This style of outlet is used mostly in the countries of United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The outlet has three flat slots that are arranged in a triangular fashion. The lower two slots are arranged lengthwise and the single upper slot is in a vertical position. The Type G is a grounded plug and outlet system which is the safest in the world, despite its rather bulky size and shape.

Type H
type h plug and outletThis is a Type H plug and outlet. Type H plug and outlets are used exclusively in Israel. This outlet is similarly fashioned to a Type B, although instead of being parallel, the slots and prongs are inverted and form a V shape. Type H outlets have been modified in the last 20 years or so to accept the round prongs from a Type C plug. The Type H is also used in the West Bank and throughout the Gaza Strip.

Type I
type i plug and outletThis is a Type I plug and outlet. It's used primarily in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. In a similar patter to the Type H, Type I plugs and outlets use three flat prongs/slots, one of which is for ground. The arrangement forms a V shape that somewhat resembles the eyes and nose of a face or skull.

Type J
type j plug and outletThis is a Type J plug and outlet. Used nearly exclusively in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Type J plug and outlet is an original design of Switzerland's very own. Again, similar to a Type C - as are others - the Type J is different because of its ground. A Type C plug will, however, fit perfectly into a Type J socket.

Type K
type k plug and outletThis is a Type K plug and outlet. Type K outlets are used exclusively in Denmark, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands. The Type K closely resembles a Type C outlet but with an added ground. The shape of the ground slot or prong is not a full circle but a half circle, which makes it look exactly like a smiley face. While a Type C plug will fit perfectly into a Type K outlet, there will be no ground connection because the Type C has no grounding prong.

Type L
type l plug and outletThis is a Type L plug and outlet. The Type L outlet is used in Italy exclusively but can also be found randomly throughout areas of North Africa. These outlets have a rather odd shape when compared to the others and utilize 3 circular slots that are arranged in a vertical column, one on top of the other. The slots are exactly the same and there is no proper way to insert a Type L plug into a Type L outlet; the ground always remains in the center. Depending on the amperage, certain versions of Type C are compatible with the Type L.

Type M
type m plug and outletThis is a Type M plug and outlet. Type M outlets closely resemble the Type D used in India, but use much larger pins and are therefor not a match. This plug and outlet system are used almost solely in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. Type M outlets are also used in Israel but only for heavy duty appliances such as air conditioning units, washing machines and the like.

Type N
type n plug and outletFinally, we have the Type N plug and outlet. The Type N is the very newest of all outlet styles and is used almost exclusively in Brazil. It uses two slots/prongs and a grounding slot/prong. It looks very much alike the Swiss Type J outlet but the grounding pin is closer to the center of the plug. Like many others, the Type C plug will fit into the Type N as the Type N outlet was designed for this.
Overall, there are many variations of electrical plugs and outlets around the world, which can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, there is a solution. The Foreign Plug Adapter Kit form 220-Electronics has an assortment of interchangeable adapters that allow you to use the plug from any electronics device with any outlet in the world (keep in mind that there are also voltage differences to consider). The kit is only $24.99 and you can buy it here on our website.