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 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 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 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 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 168-140
製造零件編號1623760-2
TWD177.00
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 162-883
製造零件編號404802692030
TWD1,067.00
單位
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% M 25mm
RS庫存編號 135-4432
製造零件編號1623760-2
TWD124.10
個 (以毎盒:200)
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 135-4477
製造零件編號1624139-2
TWD127.90
個 (以毎盒:200)
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 387-739
製造零件編號1624139-2
TWD182.00
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 745-6797
製造零件編號27ESA472MMF50NF
TWD201.00
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 27 50mm
RS庫存編號 164-4093
製造零件編號27ESA472MMF50NF
TWD151.90
個 (以毎盒:100)
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 27 50mm
RS庫存編號 135-4476
製造零件編號1624127-2
TWD151.90
個 (以毎盒:200)
單位
2.2 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 387-723
製造零件編號1624127-2
TWD216.00
單位
2.2 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 163-8383
製造零件編號27ESA104MMF50N
TWD155.70
個 (以毎盒:100)
單位
100 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 27 50mm
RS庫存編號 162-855
製造零件編號404802692040
TWD837.00
單位
47 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% M 25.4mm
RS庫存編號 136-1626
製造零件編號1624209-2
TWD200.80
個 (以毎盒:100)
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 164-9342
製造零件編號1624163-2
TWD138.00
個 (以毎盒:200)
單位
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 387-830
製造零件編號1624209-2
TWD281.00
單位
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 387-824
製造零件編號1624163-2
TWD190.00
單位
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS庫存編號 135-5046
製造零件編號TW1102KA
TWD247.20
個 (以毎盒:500)
單位
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm