Potentiometers

What is a potentiometer?



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 Knobs

Potentiometer Accessories

Potentiometer Mounting Nuts

...
Read more Read less

Filters

Viewing 41 - 60 of 2115 products
Results per page
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 Stock No. 387-795
Mfr. Part No.1624158-2
€3.76
Each
units
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 831-8817
Mfr. Part No.53C35K
BrandHoneywell
€15.27
Each
units
5 kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 729-3619
Mfr. Part No.RK09K1130AV7
€0.61
Each
units
5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K 20mm
RS Stock No. 167-4422
Mfr. Part No.PDB182-K220K-104B
BrandBourns
€1.234
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.125W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PDB18 20mm
RS Stock No. 166-9921
Mfr. Part No.PTD901-2015K-B103
BrandBourns
€1.009
Each (In a Bag of 162)
units
10 kΩ Rotary - 1 - 0.05W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±25% PTD90 15mm
RS Stock No. 737-7726
Mfr. Part No.PDB182-K220K-104B
BrandBourns
€1.76
Each
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.125W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PDB18 20mm
RS Stock No. 790-4221
Mfr. Part No.P10XXAI103KB30
BrandVishay
€4.35
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.5W 3 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% P10 20mm
RS Stock No. 161-5121
Mfr. Part No.1624158-2
€2.084
Each (In a Box of 200)
units
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 162-2374
Mfr. Part No.P10XXAI103KB30
BrandVishay
€2.528
Each (In a Box of 100)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.5W 3 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% P10 20mm
RS Stock No. 172-7540
Mfr. Part No.RK09K1130AV7
€0.498
Each (In a Box of 1000)
units
5 kΩ Rotary 1 - Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K -
RS Stock No. 502-8615
Mfr. Part No.TW1252KA
€9.43
Each
units
2.5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS Stock No. 827-5035
Mfr. Part No.PTD901-2015K-B103
BrandBourns
€1.44
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary - 1 - 0.05W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±25% PTD90 15mm
RS Stock No. 135-5047
Mfr. Part No.TW1252KA
€5.479
Each (In a Box of 500)
units
2.5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS Stock No. 249-9294
Mfr. Part No.RK1631210AY7
€3.62
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS Stock No. 693-0733
Mfr. Part No.6630S0D-B28-A502
BrandBourns
€13.75
Each
units
5 kΩ Rotary Continuous 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±15% 6630 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 167-4725
Mfr. Part No.6630S0D-B28-A502
BrandBourns
€11.666
Each (In a Tray of 25)
units
5 kΩ Rotary Continuous 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±15% 6630 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 161-5162
Mfr. Part No.17PCSA474MC19P
€4.363
Each (In a Box of 100)
units
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.25W 6 mm Linear - Carbon Pin ±20% 17P 19mm
RS Stock No. 167-5477
Mfr. Part No.95A1A-B24-A20L
BrandBourns
€4.313
Each (In a Tray of 45)
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% 95 19mm
RS Stock No. 172-8072
Mfr. Part No.RK09L1140A66
€1.322
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09L -
RS Stock No. 317-780
BrandRS PRO
€28.61
Each
units
5 kΩ - 1 - Panel Mount - 3 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Wire Lead ±20% LM10 -
Related Products
TE Connectivity brings you a range of premium ...
Description:
TE Connectivity brings you a range of premium quality cermet potentiometers These potentiometers are panel sealed to 'military standard' and contain an element of cermet. This boasts superior reliability and excellent quality. They have a mechanical rotation of 270° and ...
Brought to you by RS PRO, a series ...
Description:
Brought to you by RS PRO, a series of rotary potentiometers suitable for various applications Widely used within electronics, each model can be mounted within various devices or even on PCB applications. These particular models have a linear taper and ...
The 3590 series potentiometers from Bourns are built ...
Description:
The 3590 series potentiometers from Bourns are built with precision in mind, not to mention their outstanding build quality The fully sealed body potentiometers are rated at IP65 so can be used in many environments. • Stainless steel shaft • ...
The 23mm high power wire-wound potentiometers from TE ...
Description:
The 23mm high power wire-wound potentiometers from TE where designed to be used in a high power control environment They are brilliant build quality with a stainless steel shaft and a rugged hard plastic casing. The potentiometers in this series ...