Potentiometers

A potentiometer is a variable resistor. Potentiometers enable you to regulate and change the current flowing through a circuit. Potentiometers can also be called pots or potmeters.

Potentiometers have two terminals that are fixed to a resistive element (the track). The resistive element is typically wirewound or made from carbon, cermet or conductive plastic. The third terminal is connected to the wiper, which is a sliding contact. As the wiper moves along the track, the resistance changes and the current flowing through the circuit changes.

Types of potentiometer


Rotary potentiometers are easily controlled by turning a spindle or a knob. Rotary potentiometers can be single turn or multiturn.

Slide potentiometers are also known as slider potentiometers or fader potentiometers. To use a slide potentiometer, it’s simply a case of sliding a fader along a straight track to change the resistance.

Trimmer potentiometers, sometimes called trimpots, are used to calibrate and fine-tune circuits and can be mounted straight onto a PCB (printed circuit board). Trimmer potentiometers are easy to adjust with a screwdriver.

String potentiometers (or string pots) take movement and transform it into an electrical signal.

Membrane potentiometers are completely flat. Membrane potentiometers change their resistance when pressure is applied to the membrane.

Do I need a potentiometer with a linear or logarithmic taper?

The taper you need for your potentiometer depends on the intended application.

For potentiometers with a linear taper, the resistance between one end of the track and the wiper varies at a constant rate. If you turn the potentiometer halfway or slide the fader halfway along the track, the resistance will be half of the total resistance. Linear taper potentiometers are typically used in applications such as light dimmer switches.

For logarithmic taper potentiometers, the resistance does not vary at a constant rate. The level of resistance moves exponentially up or down. A potentiometer that has been turned or moved halfway along its track, will not produce resistance that is half the total resistance. Logarithmic potentiometers are commonly used for audio applications.

What is the difference between a potentiometer and a rheostat?

The key difference is the number of terminals that each device has. Potentiometers have three terminals while rheostats only have two terminals.

Looking for peripherals for your potentiometer?

Potentiometer KnobsPotentiometer Accessories Potentiometer Mounting Nuts

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Description Price Maximum Resistance Potentiometer Type Number of Turns Number of Gangs Mounting Type Power Rating Shaft Diameter Electrical Taper Mounting Hole Diameter Element Material Termination Style Tolerance Series Shaft Length
RS庫存編號 167-9493
製造零件編號535B1502JC
BrandVishay
TWD787.20
個 (以毎盒:10)
單位
5 kΩ Rotary 5 1 Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 535 22.2mm
RS庫存編號 460-1944
製造零件編號535B1502JC
BrandVishay
TWD1,045.00
單位
5 kΩ Linear 5 - Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 535 -
RS庫存編號 770-3071
製造零件編號PDB182-GTRB1-504MN
BrandBourns
TWD80.00
單位
500 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.06W 6 mm Audio - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% PDB182-GTRB 19mm
RS庫存編號 161-6773
製造零件編號PDB182-GTRB1-504MN
BrandBourns
TWD62.40
個 (以毎袋:100)
單位
500 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.06W 6 mm Audio - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% PDB182-GTRB 19mm
RS庫存編號 387-846
製造零件編號1624202-2
TWD281.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 691-6917
製造零件編號3310P-001-504L
BrandBourns
TWD97.00
單位
500 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.25W 3.18 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic PC Pin ±20% 3310 12.7mm
RS庫存編號 135-4480
製造零件編號1624202-2
TWD200.80
個 (以毎盒:100)
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 167-4646
製造零件編號3310P-001-504L
BrandBourns
TWD68.50
毎管:50 個
單位
500 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.25W 3.18 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic PC Pin ±20% 3310 12.7mm
RS庫存編號 107-0785
製造零件編號3590S-2-103L
BrandBourns
TWD614.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3590 20.6mm
RS庫存編號 167-9767
製造零件編號357B0103MAB251S22
BrandVishay
TWD1,011.00
個 (以毎盒:50)
單位
10 kΩ Rotary Continuous 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 22mm
RS庫存編號 460-2048
製造零件編號357B0103MAB251S22
BrandVishay
TWD1,264.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary Continuous 1 Panel Mount 1W 22 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 6.35mm
RS庫存編號 173-580
製造零件編號157S103MB9002
BrandVishay
TWD3,000.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Servo Mount 1W 3.18 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 157 22.2mm
RS庫存編號 167-9505
製造零件編號157S103MB9002
BrandVishay
TWD2,185.60
個 (以毎盒:10)
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Servo Mount 1W 3.18 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 157 22.2mm
RS庫存編號 219-9130
製造零件編號RK27112A00A5
TWD755.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK27 20mm
RS庫存編號 172-7722
製造零件編號RK27112A00A5
TWD513.50
個 (以毎盒:500)
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK27 -
RS庫存編號 410-356
製造零件編號248FGJS0XB25102MA
BrandVishay
TWD462.00
單位
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.5W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Pin ±20% 248 22.2mm
RS庫存編號 163-8379
製造零件編號1624146-2
TWD127.90
個 (以毎盒:200)
單位
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 522-2974
製造零件編號3540S-1-103L
BrandBourns
TWD849.00
單位
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3540 20.6mm
RS庫存編號 387-789
製造零件編號1624146-2
TWD182.00
單位
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 167-9564
製造零件編號248FGJS0XB25102MA
BrandVishay
TWD313.40
個 (以毎盒:50)
單位
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.5W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Pin ±20% 248 22.2mm