IEC Has Gone Commando

commando plugHere you are, searching for a quality plug suited for all of your industrial needs. Perhaps you need to provide electricity to your construction site. Maybe you need to power important machinery in your factory. No matter your industrial need, you’re probably looking for a Commando plug, and you may be surprised to realize that there is no listing under Commando Plug! Well, let’s take a second to dive into its history, or more properly, the history of the IEC 60309.

If you’re searching for “Commando plug”, you’re actually referring to the IEC 60309. The “Pin and Sleeve” is another common name for the IEC 60309.  The IEC 60309 is the international standard created by the International Electrotechnical Commission for industrial purposes. After the standard was created, countries began adopting it and slightly changing the name, either for their own standards or their own colloquial terminology.

As Europe adopted the plug, they often referred to it as the Commando Plug. The term Commando Plug came about because these plugs were most often used with MK Commando Sockets.

Just like how Motrin brand took over Ibuprofen, Kleenex brand took over facial tissues and the Xerox brand took over copiers, well the Commando brand seemingly took over the IEC 60309. When searching for an industrial plug, the correct term is still the IEC 60309. Since it is a branding issue, most companies refer to the IEC 60309 by its original namesake instead of the conversational name.

Another reason these plugs are called Commando plugs is because they’re strong!  These aren’t your average plugs you find powering a standard laptop.  In fact, you may call the IEC 60309 the Superman of power plugs! IEC 60309 plugs are built to handle extreme high voltage and amperage as well as power large amounts of machinery.  Furthermore, they are built so they can be submerged underwater and provide power while ensuring complete safety!  The plugs’ IP rating guarantees its ability to withstand water and foreign objects, protecting it from dirt and dust. That’s certainly not your typical plug; they command a lot more power than that!