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What Is A Slide Switch And How Do You Use A Slide Switch?

Views: 219     Author: China Micro Switch Manufacturer     Publish Time: 2020-08-20      Origin: https://www.unionwells.com/

what is a slide switch?

A slide switch is a mechanical switch that is distinguished by its manner of operation. They are truly unique from the other switch types because of the way they work. Interestingly, it can be switched into an on and off state by a slider. That makes it extra easy to turn on and off, or place it between different selectors with the fingers. It can work with about 0.1A and 200 volts. But how much current and voltage it can allow will depend on how big the switch is. There are some reasons why this switch is making waves in the switch industry.

They are known for allowing current flow within a circuit without the need for manually cutting or splicing the wire. Slide switches are usually used for small size projects. They are not only extremely easy to mount, but also have various advantages over a toggle switch. Slide switches basically have two types of internal designs. 

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Different designs

The most popular design leverages metal parts for making contact with the part of the switch that has a flat metal. When the slider moves across, it makes the slides of the metal contacts to move from one metal contact to the other one. That simple string of events is what causes the switch to be actuated. The other design implements a seesaw kind of metal. The metal is equipped with a spring which pushes against one part of the seesaw like metal. Or it could push against the other side. 

Slide switches can be categorized as contact maintained switches. Such switches are designed to stay in a particular state until they are motioned into a new state. They will remain in the said state till they are forced to move otherwise. The handle of the slide switch is always flush or raised, depending on the type of actuator it is using. The one that will be best suitable for you will be determined by what you intend to use the switch for. 


Throw and pole configurations for all slide switches are very much similar to what you get with pushbutton switches. A lot of slide switches can simply be put into the category of SPDT types. These switch types usually come with 3 terminals: 1 common pin, together with other two pins that share the common pin connection between them. They make more sense for switching power between various power sources, as well as for swapping inputs. 

The next configuration type is the DPDT. The commonly shared terminal is normally situated in the center. Then the two positions that are to be selected remain on the sides. 


Slide switches are designed with various terminal types, which is what makes them an interesting piece to use. Examples are wire leads, solder terminals, feed-through styles, screw terminals, blade or quick connect terminals, surface mount tech (SMT), as well as panel mount switch. 

SMT switchers cannot compare to feed-through switches in terms of their sizes. They are positioned flat atop a PCB, requiring only a little touch. Though they are unable to survive harder switching force when compared with the feed through switches. 

A panel mount switch is equipped to sit in the outer part of the slide switch in order to offer protection. Slide switches can be described as being standard, miniature, or subminiature. 

Electrical specifications

Slide switches have electrical specifications like max current rating, max AC voltage, max DC voltage, as well as max mechanical lifespan. 

Max current rating refers to the quantity of current that is allowed to flow through the switch at a particular time. Every switch is bound to have some level of resistance between the contacts. Due to that resistance, every switch is rated based on the maximum quantity of current that can go through them. That is the highest amount of current that can go through them. If that value is surpassed, the switch may eventually melt and smoke. In other words, the switch can easily become damaged in the process. 

Max AC/DC voltage refers to the highest amount of voltage that can be allowed through the switch terminals at any given time. 

Max mechanical life refers to how long the slide switch is bound to last. In many instances, the electrical life expectancy of a switch is usually shorter than its mechanical equivalent. 


A slide switch may come with certain features that can make it more suitable for specific applications. Let us have a look at some of those features:

Pilot lights help to show if the circuit is in an active state or not. That way, operators can easily tell from a glance if the said switch is active or not. 

Illuminated switches are designed with one integral lamp to show if there is connection to a certain energized circuit. 

Wiping contacts have low resistance and they can also be self-cleaning. The shortcoming of these contacts is that they can give rise to wear & tear. 

Time delays do the incredible job of automatically switching off a load within a predetermined time. 

Let it be known that slide switches are expected to completely compliant to international standards. You need to know what those standards are before you can successfully make use of these switches. 

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Slide switches are an amazing set of switch to say the least. Their wide area of application has also made them an interesting piece to employ in controlling voltage and current. This article has been able to spell out a lot of noteworthy things about slide switches. From how they are controlled by a slide to how they have got some distinguishing features that set them apart from other switch types, slide switches truly make a unique power control item. Thankfully, this article has also covered how it can be mounted and the many areas where they can be used. You could also run through the different features to know which type will be fit for your project. 

For more about slide switches,you can pay a visit to unionwell at https://www.unionwells.com


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