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A thumbwheel is a popular component for joysticks and control panels in machines and vehicles. As the name suggests, it can be easily operated by the thumb or another finger. Thumbwheels are used for controlling various functions. The control panel allows the current to be adjusted at set intervals, through which different elements in the machine or vehicle can be controlled. Industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and marine technology frequently use joysticks that are equipped with thumbwheels.

The thumbwheel is available in different versions. Usually, it has a cross-ribbed surface that allows the surface to be gripped firmly. In addition, some thumbwheels have a so-called paddle which protrudes centrally from the thumbwheel and, thanks to its exposed position, ensures an easier operation. It also provides information on the current setting of the thumbwheel. There is a distinction between thumbwheels that remain in their state after the end of operation and those, which return to their central position.

Thumbwheels can be manufactured to be protected against water and dust in accordance with various IP certifications up to IP68. Other optional features include a friction brake and a noticeable central point.