simple question

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 18, 2005
what is the difference between the 2? what different types of applications would you use each? my book doesnt give me a point blank answer :(


Joined Sep 24, 2005
Originally posted by haditya@Sep 26 2005, 02:13 PM
Rheostats are generally high power(current) rated whereas pots hav a relatively low power rating..
[post=10612]Quoted post[/post]​
Yeah, i mean, this terms depending from country. In my mind the rheostat have only two connections: one end and wiper, the pot. have 3 legs: two end and wiper.
With pot. possible to make a voltage divider, the rheostat connection most of case:serial with load.


Joined Nov 17, 2003
I remember someone saying to me that the difference between the two was that the Rheostat was a variable resistor that varied the resistance by current control, whereas the potentiometer was a variable resistor that varied the resistance by voltage control. This is why the Rheostat is used as a two legged device and the potentiometer is a three legged device.


Joined Jan 18, 2005
A rheostat controlls current. A potentiometer controls voltage. Think of it this way, a potentiometer is used to "meter" (control) a "potential".


Joined Jan 24, 2005
I made a schem showing the differences for a question just like this one. Just gotta find the link or file on my comp (If its still there! ahh)
thx l8er

*found it!...sorta a visual of what every1 else has already explained.*