Tactile Switches & Accessories

Tactile switches are on/off actuator components - basic electronic switches - that must be physically touched or pressed down to close a circuit and deliver a signal. Tactile switches typically only register an input while manually pressed by the user, and return to a default ‘off’ position on release.


Often shortened to tact switches, these simple and common switch types are often used as components in PCB-based (printed circuit board) systems. Everyday examples include computer keyboards, keypads or number pads, instrument panels, and many other interface control applications.


What are the main differences between tactile switches?



  • Terminal type - tactile switches are available in many different configurations for mounting to PCBs and other device circuits.


    • Among the most common terminal types are surface mount (the switch is soldered directly to the surface of the PCB) and through-hole mount (the switch features leg pins that pass through the PCB before being soldered or crimped)

    • Other options include screw-in, tabbed, or gull wing tact switches




  • Switch operation - most tactile switches are typically either latched, momentary or off(on) type.



  • Actuator type - the physical characteristics of the switch interface itself, and how it's operated by the user.


    • Common options include standard button tactile switches, cap switches, plunger switches, push plate switches, and stem tactile switches




  • Actuator length and travel distance - actuator length refers to the physical height of the button part itself, while travel distance denotes the depth of the press required before the tactile switch registers as active/on.



  • Operating force - the amount of physical weight you'll need to apply in order to move the switch.



  • IP rating - the level of ingress protection a tactile switch offers the underlying PCB against dirt, moisture and other particles.



  • Mechanical life - usually measured in number of cycles (presses and returns), this indicates the rated durability of a tactile switch under simulated long-term use.



  • Tactile switch caps are an easy way to accessorise tact switches in order to colour code or differentiate different switches in an array.

Related Products
The KSC Series tactile switches have been designed ...
Description:
The KSC Series tactile switches have been designed for surface mount applications with a choice of either J or gull wing terminals. Potential applications include automotive, cellular phones, industrial electronics, network infrastructure, IT and elevators. They are sealed to IP67 ...
The KSC Series tactile switches have been designed ...
Description:
The KSC Series tactile switches have been designed for surface mount applications with a choice of either J or gull wing terminals. Potential applications include automotive, cellular phones, industrial electronics, network infrastructure, IT and elevators. They are sealed to IP67 ...
Description:
From C & K Switches, a range of compact SMT tactile switches. The PTS641 series of switches are available with standard top actuator buttons and various switch heights making them ideal for applications where space is limited. The IP40 tactile ...
CTS tactile switches combine reliability with excellent tactile ...
Description:
CTS tactile switches combine reliability with excellent tactile feedback. We offer multiple sizes, operating forces, actuator heights, and life cycles to meet the needs of your application. Our tact switches are used for human interface applications where the user applies ...