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. 186-176
Mfr. Part No.PC910 4K7 RS
$17.32
Each
units
4.7kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 1W PC910 Pin - ±20% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 163-8560
Mfr. Part No.PC910 4K7 RS
$14.433
Each (In a Box of 100)
units
4.7kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 1W PC910 Pin - ±20% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 473-495
Mfr. Part No.CB10LH471M
$0.898
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
470Ω Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.15W CB10 Pin 9.8mm ±20% - ±500ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 473-477
Mfr. Part No.CB10LV223M
$0.382
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
22kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.15W CB10 Pin 11mm ±20% - ±500ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 473-580
Mfr. Part No.CB10LV473M
$0.674
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
47kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 3/20W CB10 Pin 11mm ±20% - ±500ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 164-3597
Mfr. Part No.3203X103P
$1.734
Each (In a Bag of 500)
units
10kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.05W 3203 Tab 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 754-2129
Mfr. Part No.3203X103P
$2.19
Each
units
10kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.05W 3203 Tab 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 163-9526
Mfr. Part No.409HA102M
$0.792
Each (In a Box of 500)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 409 Pin 9mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4546
Mfr. Part No.409HA102M
$0.994
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 409 Pin 9mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 162-1633
Mfr. Part No.CB10LV471M
$0.378
Each (In a Box of 1000)
units
470Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.15W CB10 Pin 11mm ±20% - ±500ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4287
Mfr. Part No.416PA102M
$0.869
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 168-0952
Mfr. Part No.416MA104P
$0.50
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
100kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4215
Mfr. Part No.416MA501P
$0.734
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
500Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4164
Mfr. Part No.416MA102P
$0.773
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 161-9911
Mfr. Part No.416MA102P
$0.442
Each (In a Bag of 500)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4697
Mfr. Part No.409VA103M
$0.98
Each
units
10kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W 409 Pin 9mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 161-5461
Mfr. Part No.416PA102M
$0.737
Each (In a Bag of 500)
units
1kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 164-3583
Mfr. Part No.3142W503P
$1.08
Each (On a Reel of 800)
units
50kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.15W 3142 Tab 4mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 473-534
Mfr. Part No.CB10LV471M
$0.688
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
470Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.15W CB10 Pin 11mm ±20% - ±500ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4912
Mfr. Part No.416MA104P
$0.856
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
100kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 416 Pin 6.8mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -