How do I use a curling iron in Macau?

Macanese power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Macau:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Macau but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Macanese power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in Macau, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Macau otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Note - your personal curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your suitcase. [11]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 220 volts used in Macau you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Macau please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Macau

Will my curling iron work in Macau?

This depends on if your curling iron can operate using the 220 volt power outlets in Macau:

Will my American curling iron work in Macau?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting Macau and will provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a Macanese power outlet.

Macau

Macau power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used with a Macanese power outlet?

The frequency used in a Macanese power outlet is 50 Hz. [12]

What is the mains voltage in Macau?

The normal residential voltage used in Macau is 220 volts.

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

There are four different types of power outlets used in Macau, types G, D, F and M with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - You can identify this wall outlet by 3 holes in a triangle shape for live, neutral and ground pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this power outlet by two adjacent holes along with metal grounding clips above and below.
  • Plug Type G - The plug socket, technically known as a type G power outlet, can be recognised by the three vertical rectangular holes containing shutters in a triangle configuration.
  • Plug Type M - This wall outlet (called a type M power outlet) looks like three large circular holes forming a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.

A Type G plug adapter allows you to use a 220 volt curling iron in Macau, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Macau. 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.  [8] [13]

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

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the 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 switch which allows you to toggle between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Macau then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Macanese 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 220 volts used in a Macanese power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Macau.
  • 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 Macau or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Macau with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in your hand luggage to Macau?

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 Macau will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests 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.   [14] [15] [16]

Should you bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Macau?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Macanese power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Macau.

It is also worth concidering that packing your expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airport baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Macau could 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 it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [15]

Power converters for Macau

Do you need a converter in Macau to use a curling iron?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 220 volt power outlet used in Macau. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing 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 substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing in luggage. [11]

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 expensive power converter transforms a 220 volt Macanese power outlet to work with a non-220 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 Macau. [11]

How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type D power adapter

Instructions on how to power a curling iron in Macau with a Type D power charger.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions as you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Macau, refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type D plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Macau. This power adapter will fit plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in Macau simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type D plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this power supply by three circular holes forming a triangular shape for live, neutral and earth pins.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Macanese power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in Macau.
How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type D power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type F power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a curling iron in Macau by using a Type F power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions as you might blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel curling irons will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please consult the user guide 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 Macau you will need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6]. The Type F plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Macau simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type F plug adapter in the Macanese power outlet. You can recognise this power supply by two adjacent holes and grounding clips above and below.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Macanese power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in Macau.
How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type F power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type G power adapter

A guide showing you how to power a curling iron in Macau by using a 3 pinned Type G travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel curling irons might sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts to use in Macau, refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Macau you will need to bring a Type G plug adapter [8]. The Type G plug adapter will help fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Macau by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type G plug adapter in the Macanese power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by 3 slots in a triangle configuration.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Macanese power outlet. Your curling iron should now be ready to be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type G power adapter

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

How to use your curling iron in Macau with a Type M power charger.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Macau won't take the plug on your curling iron you will need to bring a Type M plug adapter [10]. The Type M plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Macau simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type M plug adapter in the wall outlet. This wall supply, sometimes called a Type M power outlet [9], can be recognised by the three large round holes forming a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type M plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Macanese power outlet. The curling iron can now be used in Macau.
How to use a curling iron in Macau using a type M power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Macanese Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, estimated cost under $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  8. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, priced at between $5 to $10.
  9. iec.ch - Type M power outlet
  10. 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, estimated price between $5 to $10.
  11. 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, estimated price between $90 to $100.
  12. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  13. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  14. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  15. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, between $10 to $15.
  16. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at between $45 to $50.