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    Key Switches

    A key switch, also known as a keylock switch or a lock switch, is an electrical switch that can only be operated with a key. When a key is inserted and turned it will make or break a circuit which allows a system to be turned on or off. Key operated switches are ideal for increasing the operating safety of machinery and access control in potentially dangerous areas.

    RS Components offer a selection of high-quality key switches from leading brands including Apem, EAO, Lorlin, C&K, NKK and of course RS PRO. Choose from a range of voltage ratings, current ratings, contact configurations, IP ratings and materials. Here at RS Components, we guarantee we have the right key switch to suit a range of applications and environments.

    Latching or Momentary, what’s the difference?

    Latching key switches are activated by the user and remain on until they are switched off again. Latching switches are also known as maintained or stay put.

    Momentary key switches are activated by the user and will only remain in the “on” position while the key is held in place. As soon as the actuation force is removed the key will release and the switch will return to the off position. Momentary switches are also known as spring return switches.

    What do the brackets around a switch operation mean?

    Sometimes the switch operation will be displayed with brackets around a position. An example of this would be on (off) on. Where brackets are shown this refers to a momentary action. So switch with on (off) on would on in both the left and right-hand positions and would spring back to the centre off position.

    Features and Benefits

    • Robust and reliable.
    • Easy to install and maintain.
    • Manufactured from top quality materials
    • Wide range of contact configurations including SPST, SPDT, DPST and DPDT
    • Wide range of switch operations including on-off, on-off-on and off-on
    • Key removable in various positions
    • Ingress protection ratings including IP40, IP65, IP66 and IP67


    Key switches are a very useful type of switch and are used in a vast array of industrial, commercial applications. Some of the most common are

    • Fire alarm systems
    • Automatic doors and roller shutter doors
    • Automation and control gear systems
    • Data cabinets
    • Lifts and escalators
    • Door entry and access control
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