Toggle Switches & Slide Switches
Toggle switches can be used for any automation or electrical application. We carry a full range of toggle switches from leading brands including Apem, TE Connectivity and our own quality brand RS Pro. You can also choose from a complete range of toggle switch accessories including panel mounts and plating panels, toggle switch boots, sealing hoods and toggle switch guards.
What are toggle switches?
Toggle switches are a variant of a regular electrical switch, their
key purpose is to open and close circuits, the toggle element is also known as a lever, this is the part you flick on and off. A key characteristic is the snap action of the toggle, this switch is usually latching and stays in the designated position after being toggled.
What are slide switches?
A slide switch is a switch that uses a sliding motion from the off to on position, you can see if the device is on or off without needing secondary indicators such as LED illuminated indicators or pilot lights. Slide switches are available in a variety of sizes – select from miniature, sub-miniature or standard size. Slide switches are designed to be compatible with a variety of circuit setups so check what mounting style you will need
Types of toggle switches
There are four main types of toggle switch:
- Single pole, double throw (SPDT) - this is often used in on-on functions or in on-off-on functions
- Single pole, single throw (SPST)- these switches can be used for on-off functions, they are simple and fairly standard switches
- Double pole, double throw (DPDT)- these are usually found in on-on or on-off-on functions
- Double pole, single throw (DPST)- often found in on-off switches the terminals are independent of one another and can cope with the use of two different voltages
Within these four categories, there are many sub-categories, you can also get miniature toggle switches which can also be called microswitches. Our toggle switches are available with a range of metal contact materials such as:
- Copper alloy
- Gold over nickel plated brass
- Gold over nickel plated copper
- Gold plated brass
- Gold plated silver
- Gold plated silver alloy
- Silver plated copper
Our toggle switches can be differentiated by contact resistance, contact current rating and/or voltage rating which allows you to select the ideal toggle switch for your application.
Some people use toggle and joystick switches interchangeably.
A common misconception is that toggle switches are the same as rocker switches, however they do have slight physical differences.