Trimmer Resistors

What are trimmer potentiometers?


Trimmer potentiometers, sometimes referred to as trim pots or trimmer resistors are a type of adjustable potentiometer (variable resistor). They are used to calibrate and fine-tune circuits. Trimmer potentiometers are typically constructed from cermet or have a carbon composition. They can be mounted directly onto PCBs (printed circuit boards).


Trimmer potentiometers are not adjusted very frequently. You can think of them as a ’set and forget’ component. Trim pots let you set (or trim) the resistance to obtain a very precise current, output voltage or gain. Once the value has been set, it is unlikely that you’ll need to adjust the trimmer again unless you need to recalibrate the circuit.


Can I replace a normal potentiometer with a trimmer potentiometer?


Yes, you can. However, trimmer potentiometers are typically more expensive than standard potentiometers with a fixed resistance rating. It is also worth bearing in mind the difference in lifespan too. Many potentiometers have a lifespan that allows for hundreds of thousands of cycles. Trimmer potentiometers typically have a lifespan of a few hundred cycles (at best). Trim pots also tend to take up more space on a PCB than a standard potentiometer.


Do I need a single turn or multiturn trim pot?


This completely depends on the intended application of the trim pot. Multiturn trimmer pots tend to have a higher resolution than single turn models. A single turn trimmer potentiometer is ideal for applications where a resolution of one turn is enough.


Adjustment types


Trimmer potentiometers are normally adjusted by hand (you can turn the adjustment knob with your fingers), with a screwdriver or with a specialised adjustment tool designed for use with a particular model or series.


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Description Price Maximum Resistance Mounting Type Number of Turns Orientation Power Rating Series Termination Style Length Tolerance Depth Temperature Coefficient Height Dimensions Maximum Voltage Rating
RS Stock No. 602-4440
Mfr. Part No.SM-3W 1k Ohm
MYR27.014
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Top Adjust 0.125W SM-3 J-Hook 3.9mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-6659
Mfr. Part No.RJ-4EW 500 Ohm
MYR22.72
Each
units
500 Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W RJ-4 Pin - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-6996
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EP 10k Ohm
MYR5.092
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7551
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 2k Ohm
MYR18.87
Each
units
2 kΩ Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7501
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 100 Ohm
MYR18.87
Each
units
100 Ω Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7135
Mfr. Part No.CT-6ES 5k Ohm
MYR5.092
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
5 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7725
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EX 20k Ohm
MYR17.94
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 18 Side Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7589
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 20k Ohm
MYR18.87
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 182-5622
Mfr. Part No.SM-42B 50K ohm(503)
MYR13.464
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
50 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Side Adjust 0.25W SM-42 Solder 4.8mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - 112 V
RS Stock No. 602-4939
Mfr. Part No.SM-42X 100k Ohm
MYR27.254
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Top Adjust 0.25W SM-42 Gull Wing 4.8mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 182-5626
Mfr. Part No.RJ-13S 100K Ohm (104)
MYR14.026
Each (In a Bag of 50)
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.75W RJ-13 Solder - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - 274 V
RS Stock No. 474-7595
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 50k Ohm
MYR18.87
Each
units
50 kΩ Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-6867
Mfr. Part No.RJ-4EWS 20k Ohm
MYR22.72
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W RJ-4 Pin 5mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-8683
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EB 500 Ohm
MYR9.618
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
500 Ω Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Gull Wing 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7630
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 500k Ohm
MYR19.16
Each
units
500 kΩ Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 602-4670
Mfr. Part No.SM-42B 100k Ohm
MYR27.254
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Top Adjust 0.25W SM-42 Gull Wing 4.8mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 602-4614
Mfr. Part No.SM-42A 20k Ohm
MYR27.254
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
20 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Side Adjust 0.25W SM-42 J-Hook 4.8mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 896-7125
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EA 2kR
MYR6.83
Each (In a Bag of 5)
units
2 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Solder Pin 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - 15.8 V
RS Stock No. 896-7134
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EA 5kR
MYR9.336
Each (In a Bag of 5)
units
5 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Solder Pin 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - 25 V
RS Stock No. 182-5623
Mfr. Part No.SM-42A 100K ohm(104)
MYR13.751
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
100 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Side Adjust 0.25W SM-42 Solder 4.8mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - 158 V