Variable Resistors

Browse our wide range of variable resistors including potentiometers, rheostats and thermistors from market leading electronics brands including Vishay, Bourns, EPCOS and RS Pro.

What are variable resistors and how do they work?

Variable resistors are electrical components that give you control over the current flow through an electric circuit. Variable resistors can be used in a variety of different types of devices, including the volume and gain control on electric instruments such as guitars and basses. The Variable resistors have a maximum and minimum value which can alter the current. Variable resistors are extremely important, without them you cannot control your circuit.

What does a variable resistor do in a circuit?

A variable resistor's role in a circuit is to allow the amount of resistance to be changed. When resistance decreases the flow of the current increases. There are different types of variable resistors that can be used for different functions and environments.

Types of resistors

The three most common types of variable resistors are:

  • Potentiometers The most common type of variable resistor is the potentiometers. The potentiometer can be used as a voltage regulator by introducing a variable amount of resistance into a circuit or as a means of adjusting the power in a circuit. Potentiometers can also be known as “pot” or, more specifically, slider pot, trimmer pot or thumbwheel pot.
  • Rheostat A rheostat is a variable resistor which is used to control current within an electrical circuit. They can control the resistance without interrupting it. Unlike the Potentiometer the Rheostat only uses 2 leads. A connection is made to one end of the resistive element and the other connection is made to the wiper end of the variable resistor. Rheostats are commonly used in motor control.
  • Trimmer Resistors Unlike other resistors, a trimmer resistor is a smaller component that is used to be placed within your circuit and not adjusted again. They are also known as trimpots.

Other types of variable resistors include:

  • Ceramic Transient Voltage Suppressors
  • Metal Oxide Varistors
  • Potentiometer Accessories
  • Potentiometer Knob
  • Potentiometer Mounting Nuts
  • Rheostat Dials
  • Thermistors
  • Trimmer Resistor Adjustment Tools
  • Trimmer Resistor Mount Adapters
Relaterte Produkter
Our RS Pro metal oxide varistors have been ...
Description:
Our RS Pro metal oxide varistors have been designed to meet the abnormal overvoltage requirements outlined in Section 39.4 of the UL1449 standard (4th edition). Under sustained voltage conditions, the Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) lead that is connected to the ...
Choice of satin chrome with white digital markings ...
Description:
Choice of satin chrome with white digital markings or black chrome with white digital markingsClear three digit markingsProtective windowLocking lever for fixed positionRectangular dimensions 44.5mm x 25.4mm.
These RS Brand standard potentiometer knobs are suitable ...
Description:
These RS Brand standard potentiometer knobs are suitable for a 6.35mm shaft. With Brass bushings and a high-quality plastic casing, these potentiometer knobs are durable and practical. With a range of compatible knob skirts available, they are ideal for a ...
The 5000E is a Dial Plate made of ...
Description:
The 5000E is a Dial Plate made of black-enamelled aluminium and handsomely finished for Ohmite rheostats and tap switches. The figures and lines are etched on a black background for contrast and ease of readability. On rheostat dial, the divisions ...