Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small CEE 7/2 round pin plugs
and other non-Europlugs
navigation icon navigation icon navigation icon


In Europe, and elsewhere, you will find a variety of not earthed plugs with round pins, positioned 19 mm apart. Plugs with 4.8 mm pins may comply with CEE 7/2 standard.
The matching standard for sockets is CEE 7/1 (see images 1 - 3, below).

Some round plugs with 4.0 mm pins comply with CEE 7/16, variant I standard. Genuine  CEE 7/16, variant II plugs are described on the page on Europlugs.
Furthermore a large variety of flat plugs with 4.0 pins exists that comply with a country specific standard, or are not standardized. Examples are show below.

Note that the use of type C plugs is confusing. Strictly speaking only plugs that comply with the CEE 7/16, variant II are type C plugs, but in common practice type C is regarded as a generic name for most not earthed plugs with 19 mm spaced round pins.
Type C profile related galleries:
classic types


Dutch non-earthed socket CEE 7/1 socket with shutters
CEE 7/1 socket with 15 mm deep recess
Dutch 2-pin connector plug
Dutch 2-pin plug Unearthes plug with cord side entry Danish 2-pin 10A plug Italian 2-pin 10A plug

1, 2
CEE 7/1, not earthed 16A - 250V socket. It accepts plugs with a pin diameter up to 4.8 mm diameter. These non-earthed sockets are (or were) commonly used in continental European houses, except kitchen, bathroom and other wet areas. Unearthed sockets in countries that have adopted the French standard are essentially identical to the German socket shown here.

Sockets nos. 1 and to have a recess that is only 4 mm deep. Socket no. 2 has safety shutters.
Manufacturers: Merten, Gümmersbach, Germany (no. 1) and an unknown Chinese company (no. 2).
3 German manufacturers Merten, Busch-Jaeger and possibly others, offer CEE 7/1 sockets with a 15 mm deep recess. In combination with a round base plug (nos. 5 and 6) it is no longer possible to touch pins under tension of a not fully inserted plug. Manufacturer of shown model: Busch-Jung, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
CEE 7/2 connector plug, in the Netherlands often referred to as contra-plug. Slots accept both 4.0 and 4.8 mm pins.
Manufacturer: unknown company that uses a logo with an H and M.
5, 6
CEE 7/2 round plug, rated at 16A - 250V, with top (no.5) or side (no.6) cord entry. Pins have a diameter of 4.8 mm.
The large, round base has two safety aspects
. Touching pins under tension is hardly possible if the recess is sufficiently deep, as in socket no. 3 and connector no. 4. Moreover, unearthed CEE 7/2 plugs do not fit in earthed Schuko socket (see image no. 17). Both plug and connector have been made by Martin Kaiser, Hochstadt am Main, Germany.
7 Danish not earthed plug, rated at 16A - 250V. Pin diameter is 4.8 mm. Compatible with Schuko and French CEE 7/5 sockets, but not with Swiss 10A sockets, because plugs have 4.8 mm pins and no hexagonal sides. Manufacturer: Lauritz Knudsen.
Note that specifications of older Danish 2-pin plugs were different; see page on Danish standard.
Italian plug not earthed plug. Pins have a diameter of 4.0 mm which restricts rating to 10A. Compatible with Schuko and French CEE 7/5 sockets, but not with Swiss sockets.
Manufacturer: OVA* (no.8)  {WeO}

* OVA is an abbreviation of Ohm, Volta and Ampère, names that are given to fundamental units in electricity. The name was chosen by Giulio Bargellini when he started an electro-technical company in 1963 in Bologna, Italy. In 2010 OVA became a part of the Schneider Electric Group.


Japanese made 2-pin extension cord outlet

Vietnamese 2-pin 10A plug

Chinese 2-pin 5A plug

Peruvian 2-pin 10A plug

3-way adapter plug for unearthed 2-pin plugs 3-way adapter plug for unearthed 2-pin plugs Romanian 2-pin multiplug Multi-plug for flat and round pin plugs

8 10A connector plug, bought in Romania, but made in Japan. It has no European certification marks, because it does not comply with EU criteria. Among others a recessed pin entry fails (compulsory according to CEE 7/16 standard).
9 2-pin, 10A plug from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Pin dimensions and spacing are almost identical to Europlugs, but the plug housing is 5 mm thicker than a genuine Europlug and insulated shafts are missing.
11 2-pin, 5A plug from the Peoples Republic of China.
12 2-pin, 10A plug from Peru. The wiring procedure of this plug is unconventional and does not meet IEC standards.   {PO}
13 Older type of 3-way multi-plug for unearthed plugs with 4.0 mm pins. This type was very popular in the 1970s-90s, because it was compatible with both earthed (Schuko) and unearthed sockets. No longer produced, but still in use.
14 3-Way multi-plug for unearthed plugs with 4.0 mm pins. Fits only in non-earthed sockets as no. 1.
15 Unearthed five-way multi-plug rated at 6A-250V, bought in Romania. Slots have a diameter of 4.9 mm, but plugs with 4.8 mm pins can only be inserted in some of the positions, because of variable internal tolerances.
16 Multi-plug for 4.0 mm round pin and US/Japanese type flat blade plugs. The indicated rating of 10A-220V is difficult to believe. The two round pins can be rotated over 180 degrees. The plug may look like a doll house toy, but in 2002 it was in use in Vietnam. Unknown origin (China ?); a logo shows two elephants.


Safety issue about use of unearthed plugs in Schuko sockets

In some European countries, notably the Netherlands, only two types of unearthed plugs are allowed to use in Schuko sockets: either 2.5A CEE 7/16 Europlugs, or 16A CEE 7/17 hybrid plugs. When such plugs are used it is clearly visible that there is no contact with the Schuko earth clips. Other types of unearthed 10-16A plugs could give the wrong impression that there is a functional protective earth contact solely of being plugged in a Schuko socket.

2-pin plug that doesn't fit in Schuko socket
2-pin plug from Georgia
2-pin plug from Georgia in Schuko socket
Japanese made 2-pin plug that fits in Schuko socket

17 CEE 7/2 plugs with 4.8 mm pins, rated at 16A, have - deliberately - a large, round base (∅ 36 mm), see also plug nos. 5 and 6. The cavity of Schuko sockets is not fully round. Parts of the wall are broader (indicated by green arrows; see also image no. 19). These structures makes it impossible to insert an unearthed plug with a 36 mm round base plate
18, 19 Plugs exist that overrule the safety measure pointed above. The base plate of this plug has a shape comparable to Schuko plugs, but it has no earth contacts. As image no. 19 shows this unearthed plug fits in a Schuko socket (green arrows: notches; brown arrows: earth clips). A rating is not indicated, but the 4.8 mm pins suggest that it can be used for currents up to16A.   {WM}
20 The grey plug [a] is a small size (∅ 32 mm), unearthed, 2-pin plug that fits in a Schuko socket [b]. The image with a detached screw cap [d] reveals a simple type of cord grip. Having a kind of cord grip makes sense because for removing this mini-plug from a Schuko socket you have pull the cord. The 1960s plug, rated at 6A-250V, has been made in Japan and came with 220V  illumination of student microscopes used at Dutch universities. Brand name: Okusun [c].


Porcelain plug, small Classic 2-pin plugs and sockets
A large variety of plugs have been designed before CEE standards became effective.
The museum has models from the 1900s to '70s.
Click here for examples.


navigation icon
D i g i t a l   M u s e u m   o f
navigation icon
P l u g s   a n d   S o c k e t s
navigation icon