Choosing the right potentiometer for your application and install environment is important.
Factors that should be considered include the installation location, the required size, and the connection type needed. Although not all these properties will influence the device's electrical parameters, they must still be carefully considered to ensure that the pot can easily be accessed and adjusted where necessary.
Another factor to bear in mind is the type of adjustment mechanism. With mechanical models, this could simply be choosing between a slide or rotary knob. However, in some applications, using a certain type or design will improve usability.
There are two taper types - logarithmic and linear. Your specific application will determine the taper type that you need.
With a linear taper, the resistance between the wiper and the track will vary at a constant rate. If the wiper slides halfway along the track, the resistance will then be half of the total resistance.
Conversely, the resistance doesn't vary at a consistent rate in devices with a logarithmic taper. Instead, the resistance moves down or up exponentially. This means that if the wiper slides halfway along the track, it will not produce resistance that is half of the total.