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.

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.


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Digital Potentiometers

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Potentiometer Knobs


Potentiometer 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 Stock No. 853-6800
Mfr. Part No.53C25K
BrandHoneywell
£13.18
Each
Units
5kΩ Rotary 1 1 Surface Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 15.9mm
RS Stock No. 831-8781
Mfr. Part No.53C31MEG
BrandHoneywell
£10.56
Each
Units
1MΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8807
Mfr. Part No.53C350
BrandHoneywell
£10.56
Each
Units
50Ω Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8788
Mfr. Part No.53C3250
BrandHoneywell
£10.12
Each
Units
250Ω Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8817
Mfr. Part No.53C35K
BrandHoneywell
£13.51
Each
Units
5kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8762
Mfr. Part No.53C310K
BrandHoneywell
£9.92
Each
Units
10kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8826
Mfr. Part No.53C35MEG
BrandHoneywell
£10.33
Each
Units
5MΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±20% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8766
Mfr. Part No.53C3150
BrandHoneywell
£10.12
Each
Units
150Ω Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8775
Mfr. Part No.53C31500
BrandHoneywell
£10.14
Each
Units
1.5kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8703
Mfr. Part No.53C12K
BrandHoneywell
£11.39
Each
Units
2kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 19.1mm
RS Stock No. 831-8790
Mfr. Part No.53C3250K
BrandHoneywell
£10.33
Each
Units
250kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-6704
Mfr. Part No.73JA5K
BrandHoneywell
£40.53
Each
Units
5kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 73 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 854-1669
Mfr. Part No.53C33500
BrandHoneywell
£10.12
Each
Units
3.5kΩ Rotary 1 1 Surface Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-6678
Mfr. Part No.53C11K
BrandHoneywell
£4.40
Each
Units
1kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 50.8 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 50.08mm
RS Stock No. 831-6669
Mfr. Part No.53C110K
BrandHoneywell
£11.39
Each
Units
10kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 19.1mm
RS Stock No. 831-8772
Mfr. Part No.53C31K
BrandHoneywell
£10.12
Each
Units
1kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8769
Mfr. Part No.53C3100K
BrandHoneywell
£10.36
Each
Units
100kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8797
Mfr. Part No.53C32500
BrandHoneywell
£10.36
Each
Units
2.5kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8778
Mfr. Part No.53C315K
BrandHoneywell
£10.36
Each
Units
15kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 831-8784
Mfr. Part No.53C320K
BrandHoneywell
£10.33
Each
Units
20kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm