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    Rotary Switches & Components

    Rotary switches are a broad subcategory of switch types that operate through a rotational action. They’re especially widespread components in devices and circuits that require a single switch to offer more than two positions or functions.

    Our rotary switches and accessories include a huge selection of switch configurations, as well as numerous options for add-ons and spares, such as:

    • Rotary switch dials, knobs, caps and collet knob dials
    • Rotary switch shaft assemblies and spindles
    • Rotary switch lock mechanisms, screens and spacers
    • Rotary switch rotating open circuits

    Leading brands we work with to source high quality, durable, excellent value rotary switches and component parts include Arcol, Knitter-Switch, Honeywell, NSF, Vishay, RS PRO, Hartmann, NKK Switches and TE Connectivity.

    How are rotary switches typically used?

    Rotary switches are common HMI (human-machine interface) components in numerous kinds of industrial equipment, as well as in a wide range of consumer appliances.

    They’re sometimes preferred over other control input methods, such as touch-screens, in applications where software error could be problematic or hazardous. They’re also widely used on mechanical equipment featuring complex circuits where a single switch position needs to open/close various combinations of different contacts at once.

    How do rotary switches work?

    • Rotary switches turn around a spindle connected to a shaft assembly. This spindle, or rotor, is positioned such that it can make contact with any number of different attached electrical circuits as the rotary switch turns.
    • In this way, rotary switches are capable of incorporating greater numbers of poles and throws than most other types of simple in-line switches
    • Rotary switches are usually designed to be stepped, rather than completely smooth or linear in operation, to prevent stalling at intermediate stages between two or more connected circuits - although several such dial-based variants are also available.
    • The most common assembly type for modern rotary switches involves a ‘star wheel’ mechanism to switch positions at set intervals (say, 30, 45, 60 or 90 degrees)
    • Depending on the number of positions required, some rotary switches also employ a toothed washer below the holding nut, to limit or increase the number of available slots a given switch can click between

    Guides & Articles

    Rotary Switches Guide

    Rotary Switches Guide

    Our guide focuses on rotary switches, explaining their uses, how they work, and the different types available.

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    Industrial Automation

    Industrial Automation

    Automation is becoming ever more commonplace across industry. Learn more and discover the benefits of industrial automation!

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