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Microswitches: characteristics and differences

Microswitches are small electromechanical devices whose function is to open and close a circuit or to supply and disable a device.
Unlike switches, microswitches are so-called not only because of their small size, but also because of the small contact distance of the switch, and are used to interrupt currents of small intensity. Through a relatively small movement, requiring minimal effort on the actuator button, a series of high-speed electrical contacts are energized.

Microswitches are controls that can also be operated by moving mechanical parts within an application. Due to this configuration, they are generally used as safety mechanisms in certain equipment, as they are considered reliable devices. For example, inside lifts, slicers, microwave ovens and other small appliances. They are also convenient controls because they have a very long service life and therefore do not require replacement.

Mechanically operated electrical microswitches can be equipped with different types of actuators and terminals, and depending on these elements, it is possible to differentiate them into various types. Let's take a look at them together.

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Microswitches: the main types

There are various types of microswitches on the market, in terms of shape and size, which can be easily adapted to different types of equipment, for the most varied requirements.
The most common include:

  • lever microswitches and toggle microswitches;
  • slide switches;
  • push-button microswitches.

Lever microswitches or, in the variant, and toggle microswitches

This type of microswitch is one of the most common; they are switches with two or more positions that allow the electrical flow in a circuit to be established or interrupted. In this case, the actuator is a lever or toggle which, depending on its position, allows the electrical circuit to be interrupted or activated. In turn, toggle switches can be latching, where the toggle remains fixed in one position when moved, or momentary. In the latter case, the toggle, once actuated, feeds or interrupts a circuit and then returns to its original state when the actuator is released by means of a spring mechanism. 

Slide microswitches

These devices use a mechanical slider, which slides between the open and closed states, to control the flow of current in the circuit. As a mechanism they are comparable to push-button switches, but with the advantage that, due to their shape, they allow the user to easily switch between on and off states. Slide microswitches are typically used to control current flow in small circuits. The design of this type of microswitch allows it to be compatible with different circuit configurations. Depending on the application on which it is to be fitted, the microswitch can have a through-hole configuration, or be mounted directly on a panel or printed circuit board

Push-button switches

In this case, the actuator is a push-button that controls the switching on and off of different types of circuits. It finds application in water dispensers, cars and many other types of equipment; in fact, there are several models of push-button switches that can be found on the market.


On-off microswitches: what are they?

Specifically, the category of push-button microswitches has on-off labels. The on-off designations in microswitches indicate the switching behaviour of the electronic device

In the case of on-off microswitches, the on label indicates that the contact in the rest position is closed; the contact is broken by pressing the switch. The off label, on the other hand, indicates that the contact is open in the off position. Pressing the button actuates the microswitch, thus allowing current to flow.

In microswitches with the designation on/(on), on the other hand, the contact is closed in both switching states and is used to supply the two different circuit paths alternately. In this case, the switch is called a change-over switch.




SLIM and microswitches

SLIM offers its customers a complete package of light indicators, switches and microswitches Made in Italy thanks to the cooperation with Comelux, an Italian company that has been designing and manufacturing electronic components since 1950. 
The proposed 9MMV microswitches and 9MM microswitches consist of a stainless steel body and small plastic parts. There is also a threaded body that can vary in size according to customer request. These items are usually used as safety devices, for example as blade locks in slicers.

SLIM's added value lies in the fact that it provides customers who request it with an assembly service for certain components, including microswitches, in order to provide an all-round quality lighting solutions.

Are you looking for a specific component? Do not hesitate to contact us, our technical team will be happy to help you find the most suitable solution for your needs.