Looking for a component like a pot that is an on/off switch

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 24, 2015
Hi everyone,

I am looking for a component that works like a potentiometer but is instead a simple on / off switch, that can be PCB mounted or through-hole. I thought it would be simple to find but apparently not!

I would like it to be the same size as a small potentiometer like this one:

My project has a circular lid, and needs a twisting/turning (but not screwing, I would like the lid to stay at the same level instead of moving up and down) mechanism to be switched on and off and I don’t need to vary the resistance. Something like an ignition switch, except smaller and with a potentiometer knob or shaft instead of a key…

I have looked into rotary DIP switches but these all seem to have more than two positions, so not sure where to search next and they seem a little over-complicated for my project.

If I can’t find this I will have to use a different mechanism to make it so that when the circular lid of a container is twisted, it presses a mechanical button or switch momentarily to complete the circuit. Any further suggestions on where to explore these sorts of mechanisms would be super appreciated.

Thank you so much!



Joined Jul 20, 2017
Does your project include a MCU with ADC? If yes then you can use a pot normally and set a threshold value for on/off.
Another (analog) option is to use a comparator with a threshold voltage reference on the negative input and the output from a pot on the positive one. when the pot output voltage is higher than the reference voltage the comparator will output a logical 1.