Trimmer Resistors

What are trimmer potentiometers?


Trimmer potentiometers, sometimes referred to as trim pots or trimmer resistors are a type of adjustable potentiometer (variable resistor). They are used to calibrate and fine-tune circuits. Trimmer potentiometers are typically constructed from cermet or have a carbon composition. They can be mounted directly onto PCBs (printed circuit boards).


Trimmer potentiometers are not adjusted very frequently. You can think of them as a ’set and forget’ component. Trim pots let you set (or trim) the resistance to obtain a very precise current, output voltage or gain. Once the value has been set, it is unlikely that you’ll need to adjust the trimmer again unless you need to recalibrate the circuit.


Can I replace a normal potentiometer with a trimmer potentiometer?


Yes, you can. However, trimmer potentiometers are typically more expensive than standard potentiometers with a fixed resistance rating. It is also worth bearing in mind the difference in lifespan too. Many potentiometers have a lifespan that allows for hundreds of thousands of cycles. Trimmer potentiometers typically have a lifespan of a few hundred cycles (at best). Trim pots also tend to take up more space on a PCB than a standard potentiometer.


Do I need a single turn or multiturn trim pot?


This completely depends on the intended application of the trim pot. Multiturn trimmer pots tend to have a higher resolution than single turn models. A single turn trimmer potentiometer is ideal for applications where a resolution of one turn is enough.


Adjustment types


Trimmer potentiometers are normally adjusted by hand (you can turn the adjustment knob with your fingers), with a screwdriver or with a specialised adjustment tool designed for use with a particular model or series.


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Description Price Maximum Resistance Mounting Type Number of Turns Orientation Power Rating Series Termination Style Length Tolerance Depth Temperature Coefficient Height Dimensions Maximum Voltage Rating
RS Stock No. 154-2072
Mfr. Part No.M64W104KB40
BrandVishay
£2.01
Each
Units
100kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 1/2W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% 5mm ±100ppm/°C 11.1mm 9.7 x 5 x 11.1mm -
RS Stock No. 167-3449
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103LF
BrandBourns
£0.715
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 169-3082
Mfr. Part No.M64W104KB40
BrandVishay
£1.14
Each (In a Box of 200)
Units
100kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 0.5W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2227
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103LF
BrandBourns
£1.30
Each
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3358
Mfr. Part No.3266W-1-503LF
BrandBourns
£1.901
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
50kΩ Through Hole 12 Top Adjust 0.25W 3266 Pin 6.71mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9293
Mfr. Part No.3266W-1-503LF
BrandBourns
£2.57
Each
Units
50kΩ Through Hole 12 Top Adjust 0.25W 3266 Pin 6.71mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 169-3078
Mfr. Part No.M64W502KB40
BrandVishay
£1.064
Each (In a Box of 200)
Units
5kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 0.5W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9805
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-503LF
BrandBourns
£1.80
Each
Units
50kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 154-2044
Mfr. Part No.M64W502KB40
BrandVishay
£2.11
Each
Units
5kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 1/2W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% 5mm - 11.1mm 9.7 x 5 x 11.1mm -
RS Stock No. 167-3364
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-503LF
BrandBourns
£1.215
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
50kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3450
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103TLF
BrandBourns
£1.392
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2233
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103TLF
BrandBourns
£2.12
Each
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3470
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-103LF
BrandBourns
£0.676
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2693
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-103LF
BrandBourns
£1.30
Each
Units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 186-176
Mfr. Part No.PC910 4K7 RS
£8.19
Each
Units
4.7kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 1W PC910 Pin - ±20% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 163-8560
Mfr. Part No.PC910 4K7 RS
£5.378
Each (In a Box of 100)
Units
4.7kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 1W PC910 Pin - ±20% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 167-9436
Mfr. Part No.TS53YL103MR10
BrandVishay
£0.524
Each (On a Reel of 500)
Units
10kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.25W TS53 Gull Wing 5mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 486-7526
Mfr. Part No.TS53YL103MR10
BrandVishay
£1.18
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
10kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.25W TS53 Gull Wing 5mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 162-243
Mfr. Part No.M43P203KB40
BrandVishay
£1.89
Each
Units
20kΩ Through Hole 20 Side Adjust 1/2W 43P Pin 20.57mm ±10% 4.83mm ±100ppm/°C 6.35mm 20.57 x 4.83 x 6.35mm -
RS Stock No. 169-3025
Mfr. Part No.M43P203KB40
BrandVishay
£0.978
Each (In a Box of 200)
Units
20kΩ Through Hole 20 Side Adjust 0.5W 43P Pin 20.57mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
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