What Are Electromechanical Switches

Electromechanical switches are devices used to make, break, or change the route of current flow in circuits. Available at low price points, electromechanical switches come in a variety of types, sizes, and current switching capabilities. Reliable and durable in terms of performance, electromechanical switches are considered simple human-to-machine interfaces (HMIs).

Often equipped with shock and vibration characteristics that suit a diverse set of performance demands, selecting the proper switch for your operational needs is paramount. Choosing between switches should be done on a basis of design, functionality, and the application at hand. Typically, electromechanical switches are specified by the actuator type, number of poles and throws, level of sealing, actuation force, haptic feedback, and power rating required. As such, this blog will cover a few of the most commonly used switches, how they work, and their applications.

Tactile Switches

With the ability to generate momentary action, tactile switches are only ON for the period that it is activated and goes OFF when it is deactivated. When they are actuated, the mobile contact collapses between the two stationary contacts and generates the electrical switching, producing a signal from the circuit to the electronic control unit (ECU) or microcontroller (MCU) of the equipment.

As per their name, tactile switches offer a number of haptics including tactile feeling, actuation travel, actuation force, and actuation sound. To acquire custom haptics, the actuators, domes, and housing can be reconfigured to meet your performance requirements. Available in illuminated, side or top actuated, sealed or unsealed, silver or gold contact material, SMT, and through-hole designs, tactile switches are incredibly customizable. More than that, they are available in a wide range of sizes fitted for printed-circuit-board (PCB) mounting.


Keyswitches utilize a spring and a cam to optimize the switch’s feedback. These electrical switches are typically used for low current or signal applications. They can be found underneath each key of a mechanical joystick, control grip, or keyboard. With a wide range of actuation force, electrical circuit, and illumination, they are feasible options for automotive, medical, and industrial operations. 

For modern applications, keyswitches must be designed for long-term, high-performance operations in demanding conditions. Additionally, keyswitches that are utilized in harsh environments can offer waterproof sealing.  

Snap-action Switches

Snap-action switches sense the presence, absence, or position of an object by activating a plunger when the object comes in contact. The snap-action mechanism allows the contacts to instantly switch at a specified operating position regardless of the speed. These electrical switches have been adopted for position detection applications such as home appliances, machines, and mechanical-electrical equipment. The output signals from this switch have the ability to indicate normal and abnormal conditions when detecting positions, which can be transmitted via the internet, allowing for remote monitoring.


If you find yourself in need of electrical switches, actuators, or other related components, rely on Purchasing Synergy for all that you need. Purchasing Synergy is a premier purchasing platform consisting of NSN, aviation, and aerospace parts and accessories fit for a diverse set of applications. With over 2 billion ready to purchase items on our database, you are bound to find what you need with ease. Our optimized search engine and filters have simplified the purchasing process for the benefit of our customers. Begin with a competitive quote for your comparisons by using our Instant RFQ service. Within 15 minutes of submitting a form, a dedicated representative will reach out with a customized solution that fulfills your part requirements. Alternatively, you can call or email us at any time; we are available 24/7x365! Get in contact today to experience the future of part procurement. 


February 15, 2023
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