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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.


Need ’Digital Potentiometers’?


Digital Potentiometers

Looking for peripherals for your potentiometer?


Potentiometer Knobs


Potentiometer Accessories


Potentiometer Mounting Nuts

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Part Details Brand Stock Potentiometer Type Maximum Resistance Number of Gangs Number of Turns Power Rating Electrical Taper Element Material Mounting Type Termination Style Shaft Length Shaft Diameter Length Depth Travel Length Height Tolerance Dimensions Series Actuator Type Temperature Coefficient Minimum Operating Temperature
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 50kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328S503A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0706
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328S503A1A1
CTS 1993 Linear 50kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Wirewound Potentiometer with a 3.45 mm Dia. Shaft, 100kΩ, ±10%, 0.01W, Linear 251B12T104A2NB
  • RS Stock No. 179-0678
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 251B12T104A2NB
CTS 1000 Linear 100kΩ - - 0.01W Linear Wirewound Bushing Mount PC Pin 12mm 3.45 mm - - - - ±10% - 251 Flatted Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328S502A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0705
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328S502A1C1
CTS 990 Linear 5kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 50kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F503A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0698
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F503A1C1
CTS 987 Linear 50kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 100kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328S104A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0702
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328S104A1C1
CTS 981 Linear 100kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F502A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0695
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F502A1C1
CTS 971 Linear 5kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 50kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F503A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0696
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F503A1A1
CTS 968 Linear 50kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 10Ω, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R100B1B1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0661
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R100B1B1
CTS 965 Linear 10Ω - - 5W Linear - Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Metal, Wirewound Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 10Ω, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R103B1B1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0667
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R103B1B1
CTS 962 Linear 10Ω - - 5W Linear Metal, Wirewound Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328S502A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0703
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328S502A1A1
CTS 956 Linear 5kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R502B1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0674
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R502B1A1
CTS 950 Linear 5kΩ - - 5W Linear - Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 1kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F102A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0689
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F102A1A1
CTS 947 Linear 1kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 100Ω, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R101B1B1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0663
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R101B1B1
CTS 946 Linear 100Ω - - 5W Linear - Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 10kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328S103A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0701
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328S103A1C1
CTS 914 Linear 10kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 10kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F103A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0690
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F103A1A1
CTS 902 Linear 10kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R502B1B1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0676
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R502B1B1
CTS 893 Linear 5kΩ - - 5W Linear - Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 10kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F103A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0691
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F103A1C1
CTS 891 Linear 10kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 100kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F104A1A1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0692
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F104A1A1
CTS 881 Linear 100kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 1kΩ, ±20%, 5W, Linear 026TB32R102B1B1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0665
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 026TB32R102B1B1
CTS 880 Linear 1kΩ - - 5W Linear - Surface Mount Solder Lug 25.4mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±20% - 026 Round Shaft - -
CTS Linear Carbon Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 100kΩ, ±10%, 1/2W, Linear 450T328F104A1C1
  • RS Stock No. 179-0693
  • Brand CTS
  • Mfr. Part No. 450T328F104A1C1
CTS 879 Linear 100kΩ - - 1/2W Linear Carbon Bushing Mount Solder Lug 22.2mm 6.35 mm - - - - ±10% - 450 Round Shaft - -
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