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Type F adapters - insulation on the prongs/tips

We're traveling to Iceland next month and I've read we need a Type F (a.k.a. Shunko) adapter. As I was looking at reviews and reading up on the type of adapter needed, one person said that these should have half of the tip covered with insulation, like these:

This is the only type F adapter I see on Amazon that has this feature. They say it's for safety, which I don't really get since you shouldn't be touching the prongs as you plug in anything anyway. Anyone know anything about this? Why do 99% of the Type F adapters no have this insulation, but this one does?



Posted by
5360 posts

Schuko plugs do not need sheaths when used in countries where the are the standard as the reassessing of the socket prevents fingers touching the live pin. This may not be the case in countries with non Schuko flush sockets with the earth provided some other way.

For the same reason modern 2 pin europlugs are sheathed.

Posted by
19155 posts

you should be touching the prongs as you plug in anything

Touching the prongs as you plug anything in is guaranteed to give you a shock (a 220V shock in Europe!). I think you mean you shound NOT be touching the prongs.

But in reality, if it is possible to touch live prongs, people will do it, so sheathing is required because it makes it impossible. I see a lot of junk sold on Amazon that does not comply with codes. They probably come from China!

Why do 99% of the Type F adapters no have this insulation

I see a lot of stuff from China sold in the US that carries the CE marks, but I suspect the Chinese copied it without knowing what it meant or going through the trouble of actually earning the mark.

In Germany, modern Schuko receptacles are recessed deep enough that non-sheathed pins lose contact with power before they clear the recess. I don't think this was always the case, and there might be some older, less recessed receptacle that are "grandfathered in" and don't exhibit that safety feature. The sheathing on modern Schuko plugs prevents shocks even in these old receptacles.

Posted by
6576 posts

Why do 99% of the Type F adapters no have this insulation, but this
one does?

Because the manufacturers think they can get away with selling cheap unsafe adapters as tourists won't know what they should look like?

In a proper Schuko socket it won't be a problem. But like Lee mentioned the plug will also fit other sockets, like older danish sockets, that aren't recessed.

Posted by
8889 posts

Type F (Schuko) plugs DO NOT have insulated pins. I have never seen one with insulated pins. The one in your photo does not have insulated pins, you are misinterpreting it.

Schuko plugs go into recessed sockets. Before the pins can make contact, the whole pug is already in the recess of the socket and the pins cannot be touched. The design is such that the earth conduct (side sliders) makes contact first, before the live and neutral pins.

2-pin plugs DO have 50% sheathed pins, because they sometimes go into non-recessed sockets.

Posted by
6576 posts

True, Schuko plug usually don't have insulation on the pins. Sorry, I mixed up the plugs.

Posted by
5 posts

You are correct Lee. I should have said shouldn't instead of should :) I've corrected that. Thanks for pointing that out.

Frank II, thanks for the links. That adapter would work as well. Simple and functional.