Power Adapters: How to Destroy Your American Electrical Appliances in Germany

“Now that ain’t look right at all…” — Image Credit: Alex Harden (https://www.flickr.com/photos/aharden/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

PART II: Success.

As you probably know, European outlets kick out a mean 220 volts of electricity. American appliances, like my now-deceased electric razor, were only designed to handle 110 volts. I was told by several people my appliances would be ruined if I tried them in Europe, so as soon as I arrived, I did my very best to brick my razor. Nothing bad happened. Then I tried my razor for a longer period of time while in Munich. Like, long enough for a full, manly kind of shave.

This video is the result:

And this is the first video, when my razor was still alive:

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12 thoughts

  1. Well, considering that Germany has a 50HZ/ 220V electrical system, then it is no wonder that your razor is totally toast. The outlet adaptor in use on this video is not a voltage adaptor would have saved you trusty old razor. Even with an adaptor, anything with electric motors will tend to run slow and possibly burn out due to improper Hz (50HZ Germany Vs. 60HZ U.S.).


  2. Uhm… I have to admit… I quit using electrical units in Europe that were designed for the U.S. – and the other way around…
    It does actually save me a lot of money – even though I have to lady shavers, epilators, hair dryers and hair “irons” in the meantime… still… it helps…
    It as well helps to buy an expensive adapter. LOL
    Thanks for sharing this… It made me giggle… I wasn’t laughing about you – I laughed about the experiences I know so well!! :-)


  3. Oh dear. I too have a Philips/Norelco, and I too intend(ed) to use it with European 220/50 power. The “brick” that plugs into the wall says “Input: 110-240v, 50/60 Hz.” I figured I would be safe when I travel to Europe this spring. Now that I’ve read your post, however…

    A fellow Portland traveler,


  4. We have several Appliances that work on 110 – 240 V and figured that we should take a 6 plug Extension Cord with us when we went out our last trip to Germany, since we only have one Converter plug. So I (mistakenly) thought we could just plug the 6 plug extension cord into the Converter Plug and then all our chargers etc into the extension cord. Unfortunately we packed a Surge Protector instead of a plain cord. Need I tell you what happened?


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