A slide switch is a bistable two-position switch and is used to control the current flow in a circuit. It can be closed or interrupted by moving the switch. A slide switch can also be used to connect two further circuits to an existing one and to connect them optionally. For the latter the configuration SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) is used. In contrast, the DPDT configuration (Double Pole Double Throw) works like two combined SPDT configurations.
Slide switches are used, for example, in smaller circuits, such as main switches in battery-powered electrical devices. Despite the functional parallels to pushbuttons, slide switches usually have a clearer haptic structure that accurately indicates the on and off states. The mounting depends on the design and can be done for example via contacts or direct mounting on a printed circuit board. Different industries rely on the use of slide switches.
Especially small versions are referred to as subminiature slide switches. There are also switch variants that use similar mechanical principles, such as DIP switches – also known as dual-in-line switches, tact switches or coding switches.