Using a curling iron in Swaziland

Swazi power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Swaziland:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Swaziland however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Swazi power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Swaziland, therefore check that your power converter comes with a power adapter for Swaziland otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your own domestic curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk damage in transit. [5]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your curling iron. Prior to using your curling iron in Swaziland check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Swaziland

Will my curling iron work in Swaziland?

That will depend on if your curling iron can operate using the 230 volts as used in Swaziland. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can operate using 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use the curling iron in Swaziland. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read our section on do you need a power converter to use a curling iron for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5]

Can I use my American curling iron in Swaziland?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from the US visiting Swaziland and will provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Swazi power outlet.

Swaziland

Swaziland power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Swaziland?

Power outlets in Swaziland are 230 volts.

What is the frequency used in a Swazi power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Swazi power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

Which travel adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Swaziland?

Type M power outlet

Which travel adapter do you need for using a curling iron in Swaziland?

Type M power outlets are used in Swaziland. This power socket (called a type M power outlet) can be recognised by the 3 circular holes forming a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground. A Type M plug adapter allows you to use a 230 volt curling iron in Swaziland, read the simple guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Swaziland. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you have to use a power converter.  [4] [7]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your curling iron will handle a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the curling iron. This location will vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Swaziland then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Swazi power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a Swazi power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Swaziland.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Swaziland or any other country.

Travelling to Swaziland with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Swaziland?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron instead of bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Swaziland as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Swazi power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Swaziland. It is also worth concidering that packing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by a baggage handlers in Swaziland. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Swaziland might be more than buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] . If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [8]

Can you pack a curling iron in your carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that the airline who is flying you to Swaziland 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 for airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you 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 offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [8] [9] [10]

Power converters for Swaziland

Can you use a curling iron with a power converter for Swaziland?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Swaziland. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to use their own domestic curling iron, but it might be a lot cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, a travel curling iron can be noticeably lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing in luggage. [5]

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

An expensive and heavy power converter transforms a 230 volt Swazi power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Swaziland. [5]

How to use a curling iron in Swaziland using a type M power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Swaziland by using a three pin Type M power charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some curling irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting - please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type M plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet which is used in Swaziland. This Type M plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Swaziland by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type M plug adapter in the Swazi power outlet. The power supply (technically known as a Type M power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the 3 holes forming a triangular pattern.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type M plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Swazi power outlet. Your curling iron can now be used in Swaziland.
How to use a curling iron in Swaziland using a type M power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Swaziland country entry on wikipedia.org
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type M power outlet
  4. Type M plug adapter - South African Type M power adapters have three large circular pins in a triangular shape with the top earthed pin longer and larger in diameter, costing between $5 to $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, costs under $100.
  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, priced between $10 to $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, under $50.