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. 474-7589
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EW 20k Ohm
$6.10
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 18 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-6996
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EP 10k Ohm
$1.746
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. 474-9305
Mfr. Part No.RJ-13PR 10k Ohm (103)
$10.22
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 - 0.75W - Pin - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7703
Mfr. Part No.CT-94EX 5k Ohm
$6.10
Each
units
5 kΩ Through Hole 18 Side Adjust 0.5W CT-94 Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7179
Mfr. Part No.CT-6ES 100k Ohm
$1.738
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-8150
Mfr. Part No.ST-4EB 10k Ohm
$2.804
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
10 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.25W ST-4 Gull Wing 5mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7286
Mfr. Part No.RJ-5EW 10k Ohm
$10.26
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 14 Top Adjust 0.25W RJ-5 Pin 6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 602-4614
Mfr. Part No.SM-42A 20k Ohm
$8.81
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. 474-6924
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EP 100 Ohm
$1.842
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7012
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EP 50k Ohm
$1.842
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
50 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 896-7162
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EV 2kR
$1.938
Each (In a Bag of 5)
units
2 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT6 Solder Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - 31.6 V
RS Stock No. 896-7144
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EV 1kR
$2.196
Each (In a Bag of 5)
units
1 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT6 Solder Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - 22.4 V
RS Stock No. 474-7337
Mfr. Part No.RJ-5EW 200k Ohm
$9.72
Each
units
200 kΩ Through Hole 14 Top Adjust 0.25W RJ-5 Pin 6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-8677
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EB 200 Ohm
$3.11
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
200 Ω Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Gull Wing 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-8144
Mfr. Part No.ST-4EB 5k Ohm
$3.11
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
5 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.25W ST-4 Gull Wing 5mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 602-4434
Mfr. Part No.SM-3W 10k Ohm
$7.628
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
10 kΩ Surface Mount 11 Top Adjust 0.125W SM-3 J-Hook 3.9mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7242
Mfr. Part No.RJ-5EW 1k Ohm
$9.25
Each
units
1 kΩ Through Hole 14 Top Adjust 0.25W RJ-5 Pin 6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 896-7131
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EA 50kR
$2.208
Each (In a Bag of 5)
units
50 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Solder Pin 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - 79.1 V
RS Stock No. 474-8712
Mfr. Part No.ST-32EB 5k Ohm
$3.11
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
5 kΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.125W ST-32 Gull Wing 3.4mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-7933
Mfr. Part No.CT-20EP 100 Ohm
$4.212
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 Ω Through Hole 15 Side Adjust 0.5W CT-20 Pin 19mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -