Potentiometer – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Potentiometers are very useful when controlling the intensity that passes through low power electrical circuits, for this reason, they are used in many sound and lighting devices. However, there are different types of potentiometers that have different uses, in addition, the market offer is very wide, so we have selected the most outstanding models, such as the Bojack EC11, which allows a 360-degree adjustment and has a connection of 5 pins. For its part, the Gtiwung T282 is simple linear variation, offers a B10K Ohm resistance and has 3 pins.
The 9 Best Potentiometers – Opinions 2022
Thanks to its functionality as a variable resistor, the potentiometer is one of the most used electronic components, however, there are too many options, so it can be difficult to make a decision. For this reason, we have made a list with 9 of the best power meters of 2022.
1. Bojack EC11 Digital Audio Potentiometer
It is a set of 5V potentiometers with an output current of 10mA, designed with metal and plastic components, offering functionality and durability. In this sense, they are useful in the repair of sound devices, industrial controls, audio, Arduino boards, photography equipment and DIY in general.
If you are looking for a digital potentiometer that has an affordable price, this model can be a good option, since it is not very expensive and it is a set with 5 pieces, so you can do different repairs professionally or as an enthusiast. electronics. Each potentiometer offers a resolution of 20 high pulses each time you turn the knob 360 degrees.
Some users have commented that it is the best potentiometer of the moment, since it is 2.5 cm long, with a 15 mm long handle and a 6 mm diameter.
If you don’t know which potentiometer to buy, the Bojack EC11 rotary encoder can be a good option for different uses inside and outside the home.
Switch: This model incorporates a switch for greater functionality in audio equipment.
Capacity: It supports a rated current of 10mA and a voltage of 5V, so it has enough capacity.
Applications: It is indicated for audio systems, industrial controls, circuit boards, among other applications.
Board: These potentiometers are not installed on printed circuit boards, so they may be at a disadvantage compared to other models.
2. LeisureDual Module KY-040 Rotating Rotary Sensor Gyro Encoder
It is an encoder module that can be used as a digital potentiometer, since it has a pull-up resistor, which is specially arranged in the structure to avoid noise generated by electronic circuits.
It is important to note that this model offers a working voltage in a range of 0 to 5 V, which allows it to handle the electrical voltage of a large number of devices, such as the Raspberry system microprocessor, PIC, AVR systems, among others.
Regarding the connection, it has CLK pin for output A, DT for output B, GND for output C, SW as reset switch and VCC for positive supply of the unit, with 2.54 mm of separation between each pin. In addition, the measurements of the device are 31 x 19 x 29 cm, making it very practical.
According to the opinion of some users, OcioDual is the best brand of potentiometers, so if you are looking for a high-quality model, it is necessary to know more about the KY-040 module.
Voltage: Works in a range from 0 to 5 V, so it can be used in Raspberry, PIC and AVR systems.
Materials: The encoder is made of metal, which favors its resistance to constant use.
Operation: It is made up of a switch axis with a button and a turning system, which increases versatility.
Quantity: It is at a disadvantage compared to other products on this list, since it is not a set, but rather a single device.
3. Gtiwung 10 Pcs Potentiometer B10K Ohm Linear Taper Rotary
A linear potentiometer is functional for those seeking precision, since each movement made on its axis produces the same change in measurement. In this case, it is a set with 10 pieces of linear variation resistors, which offer a value of B10K.
The rotary knob caps measure 15 x 17mm and are black in color, allowing you to match them with different gear. Also, the shaft is 6mm in diameter, 15mm long, and measures 7mm at the mounting thread, so it can be attached to most electrical sound equipment, primarily for volume adjustment.
In addition, the shaft is knurled, which provides a better grip on the cap. As if that were not enough, the pieces are stored in a transparent plastic box to transport them safely.
If you are looking for the best potentiometer today, then you are likely to be interested in this model. Let’s know its pros and cons.
Quantity: This set includes 10 potentiometers with their respective installation accessories.
Caps: Each potentiometer has a black cap measuring 15 x 17 cm.
Terminals: It has 3 pins, so it can be adapted to most standard equipment.
Accessories: Washers and nuts required for installation may be missing. However, it is possible to contact the manufacturer to request missing parts.
4. Fularr 10 Pcs Premium Linear Taper Rotary Potentiometer Kit
If you need an arduino potentiometer or several, then this kit with 10 of them can be a good option to buy, since it offers 5 different values of resistance, 10K, 50K, 100K, 500K and 1M Ohm, with a total of 2 potentiometers of each value.
In this sense, they can be used to control electrically operated equipment, such as volume controls and equalizers in audio devices. In addition, they are 3-pin type B linear operating potentiometers, so they are compatible with standard size caps.
However, each potentiometer in this set includes a black with blue rotary knob cap, nut and washer for easy installation. For this reason, you do not need additional parts. It is important to note that the shaft is grooved to promote optimal grip.
If you are still wondering which is the best potentiometer of the moment, then it is recommended that you learn more about this model, since it not only offers quality, but is also one of the cheapest on the list.
Shaft: These are type B potentiometers with a 6 mm shaft and a grooved surface, which makes them compatible with different rotary knob covers.
Values: The set offers 5 resistance values from 10K to 1M Ohm, which provides greater versatility.
Box: Includes a plastic box to protect the pieces during storage.
Accuracy: The measurement of this model has a margin of error of +/- 1 cm, which is considerable compared to other potentiometers on the list.
5. Gaohou 10 pcs 10K Knurled Shaft Linear Taper Potentiometer
When we talk about a 10K potentiometer, we are referring to its resistance value. In this case, it is a set with 10 potentiometers of this type, so they are suitable for placing in different variable voltage equipment.
In addition, these are type B potentiometers and simple linear operation, which means that their value is constant and proportional to the distance that the rotary knob travels; in this way, it provides greater adjustment precision.
As for the measurements, the total length of the shaft is 8mm and its diameter is 6mm, so it is compatible with standard size rotary knob caps. In addition, the shaft is knurled and offers a split design to ensure maximum support, as if that were not enough, it is made of metal for greater resistance.
This is one of the cheapest potentiometers in this selection, so it is recommended that you take into account the most outstanding positive and negative aspects of the product.
Resistor: They offer a resistance value of 10K Ohm, making them suitable for use with most standard equipment.
Type: They are type B linear potentiometers, so they can be easily incorporated into a large number of current electronic equipment.
Shaft: The shaft has a split knob design and a knurled surface to promote a good grip.
Pins: The pins could be a bit thinner than expected, so they could bend quite easily.
6. Haljia 5pcs Potentiometer 50K Ohm
It is a set of 5 potentiometers, which can be used mainly to adjust the voltage of an electrical device, be it volume, brightness, lighting systems, among others. In this sense, it is important to mention that they have a resistance value of 50K Ohm and offer a working range of 0 to 200 V.
For this reason, they can be used to adjust power ratings up to 0.2 W. On the other hand, if you are looking for an electrical potentiometer that can withstand constant use, then you should know that these are made of metal for durability.
Regarding the characteristics of the axes, it is important to know that they offer knurled surfaces to favor a better grip. Also, they are 15mm in length and 6mm in diameter, therefore they are compatible with a large number of rotary knob caps.
If you want to acquire the best value for money potentiometer, you should know that this set does not cost too much money and offers great versatility. Let’s see its most important pros and cons.
Compatibility: There are 5 type B potentiometers, so they are compatible with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, among other systems.
Resistance: They offer a resistance value of 50K Ohm and 0.2 W, enough to install in powerful equipment.
Type: They are linear potentiometers, to offer a constant change in resistivity.
Accessories: This model does not have the fixing washers and nuts, so it is necessary to purchase them separately, which implies an additional expense.
7. Allparts EP-0086-000 CTS Potentiometer poti 500K
It is a logarithmic potentiometer, which means that at the beginning and at the end of the resistance the change in resistivity is different. This type of device is used in volume controls in radio stations and in amplifier equipment, because among its many advantages, it can favor the reliability and definition of the sound.
It offers a resistance value of 500K Ohm to be used in wiring guitars or other instruments. On the other hand, the shaft provides a knurled and nutted surface, to provide good clamping of the part with the appropriate rotary knob cap.
For added functionality, this is a CTS potentiometer, which means it offers a smoother, slower turning system, making it more convenient when transitioning from one sound to another.
A logarithmic potentiometer can give you the sound quality you’re looking for if you work professionally. Therefore, we invite you to learn more about this model.
Shaft: The shaft is grooved and has a nut and washer lock to offer a more rigid and secure hold.
Functionality: It is a CTS potentiometer, so it can provide a smoother and slower change between voltage levels.
Resistance: It offers a resistance value of 500K Ohm, which indicates good performance in different applications.
Quantity: It only includes a potentiometer, which could be a disadvantage compared to a set of several pieces. However, this does not diminish its quality.
8. Electronics hall 100 A 1 m ohm 3296 multiturn
This multi-turn potentiometer can help you make a finer adjustment of the resistance compared to regular models, since the resistance slider is attached to a reduction screw, which allows you to make several turns to complete the travel.
It is a very complete set, which offers 10 resistance values to promote versatility; 100, 200, 500, 1K, 5K, 10K, 50K, 100K, 500K and 1M Ohm. In this sense, we can find 4 potentiometers of each value for a total of 40 pieces.
To promote safety, this model complies with the RoHS regulations established by the European Community, which indicates a significant reduction in the use of hazardous substances in electrical appliances. As if that were not enough, the potentiometers are stored in a plastic box to transport them in a safer way.
Making precise adjustments is possible if you have a multiturn potentiometer, so it is recommended that you know in detail the pros and cons of this model before deciding.
Values: These potentiometers offer 10 resistance values, from 100 to 1M Ohm for added versatility.
Storage: The package includes a plastic box with compartments for each of the resistance values, which allows you to store the pieces in a more organized way.
Security: It complies with the RoHS regulation that provides greater security.
Noise: Some of these potentiometers may click slightly during rotation, however this does not affect their functionality.
9. Gtiwung 20 Pcs Rotary Linear Taper Potentiometer
This is a set with 20 potentiometers that offer 5 different resistance values, 5K, 10K, 20K, 50K and 100K. It is important to note that a 100K potentiometer can be used to control many of today’s most popular electronic equipment, which adds to its versatility.
They are type B potentiometers with 3 terminals, which allows you to adapt them more easily. Additionally, the shafts are 15mm long and 6mm in diameter, making them compatible with standard size rotary knob caps. Similarly, the surface of the shafts is knurled and has a split design to provide optimal grip.
On the other hand, this set includes among its accessories 20 rotary button covers of different colors, 4 red, 4 black, 4 blue, 4 yellow and 4 white, which gives you the possibility to identify the type of potentiometer once it is installed..
If you need a kit of linear potentiometers to control some of the equipment in your home, then you need to know more about this model.
Presentation: This pack includes 20 potentiometers stored in a strong plastic case for added protection.
Values: Pots offer resistance values of B5K, B10K, B20K, B50K, and B100K for added functionality.
Caps: The set includes 20 spinner caps in red, black, white, yellow, and blue.
Resistant: They may not be resistant to constant and demanding use. Therefore, they are mainly appropriate for DIY projects.
Potentiometers are essential in both audio and lighting electrical circuits, since they allow the intensity of sound in a player to be regulated and the amount of light emitted by a light bulb or lamp. However, you must pay attention to the most important characteristics of these devices before selecting one, for this reason, we have created this guide to buy the best potentiometer.
When making a comparison of potentiometers, it is necessary to first define the type of device you need, since not all of them work in the same way. Among the most used is the digital potentiometer, which is very practical and is often used to replace old control devices.
Also called a rotary encoder, the digital potentiometer is an electromechanical device, which serves as a knob to regulate the volume of a music player, the brightness of an LCD screen, and even the angle of a stepper motor.
If you are worried about how much this device costs, it is good to mention that it is an inexpensive device if we take into account its technology and functionality. However, you should know that it is possible to find an encoder with a built-in PCB board, which can make the job easier, but is usually a bit more expensive.
On the other hand, it is also possible to classify potentiometers into linear and logarithmic. We can say that it is linear if its value in ohms varies proportionally to the movement of the cursor when turning the button. For example, if the volume of a player increases to 50% of its full capacity when you turn the knob halfway, then it means that the potentiometer is linear.
On the contrary, in a logarithmic one, the equivalence is asymmetric, so that the volume can increase to 50% when the cursor is only 25% of the travel, but it can also reach the maximum when turning the knob to 75% of its position. capacity, so even if you keep turning the potentiometer shaft, the intensity is maintained. For this reason, many times the volume of a sound system increases a lot in the first angles of rotation of the button, but then begins to increase very little in the last part of the travel of the cursor.
As for the potentiometers for Arduino, they usually have a linear operation and are compatible with printed circuit boards. These devices are very useful for fans of electronics and programming who use the free platform, as they allow you to control different types of digital devices.
If you need greater precision, then you can opt for a multi-turn potentiometer, which allows a greater range of rotation, therefore, it is possible to control the intensity better. This type is less common for users and much more frequent within devices, so it is used above all by specialized technicians to make adjustments and repairs.
Each potentiometer has specific characteristics that we must take into account to know which one to buy depending on the need. First of all, we must remember that a potentiometer is only suitable for low power electrical circuits, generally less than 1 W, so if you connect one of these devices to a more demanding system, it is very likely to be damaged.
In this order of ideas, it is necessary to know that the potentiometers have a maximum resistance value expressed in ohms, which we can check on the external part of its structure. If it says 10KΩ, it means that the resistance can vary from 0 to 10,000 ohms, so you should choose according to the circuit you are working with. Also, you should pay attention to the nominal current, which is given in milliamps (mA) and the voltage, which is expressed in volts (V).
In the so-called rotary encoders, the pulses per turn must also be taken into account, which refers to the number of high pulses offered for each complete turn of the shaft. Also, it is important to know that the most common potentiometers have only 3 pins, but encoders have 5; pressure signal (SW), data signal (DT), clock signal (CLK), ground (GND), and voltage (VCC).
The design of a potentiometer responds to the type of device, but it is worth noting the difference between user and technical use. The former usually have a long, grooved shaft, often with a metal or plastic rotary button, which is more comfortable and practical for anyone, and they are also resistant and durable. We can see them in car radios and other devices, as well as in electric guitars and other musical instruments.
On the other hand, the potentiometers for technical use do not have a rotary knob, so it is necessary to use a tool to make the necessary adjustments. Also, they are much more fragile, so they are specially designed to be used by trained technical personnel.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to connect a 3-leg potentiometer?
The connection of a 3-pin potentiometer will depend on the use you are going to give it, but if you want to test the operation of a potentiometer experimentally, you can do it very easily. The first thing is to name the three legs, in this case, we will call them 1, 2 and 3. In terminal 1 we are going to make a bridge to 2, for this we can use a small cable, adjusting manually or soldering with tin.
Two cables will come out of the potentiometer, one from the union that we have made between terminals 1 and 2, while the other cable must come out from pin 3. In this way we can make a circuit to regulate the light intensity of a small LED bulb of Christmas.
For this we will need a pair of 1.5 V batteries. In the positive of the power supply we must connect a cable to one of the ends of the bulb, and in the other end another cable to terminal 3 of the potentiometer. On the other hand, the cable that comes out of the union between 1 and 2 must be connected to the negative side of the battery. In this way, when turning the axis of the potentiometer we will see how the intensity of the light varies.
Q2: How does a potentiometer work?
The potentiometer has a very simple operation. It consists of 2 terminals connected inside the device by means of a resistive strip, but it also has a third pin in the center that works as an output and varies according to the angle at which we turn the axis of the device. If the potentiometer has a value of 10KΩ, when turning the axis to half its capacity, we will have 5KΩ of resistance on each side.
Q3: What is a potentiometer for?
It is a resistor with a special system that allows its value to be varied, therefore, it is possible to control the amount of current that passes through an electronic circuit. In this way, the potentiometer provides the possibility of changing the intensity level in a lighting system, as well as the volume of sound devices and even the brightness of a screen.
In addition, this type of device is found inside many of the devices that we currently use, connected to printed circuits that offer automatic operation, thanks to programming by means of computers.
Q4: How to check a potentiometer?
If you have purchased a potentiometer and want to test its function before installing it, then you will need a digital multimeter. The first thing you should do is turn the knob on the multimeter to the appropriate measurement, depending on the capacity of your potentiometer.
In this way, you have to connect the red cable of the potentiometer to terminal 1 and the black cable to terminal 3 of the potentiometer. The value that appears on the multimeter’s display should match the potentiometer’s capacity. However, it is an approximate measurement, for example, a 10KΩ potentiometer can measure about 9KΩ on the meter’s display, however, this does not mean that it is damaged.
Q5: How to measure a potentiometer?
To measure the variation of the potentiometer resistance you must place the multimeter cables on terminals 1 and 2, to proceed to turn the potentiometer knob. On the multimeter screen you should see the value increase as you change degrees clockwise. Otherwise, if you put the multimeter leads across terminals 2 and 3, you will see the resistance decrease as you turn the potentiometer knob.