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. 154-2066
Mfr. Part No.M64W503KB40
BrandVishay
HK$22.85
Each
units
50 kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 1/2W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% 5mm - 11.1mm 9.7 x 5 x 11.1mm -
RS Stock No. 788-5025
Mfr. Part No.T93XA102KT20
BrandVishay
HK$15.686
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1 kΩ Through Hole 21 Side Adjust 0.5W T93 Pin 9.7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 602-4428
Mfr. Part No.SM-3W 100 Ohm
HK$44.276
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
100 Ω Surface Mount 11 Top Adjust 0.125W SM-3 J-Hook 3.9mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3362
Mfr. Part No.3266W-1-103LF
BrandBourns
HK$24.871
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 12 Top Adjust 0.25W 3266 Pin 6.71mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3414
Mfr. Part No.3296Y-1-202LF
BrandBourns
HK$14.369
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
2 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9619
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-100LF
BrandBourns
HK$25.30
Each
units
10 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 161-6992
Mfr. Part No.3296Y-1-222LF
BrandBourns
HK$15.32
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
2.2 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Solder Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-9940
Mfr. Part No.T93XA102KT20
BrandVishay
HK$11.467
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1 kΩ Through Hole 21 Side Adjust 0.5W T93 Pin 9.7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3501
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-501LF
BrandBourns
HK$15.605
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
500 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 850-9634
Mfr. Part No.T73XX104KT20
BrandVishay
HK$3.525
Each (In a Pack of 1000)
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W T73 PC Pin 6.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-6946
Mfr. Part No.CT-6EP 500 Ohm
HK$9.264
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
500 Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W CT-6 Pin 7mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 743-2426
Mfr. Part No.3362W-1-101LF
BrandBourns
HK$8.99
Each
units
100 Ω Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W 3362 Pin 6.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9192
Mfr. Part No.3266W-1-103LF
BrandBourns
HK$26.46
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 12 Top Adjust 0.25W 3266 Pin 6.71mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3553
Mfr. Part No.3266W-1-101LF
BrandBourns
HK$26.18
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
100 Ω Through Hole 12 Top Adjust 0.25W 3266 Pin 6.71mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-0079
Mfr. Part No.3296Y-1-103LF
BrandBourns
HK$14.20
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9091
Mfr. Part No.3006P-1-203LF
BrandBourns
HK$16.91
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 15 Side Adjust 0.75W 3006 Pin 20.57mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-5452
Mfr. Part No.3314J-1-105E
BrandBourns
HK$9.75
Each (On a Reel of 500)
units
1 MΩ Surface Mount 1 Top Adjust 0.25W 3314 J-Hook 4.5mm ±20% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3368
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-100LF
BrandBourns
HK$17.718
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
10 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-5321
Mfr. Part No.PV36W202C01B00
BrandBourns
HK$10.135
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
2 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W PV36 Solder Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 169-3081
Mfr. Part No.M64W503KB40
BrandVishay
HK$15.609
Each (In a Box of 200)
units
50 kΩ Through Hole 19 (Electrical), 22 (Mechanical) Top Adjust 0.5W 64W Pin 9.7mm ±10% - - - - -
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