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. 474-7315
Mfr. Part No.RJ-5EW 100k Ohm
PHP374.77
Each
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 14 Top Adjust 0.25W RJ-5 Pin 6mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 474-9311
Mfr. Part No.RJ-13PR 20k Ohm (203)
PHP404.69
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 1 - 0.75W - Pin - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 652-4726
Mfr. Part No.409VA104M
PHP77.69
Each
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W 409 Pin 9mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2772
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-502LF
BrandBourns
PHP126.91
Each
units
5 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 168-0258
Mfr. Part No.409VA104M
PHP42.189
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
units
100 kΩ Through Hole 1 Side Adjust 0.5W 409 Pin 9mm ±20% - ±250ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3477
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-502LF
BrandBourns
PHP63.284
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
5 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2693
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-103LF
BrandBourns
PHP129.45
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 521-9782
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-501LF
BrandBourns
PHP142.72
Each
units
500 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-9951
Mfr. Part No.T93YA503KT20
BrandVishay
PHP62.769
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
50 kΩ Through Hole 21 Top Adjust 0.5W T93 Pin 9.7mm ±10% - - - - -
RS Stock No. 522-0142
Mfr. Part No.3296Y-1-203LF
BrandBourns
PHP142.72
Each
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-5315
Mfr. Part No.PV36W101C01B00
BrandBourns
PHP84.383
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
100 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W PV36 Solder Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±150ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3501
Mfr. Part No.3296W-1-501LF
BrandBourns
PHP91.067
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. 769-2154
Mfr. Part No.PV36W101C01B00
BrandBourns
PHP86.89
Each
units
100 Ω Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W PV36 Solder Pin 9.6mm ±10% - ±150ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 374-6923
Mfr. Part No.T7YB103MT20
BrandVishay
PHP120.814
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W T7 Pin - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3415
Mfr. Part No.3296Y-1-203LF
BrandBourns
PHP94.154
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
20 kΩ Through Hole 25 Top Adjust 0.5W 3296 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3470
Mfr. Part No.3386P-1-103LF
BrandBourns
PHP63.284
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-3449
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103LF
BrandBourns
PHP63.284
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 167-9379
Mfr. Part No.T7YB103MT20
BrandVishay
PHP91.505
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W T7 Pin - ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 522-2227
Mfr. Part No.3386F-1-103LF
BrandBourns
PHP126.91
Each
units
10 kΩ Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.5W 3386 Pin 9.53mm ±10% - ±100ppm/°C - - -
RS Stock No. 161-6811
Mfr. Part No.3306P-1-101
BrandBourns
PHP11.529
Each (In a Bag of 200)
units
100 Ω Through Hole 1 Top Adjust 0.2W 3306 Pin 6.81mm ±25% - ±250ppm/°C - - -