Best voltage converters
Before learning what a voltage converter is and why do you need it, first, you need to understand volts. I am not going to give you a physics lesson, but what you need to know is that the amount of volts that comes out of the wall outlet is not the same everywhere around the world. Just to get a clearer picture, in the United States, the voltage ranges from 110 to 120. However, in the rest of the world, the voltage is between 220 and 240, which as you can see, it is double of that in the US.
A voltage converter is a small device that will transform the voltage that comes from the wall outlet into the voltage you need to charge your devices. It is an easy way to avoid unpleasant situations. For example, if you charge your phone with a lower voltage than the one you need, it will charge very very slowly, and the battery will suffer some damage. On the other hand, if you charge it with a higher voltage, the battery is likely to overheat, and in worst case scenario, it will blow up. Now you see why you need a voltage converter?
How do you know which voltage you need?
There is only one way to find out. Whenever you buy a device, you get an adapter. That adapter has what we like to call a power label. It is a small label that includes all the specifications you need to know. It is a sticker, most of the times, that has numbers and symbols all over it. That is where you need to look. What interests you is the voltage and watts.
Single voltage or dual voltage
I am not trying to confuse you, but this is important. It will tell you if you need a voltage converter or a simple plug adapter. A dual voltage device will accept both 110-120 and 220-240 volts (you will find both those values on the power label.) Lucky for you, most travel devices are dual voltage, like phones, laptops, cameras, and so on. That means you only need a plug adapter when you travel abroad. For some reason, there are 13 types of outlets in the world, so you must do your research before you leave so that you find out which plug adapter you need.
Single voltage devices, on the other hand, require both a voltage converter and a plug adapter. Again, you need to look at the power label. If it only says 110-120 V, it means that the device is single voltage, and you need to purchase a voltage converter.
How to choose a voltage converter?
If you are looking for a voltage converter, it means that your device is single voltage and you need more than a plug adapter. Keep in mind that voltage converters are usually bulky items, and some of them quite heavy, which is why most people do not buy them if they go away only for a week. Most of the people who purchase such a device are relocating to another country, and their voltage converter is one of their most prized possessions. With that being said, there are a few things you should consider before making a purchase.
- Pay attention to the wattage – before buying a voltage converter, you need to know watt’s watt (pun intended). To keep things simple, what you need to know that you cannot fail with too many watts. When in doubt, go for the higher number. To get it right, you need a wattage two or three times higher than the one you appliance/device uses. For example, let’s say that your appliance needs 700W. You will need a voltage converter with 1400W. The point is that there is no such thing as too many watts, but you cannot do with a smaller wattage. Also, consider what devices or appliances you will be using, and if the power label does not list the number of watts, you can find out the right value with a simple multiplication. You will find the amps on the label for sure. You multiply the number of volts with the number of amps, and you get the wattage. Simple as that.
- Step up or step down – this is even easier to remember. If you are traveling from let’s say the US to Europe (a 110V country to a 220V country), then you need a step up voltage converter. The other way around, from a 220V country to a 110V country, then you need a step down voltage converter. There is no easier way to put it. However, you should know that there are step up/step down voltage converters, so you get a single device that will do the job both ways. The price is not much higher, and you do not need to worry about it.
- Voltage regulator – this is not necessary all the time, but there are places where the voltage is unstable. They are also known as voltage stabilizers or surge protectors. Some voltage converters have a built-in voltage regulator so that you have no cause for concern.
Additional voltage tips
If you are thinking of buying a voltage converter, there are a few things you should know. It is general knowledge, but not everyone is aware, which is why I made this list:
- Some dual voltage appliances need to be switched to the required voltage as they have different settings. On the other hand, digital dual voltage devices make the adjustment automatically.
- If you have small wattage appliances, then a voltage converter should have a double number of watts. For appliances that need a higher wattage, the number of watts needs to be three times higher. For example, a 100W device will do just fine with a 200W voltage converter, but an 800W device will not with only 1600W. The higher the number of watts, the safer you will be.
- Keep in mind that voltage converters only work with electric appliances. If you are not sure, it is best if you purchase a voltage transformer.
- When you book your hotel room in the country of destination, you can ask if they already have power outlets that suit your needs. Everything above mid-range accommodation might satisfy your request.
What are the best voltage converters?
I did some searching, and honestly, judging by what people are buying, it seems like Bestek is one of the best brands. They have various models, and you have a vast variety of products. Also, they seem to be pretty good. Nevertheless, there other manufacturers that know what they are doing. In the end, people who have already bought a particular product are best qualified to tell you if it is worth the investment or not. So, if you are looking for a high-quality voltage converter, the ones you will find below are excellent suggestions.
Bestek USB International Travel Adapter and Converter
This model is one of the most popular in this price range, and I must say that the price-quality ratio is more than satisfactory. However, keep in mind that this model has only USB ports, and you can buy it in white or black. It is also a powerful device with a total of 5.2A maximum output. Each port can handle 2.4A so you can charge four tablets at the same time, with the same speed.
The Bestek product features smart IC technology, and all four USB ports are equipped with it. It means that it will automatically detect and deliver the most efficient charging for the devices you connect to it. It is worldwide-compatible, which makes it ideal for traveling. Overall, it is an excellent 100-240V charger with US, EU, and UK plug adapters. It will convert both 110V and 220V to proper USB voltage.
As for the safety features, the Bestek voltage converter has a premium design circuit that will prevent it from reaching high temperatures, high current, and overheating is not possible. The LED lights will indicate if the charger is connected correctly. When you purchase this item, you will receive the Bestek unit, three international adapters, a 5-feet power cord, a guide, and an 18-month warranty. It is lightweight and durable, which is perfect if you take it with you when you travel.
Bestek Travel Adapter 220V to 110V
Just as the title suggests, this is a step down voltage converter, which comes in handy for people traveling from most countries to the US. Basically, this device will convert all countries’ voltage to US voltage, so it is a must-have if you are traveling to the States. You can charge your devices safely. As for capacity, it seems that you can connect seven devices at the same time. It has a 6A output, four USB charging ports and three AC ports.
Safety is not an issue with this device. It has been tested over time, and the hardware has been upgraded over the years. Your devices will be completely safe, and so will you. Overcurrent, overheating, and short-circuits are not possible with this device. Another safety feature is that the USB ports are entirely isolated from the AC power so that your devices are safe at all times, no matter for how long they are plugged in.
This product is ideal for frequent travelers. It is made of durable materials that can suffer a lot of abuse. Even so, the package will also include a travel bag for easy transport. It is lightweight, and it has a 5-foot detachable power cable. The product comes with an EU power cable and three international adapters (US, UK, and AU). It supports outlets from over 150 countries so that you do not concern yourself with compatibility.
Rockstone Power Heavy Duty Voltage Transformer/Converter
The voltage converter from Rockstone Power is from another league than the other two. It is a step up and step down voltage transformer that is ideal for people who plan on staying abroad for more than two weeks. It is a heavy duty 500-Watt voltage transformer converter that will satisfy every single need you may have while traveling.
This device has a patented simultaneous 3-mode output: a 5V USB port, a 120V USA output socket, and a 220V universal output socket. Just to get an idea of how good this product is, Rockstone Power has supported the United States Army since 2001. This device can be used for more than charging your laptop or tablet. You can use it as a power converter for small appliances as well.
The Rockstone Power voltage converter may be a bit heavier than the other two, with six pounds of weight, but at the same time, it is more capable and has more uses. Even so, six pounds is not that much if you think about it. The materials used for its manufacture are of the highest quality, and the device can survive a lot of abuse over the years. The package contains the unit itself, a hardwired insulated power cord with a USA grounded 3-prong plug, American to European plug adapter, two spare fuses, and a manual. It is very easy to use, and you will be satisfied with your purchase.
All three product above are excellent, but the purpose for which you are buying the converter matters a great deal. Even so, I think that one of the best voltage converters is Rockstone Power Heavy Duty Voltage Transformer/Converter. The ones from Bestek are excellent, but they cannot handle larger appliances. They are great for phones, laptops, and tablets, but the Rockstone product is ideal for more. That is why I strongly recommend this one.
Just like any other piece of technology, voltage converters continue to improve. In the meantime, you have to admit that they are very useful in the day-to-day life. It is not like you can live without your devices while you are abroad, and you do not wish to break them just because you take a trip. That is why a voltage converter is a must-have for every person who is traveling a lot. It is safer for your devices, which means that the small investment is worth it. Click here to buy on Amazon
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