Best Micro Switch Facts In Electronic Components Manufacturing You Should Know Today

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James Yuan

Jul 28, 2020, 4:42:54 AM7/28/20
to Unionwell Micro Switch Limit Switch Manufacturer Supplier

Best Micro Switch Facts You Should Know Today

One of the reasons to believe that technology has advanced over the years has been the advent of micro switches. Most manufacturers of electronic products claimed that they prefer using these switches as compared to conventional switches due to the unmatchable benefits they offer. For instance, they are highly durable, reliable and affordable. Benefits like these have made such switches the go-to option for most people who are handling various types of electronic projects. Despite their increasing popularity amongst companies and end-users, it has been discovered that most people don't make use of them. The major reason for this according to experts is that they lack the right knowledge about these switches. 

Whether you want to admit it or not, the truth still remains that micro switches are the future given how they are being built to function and help electronic devices as well as appliances perform optimally without compromise. Are you looking for facts about micro switches? Do you know that understanding what these switches have been developed for can motivate you to make use of them in your electronic appliance or device? There is no need bothering about where to find such facts as you've definitely come to the right place. This post will be explaining micro switches in details to help you start including them in your devices today. 

Understanding micro switches

It may shock you to know that micro switches have been existing since the year 1932. Its innovation can be credited to genius of Peter McGall who decided to think of an idea that would enable devices and appliances function with little pressure being applied. Since then, billions of these switches have been released into the market to meet the needs of electronics manufacturing companies and end-users. 

Micro switches have been designed in a way that once there is small movement of the actuator, such can bring about contact within the points. This process usually takes place at a very high speed. Most micro switches are usually designed to exhibit what is known as “hysteresis”. This is a situation whereby the contacts cannot be reversed due to small reversal in the actuator. What this implies is that the movement in the opposite direction has to be significant. When this process takes place, the switch circuit experiences an interruption that is clean and reliable. The actuator is known to play the role of a lever. 

Why is it actually called a micro switch?

Most people make use of these switches without even bothering to know about how its name originated. The first producer of this electrical switch was a company from the US. Its name was known as Micro Switch. This is how the name started gaining popularity. As time went on, it became generic amongst various categories of people and companies around the world. In the year 1950, this company got acquired/taken over by Honeywell. This is how the Micro Switch trademark got registered. Other companies started calling it snap-action or basic switch after then. Another name for them is miniature switches. 

Types of micro switches

There is no doubting the fact that ever since micro switches got invented, the world of technology has advanced greatly beyond human imagination. This has led to a situation whereby various switches are being created to enable different types of appliances function optimally. Some of the micro switches you will find in the market are:

• Basic switches 

• Miniature switches

• Subminiature switches 

• Hermetically sealed switches 

• High temperature switches

The technology keeps on getting better and better with each year that passes by as people are discovering more devices that it can be used in. For instance, it can be used in doors, vending machines, printers, photocopiers, pressure switches, franking machines. For a much better understanding, below are some of their functions in each of these devices/appliances. 


Sliding doors have been designed in a way that they can close or open automatically. This is mostly obvious once there is something or someone in the way as such door won't close. This function is made possible through the help of micro switch. Through such electrical switch being added, it becomes possible for a sliding door's open and close state to be detected. 

Printers and photocopying machines

This is another aspect where micro switches are becoming very popular. Printing and photocopying machines usually experience the problem of paper jam. This can lead to wastage of papers in the process. It is duty of micro switches to detect such problems in these electrical devices. 

Pressure switches

In this case, micro switches carry out process applications. It could be having a bulb turned on/off. Initially, the uses of these switches were greatly limited to pressure switches. However, such has changed as companies are using them to control their electronic devices. 

Vending machines

Do you know that micro switches are an important part of vending machines? They carry out the function of detecting dropping coins. Without them being integrated in these devices, it becomes difficult and impossible to detect whether coins are being dropped or not. 

They are electrical switches which can be actuated through little physical force. A tipping-point mechanism is what they usually make use of. These are also known as over-center mechanism. Unlike other mechanisms, micro switches have proven to be different. This is because switching can take place or occur at repeated positions of such actuator. This makes them very reliable when used in devices. Micro switches are usually of various designs. This determines their levels of durability to a great extent. 

For instance, electrical switches which have been designed to be used by end-users can have up to one million cycles which is quite impressive. Those which have been built for industrial purposes can have up to 10million cycles. It has been discovered that snap-action switches are usually the most common type of micro switches. Through an actuating lever, fast switching occurs. In this case, the amount of pressure applied on the actuator doesn't have to be much. Other applications that micro switches can be found in apart from those mentioned above are motors, solenoids, lamps, pressure switches and flow. Experts have predicted that as the years are going by, these switches will be used in more devices. 

Types of applications which use micro switches

Micro switches are devices which are very common. You will usually find them in not just consumer devices but also industrial equipment. They are always available in various forms of design. This largely depends on the purpose which they are to be used. These switches have been built to be highly sensitive. This makes them perfect for use in detection of pressure as well as temperature. For industrial purposes, control circuits is where they are used. They have been designed in a way that whenever a distinctive noise is made, it means they have actuated. This is because they have been clicked thereby altering their resting state. 

How micro switches work

Just as mentioned above, every micro switch exhibits what is known as hysteresis. It is the dependence of a system's output on its current and past input histories. In other words, response doesn't just depend on current state as its past history will also play a role in such process. Generally speaking, it can also be defined as a situation which exists when there seems to be a lag between output and input. 

In the case of a micro switch, it is easy to conclude that hysteresis occurs when the switch is being wiggled back and forth. In such an instance, the resulting magnetism which has been created will follow the signal applied. There will be a slight delay in such process though.  The dependence is usually as a result of the internal state's value being affected by history. The switch is likely to get activated at some point once the actuator gets depressed. In micro switches, there are usually 3 points of contact. These are: 

• Common 

• Normally open 

• Normally closed 

In a situation whereby the actuator has been depressed, there is usually contact between normally open and common. Once there seems to be a decrease in the amount of pressure being mounted on its actuator, the switch will likely reverse to its original state. This is usually known as “non-activated state”. In such case, the Common is likely to fall back to the NC (Normally Closed). The micro switch won't be able to function once the Common comes in contact with Normally Closed (NC). It is very crucial to know how these switches work at different periods of time. This can help you tell whether an electronic device is faulty or not. In other words, it will help indicate whenever your appliance is due for repair. 

The distance which exists between the release point and actuating point is what is known as hysteresis. It can also be called differential movement. The delay which exists during such process is usually good since it can help to ensure issues related to chattering of switches is greatly prevented. This problem is likely to occur as they tend to oscillate within a given point. Please note that there are applications where excess hysteresis can prove dangerous. This is typical of mechanical pressure as well as temperature switches. In a situation like this, the pressure switch's resolution will be greatly limited. 

This means that its ability to carry out detection of pressure changes becomes limited to a great extent. This is likely to affect how it works in such device. It is important to understand the fact that micro switches are different in terms of the level of hysteresis they usually exhibit. While some have been built to exhibit more, others will exhibit less. The delay which occurs due to their existence are deliberate actions. 

Furthermore, actuators are of different types. It will be very wrong looking for a particular type of actuator in any micro switch you plan buying in the market. Some of them are simulated rollers levers, hinged roller levers, hinged levers, and pin plungers. 

The bottom line is that micro switches aren't operated manually by anybody. Instead, it gets activated to play the role it is meant to once the switch has been pushed. There are some micro switches that usually make use of buttons instead of a lever. Once the button is pressed, there will usually be contact between “Common” and “Normally Open” (NO). Whenever the actuator experiences a small movement, such can bring about an obvious change. Based on their functions, it can be said that micro switches are usually of various types. For instance, there is limit switch which can be found in refrigerators. 

Important micro switch usage tips

Using a micro switch implies you will need to take note of size and load type. While some loads have been discovered to have inrush current that is much higher, others don't have such high inrush current. For instance, the inrush current for relay is about 5times more as compared to nominal. Motor, solenoids, and incandescent lamps have inrush current of 10times, 20times and 15times respectively. If you want to switch small loads, avoid using micro switches which have been designed for high current. It is also important you make use of micro switches which have been designed using contacts that are gold-plated. 

In case the environment or surrounding seems harsh, it is recommended that you make use of a micro switch which has very high IP rating. It can be around IP67. Another thing you need to do is ensure that contact protective circuit has been applied. Apart from extending the lifespan of such micro switch, this can also help in preventing noise. There are instances whereby carbide is generated as a result of arc. Use of contact protective circuit can help avoid such negative development. Overall, it will ensure you are making use of a micro switch in the safest way possible. 

Through usage of contact protective circuit, there will be a delay in time which load can respond. Some types that are highly suggested could be:

RC Circuit

These are usually the best options for systems where power supply seems to range between 24v and 48v. For best results, it is best to ensure that RC Circuit has been connected in a way that it is parallel to the load. When the load ranges between 100 and 200 volts, it should be parallel to such contacts. 


A visitor works in a similar way like RC circuit explained above. Its presence can ensure that the contacts don't experience any high voltage which is likely to hinder their overall performances. Other methods which can also prove to be very effective are diode and zener diode. 

Why choose a micro switch

Before the advent of micro switches, it can be said that most devices weren't functioning to their strength. However, things have changed as micro switches are highly preferred by companies into the field of manufacturing electrical products today. In case you are wondering why a micro switch should be chosen over any of those conventional switches, this section will help you out. It will be listing some of the reasons why they have become very popular in recent years.  


Are you looking for a reliable component or device that can be added to your appliance? The advent of micro switch as explained above is helping lots of electrical products perform very well. These could be products like air conditioners, photocopier, printer, microwave, sliding doors and more. In each of these items, micro switches have their specific roles to play in order to ensure they are working very well. Due to their high level of reliability, experts are predicting that they are expected to be included in more electrical products in the nearest future. 

In order for a micro switch to start working, you only need to press its lever. This will bring about contact between Common and Normally Closed. When this happens, it can be said that the switch is not in its resting state. It will make your device to start working as expected. This means everything happens automatically as you only need to press the lever or button to have it actuated. Micro switches help to ensure devices are working automatically without being supported in any way. 


Micro switches are found in most products today in the market due to how they have been designed to withstand harsh conditions. This makes them perfect for any environment and usage. One of the best parts about them is that the components have been built with solid materials to ensure they stand the test of time. This is one of the reasons why a normal industrial switch has about 10million cycles while consumer switches can have at least 1million cycles. They can be used over and over again without the fear of bothering about issues related to wear and tear. 

The last thing that you want to do is buying a conventional switch that won't last as expected. This can be interpreted as throwing your hard-earned money away without knowing. There is no need bothering about this issue again as micro switches can help out. They will last as long as expected to ensure your electrical device/appliance is working perfectly well. If you are searching for a switch that will stand the test of time, this ticks all the boxes. They have been designed to be used for various purposes. All you have to do is purchase the one that is perfect for your project. It will always offer good value for money. 

Easy installation 

Are you worried about how to install a micro switch and make it work as expected in an electrical device? Do you know that such is very easy to do? This is one of the reasons why most people prefer to use micro switches in their projects as compared to any of those conventional switches. They are very easy to install. You only need to understand how their components function including the way they can be wired. For instance, micro switches have three contact points. These are known as normally closed, normally open, and common. 

Once the switch is pressed, there will be contact between normally closed and common. Releasing your hand from the switch will make the normally open come in contact with common again. This second stage is referred to as “resting state”. It is the stage where the device has been switched off. Once you can master all of these processes, installing a micro switch in your device will be a complete walk in the park. Even when you open a micro switch, you will see how these points of contacts have been connected. You don't need to rack your brains about how to have it installed as it is super easy. When you seem to have hit a roadblock, asking an experienced seller can prove helpful. 

They are highly affordable

If you have a limited budget, choosing the option of micro switch won't be a bad idea. This is because of how they have proven to be affordable over the years. An average micro switch can range from $2-$10. It depends on the type of project you plan using such in though. For instance, if you are getting a micro switch for an industrial project, it may cost more. The price range mentioned above is only for consumer micro switches. In other words, they are for those included in small scale appliances. 

Another aspect whereby micro switches seem favorable in terms of budget is low cost of maintenance. You won't be spending too much to keep them in perfect condition. For instance, if a switch isn't functioning as expected, you only need to open it and have the points of contacts checked. They don't get damaged easily. Even when they do, you can have the components cleaned properly to remove every dirt that is preventing effective contact. Furthermore, you don't need to spend a fortune to test whether a micro switch is working or not. As explained above, just open yours and observe how the 3 contact points are working. 

Optimum performance 

Just as explained above, micro switches or snap-action switches as they are also called, have been developed to ensure the processes by which most electrical devices function are automated. Users only need to have the switch pressed and the points will start coming in contact thereby switching such device on/off. The primary function of micro switches is to ensure devices are performing optimally. For instance, when used in sliding doors, they have the function of determining when such doors will be closed or opened. 

For printing devices, they can help to determine whether there is any paper jam issue. This is a common problem experienced in such devices. For washing machines, they can detect whether their doors have been properly closed or not. These are ways to ensure improved performances in such devices. Without the use of micro switches in them, detecting faults will be a huge challenge given that it will be done manually. They can also be used to automatically power devices. 

Why your micro switch isn't working

There are times when you have installed a micro switch in your electrical device/appliance but can't seem to be getting the expected results. This problem is being experienced by most people in various parts of the world. Some of the reasons responsible for its occurrence will be highlighted below: 

Using the wrong model

Micro switches are of various types. This means you need to ensure you have installed the right model that will enable your device work. A great way to ensure you are doing the right thing is checking the model of whatever micro switch that is to be replaced. Once you are very sure of such model, check online if it can be found. There are instances when you may not find a particular model online for one reason or another. 

In such case, you will need to ask the seller whether such can work in your device or whatever project you are trying to use it for. The bottom line is that you shouldn't just decide to purchase a micro switch without being very sure of whether it will fit into your device perfectly or not. This is only a way to waste your hard-earned money. 

Lack of knowledge about installation instructions

Micro switches may be very easy to install but there are people who won't find such process to be straightforward. In other words, it can appear very complicated to some individuals. In this case, ensure you have understood how such switch functions. Take out time if necessary to study more about the various components of a micro switch and how to make them work perfectly. Installing this switch is a very easy task. However, like every other device you don't understand, it is important to learn how the process is done. This helps you to give the correct interpretation about whether such switches are working perfectly or not. 

There have been lots of cases whereby people made negative reviews in the past about micro switches they had bought earlier on. It was eventually discovered that most of these complaints arose due to such switches being poorly installed. If you really want an electrical switch to perform optimally as expected, it is very important to follow its installation instructions and guidelines. In case any aspect seems too technical to understand, try to ask around. You can even carry out research online as there are people who must have encountered such challenge in the past. 

Characteristics of micro switches 

When it comes to characteristics of a micro switch, such can be viewed from two perspectives. These could be general characteristics and specific or customized characteristics. By general characteristics, we simply imply what every micro switch is known for or identified with. However, specific characteristics simply implies the customized or unique features of every micro switch that you will come across in the market. Having knowledge of these characteristics can help to improve your buying decision to a great extent.  

The general features are quick action, small operating travel, small contact gap, high sensitivity, and quick action.  

Some of the specific characteristics will be highlighted and briefly explained below:

Actuator type

Contact between the points take place in a micro switch through the actuator. The types of actuators that you will find in micro switches are usually different. However, the most common are lever actuators. There are times when springs are used though. It should be noted that lever actuators are usually of various types like on straight levers, long leaf levers, and long hinge levers. The type of micro switch you are purchasing or using will determine what kind of actuator is being used. 

Contact Configuration

Micro switches have contact configuration that are similar to that of any switch you will find in the market. Most of them usually have 3 points of contact. These are called common, normally closed and normally open. The switch will be turned on/off depending on the contact being made at various times. 

Contact current rating

This simply implies what each contact has been designed to carry with regards to amperage measure. Most of the switches you will come across have been designed to be used at current levels which are lower. There are few designs which are meant to be used at higher current levels though. Contact current rating usually depends on the type of device such switch is to be used in. 

IP rating

Ingress Protection Rating is what this stands for. It tends to measure the rate at which such device has been protected from problems related to intrusion. This rating usually applies to all parts or even specific substances. If you want to know whether a micro switch is actually weatherproof or not, such can be possible through its IP rating.

For instance, a device's liquid ingress protection is usually specified as perfect for situations whereby there is jetted water, spraying, splashing, or dipping. Through this, the manufacturer will know whether the device can work perfectly under any of such conditions.   

Choosing the right micro switch

One thing you need to always understand is the fact that it takes more of science than art to choose an ideal micro switch which will fit into your project perfectly without any compromise. This is because there are always lots of factors to take into consideration. Anything short of considering them could be interpreted as taking a shot in the dark. This means your electrical device or appliance is a great risk of not functioning properly. 

Based on the facts listed above about micro switches including their benefits, there is no doubt that you are considering purchasing one at the moment. The tips below will help you make a smart buying decision.  

Features should be considered

Most people usually talk about getting cheap and budget-friendly micro switches without looking at whether their features are great or not. The features integrated into a micro switch will tell whether such can be reliable in the long run or not. You need a device with the most modern features to ensure your electrical appliances is working at optimum level. This is why you need to lookout whether the micro switch to be purchased is having some of the most upgraded features as expected. 

These could be features like vibration resistance, contact resistant, and insulation resistance. It is a good idea to always check whether a micro switch has all of these features before pulling out your credit card. Other aspects you can consider are shock resistance, materials used in its construction, appearance, and configuration. Most of the switches you will find usually lack these features. This is why you have to carefully look through each of them in order to find one that aligns with your project. 

Brand is crucial

Do you know that the brand you must have chosen to purchase when it comes to micro switches is very important? Are you aware that your electrical device or appliance is at risk of not functioning properly once you fail to purchase the right brand? Some of the brands manufacturing micro switches today aren't licensed. This means their products don't even meet up with the requirements of necessary regulatory bodies.  There is no need patronizing such brands since you needs will be hardly met. Most of them usually compromise on their products which is why you need to patronize reputable brands. 

Although one of the best micro switch companies you can always trust is Honeywell, there are other reliable brands in the market that can meet your needs. It is all about searching thoroughly in order to find the right company to buy such switches from. Most of these companies producing low quality snap-action switches would want to win you over with their low prices. However, always remember that such is only a death trap. This is because you won't get the best. 

Finding the right switch

Just as explained above, all switches aren't the same. This is why they usually carry out various functions on specific devices/appliances. It is very important you know the type of switch that will fit into your device. For instance, while some micro switches have been designed for industrial purposes, others are meant for smaller appliances/home use. It is very important you determine the type of appliance. This will enable you to accurately identify the particular switch that will be a perfect fit for such project.  

Most of the time, switches are differentiated with model numbers. Find out the number for the one you are planning to replace. In a situation whereby you can't seem to find such, it will be advisable to ask the seller. Most times, sellers have vast knowledge about micro switches that can work in various devices. This is why you have to ask questions wherever necessary in order to make your task much easier. Don't ever purchase any type of micro switch you find online since such can end up being disastrous. Instead, try to find out whether it can be used on your electrical appliance or not. This may look like too much work but the long term rewards are worth all the hassle. Compatibility is the watchword. 

The review strategy

Using this strategy to filter out micro switches that aren't worth your time will save you lots of time and money. As a matter of fact, before finding out whether a micro is affordable or not, it is very important you consider what other buyers/end-users have to say about its functionalities. This puts you on a much safer side.  

It is not good enough taking the words of a manufacturer for it. The thing to always do is checking what consumers have to say about the quality of such micro switch. Through reviews from users, you will know which one to buy for your project. 

Searching online stores 

There are times when it may look like the micro switch you are searching for isn't available on the internet. There is no need panicking or feeling frustrated since it is possible to find such micro switches using this strategy. It will only require that you spend extra time looking at some other websites. 

One of such sites could be auctioning platforms. These sites are existing to make products available in various categories. Even if your budget is limited for a new micro switch, it is possible to purchase refurbished switches. This could be risky though given that sometimes they may not be in the best of conditions. This strategy is all about expanding your search on the internet to find the right micro switch model. 


Having seen the above, it is very obvious that there are lots of facts to understand about micro switches. For starters, you can try to master the ones listed above. They will definitely help you get the best from micro switches in your device/appliances today. In order to purchase the best, ensure to follow the tips outlined.

For more about micro swithes,please contact unionwell at

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