What are basic switches?

ID: FAQE20001E



A basic switch is a very small switch designed to open and close relatively large electric current with a snap-action mechanism.


A basic switch is defined as a switch with a snap-action mechanism.
It is a small-size switch with a very small contact gap and snap-action mechanism. Its contact structure opens and closes with a specified movement and specified force and is enclosed in a case with an actuator on the exterior.
The snap-action mechanism allows a movable contact to move quickly from one fixed contact to another, regardless of the speed at which the switch is operated. The fast switching speed of the contacts shortens the arc duration between the contacts and reduces the wear of the contacts, thus maintaining stable characteristics. This results in longer contact life (electrical durability).

Our basic switches come in four sizes: General-purpose, Miniature, Subminiature and Ultra Subminiature, depending on the device and scale of the equipment they are to be used in. We have also added Sealed Basic Switches to the lineup that are designed to provide environmental resistance.

basic switches

For more information, please see "Switch Basics: Technology".

Quick tips

The snap action shortens the arc duration by shortening the contact switching time. However, if the operating speed is too fast, the contact will open and close faster and the bounce time will be longer. The arc caused by this bounce can shorten the contact life. If the operation speed of the switch is too slow, the chattering time will be longer and contact instability and arcing may increase. For this reason, basic switches have a specified allowable operation speed (refer to the website below).

Contact Switching Time
Product category Switches Basic Switches
Classification Selection, Characteristics
Related keywords
  • Basic Switch
  • Snap-Action Mechanism
  • Arc
  • Chattering
  • Bouncing
  • Contact Life
  • Electrical Durability
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Facilities
  • Consumer and Commertial Device

Related Questions

How do I open and close DC using a basic switch?
In direct current switching, the arc (spark generated between the contacts upon switching) lasts longer, causing more severe contact wear compared to alternating current. When cutting off a DC circuit, please select a switch with a DC rating and use it according to the rating.
Does Omron have a small high-capacity snap-action switch?
Omron’s basic switch D2F is small sized and can be used for high-capacity switching.
How do I properly choose between a basic switch and a sensor?
Basic switches and sensors are both used for detection of an object (workpiece). A basic switch has a simple structure that helps to save energy and directly opens and closes both DC and AC circuit by the contacts. Its snap-action mechanism creates a click feeling that is required for some devices (e.g. computer mouse).

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