Foot Switches Information

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Foot switches are switches that are foot actuated by a pedal or air bulb (bellows). Foot switches are available in many configurations including:How to Select Foot Switches


  • Multi-pedal
  • Snap action switch
  • Slow action switch
  • Potentiometer
  • Variable speed control
  • Explosion proof
  • Waterproof
  • Fully-guarded 



Switch Specifications


Switch specifications to consider when searching for foot switches include:


  • Pedals - Foot switches can have one, two, or three pedals. 
  • Switch or Actuation Method - Choices for switch or actuation method include:
    • Snap action - In a snap action switch the action speed of the switch contact is independent of the actuator speed.
    • Slow action - In a slow action switch the contact points move at a speed proportional to the activating motion and are typically used for lower voltage applications.
    • Air switch - An air switch uses a foot actuated air bulb for actuation to a remote switch.
    • Potentiometer - Some switches contain an integral potentiometer.How to Select Foot Switches
  • Function - Choices for switch function include:
    • Maintained contact
    • Momentary contact
    • Single stage
    • Two stage
    • Three stage
    • Mechanical interlock
    • Variable 

Electrical Switch Specifications


Electrical switch specifications to consider when searching for foot switches include:


  • Pole and Throw - Pole and throw specification choices include:
    • Single pole, single throw (SPST)
    • Single pole, double throw (SPDT)
    • Double pole, single throw (DPST)
    • Double pole, double throw (DPDT)
  • Configuration - Switch configuration can be normally open or normally closed.
  • Contact Style - The contact style can be single break, double break, shorting, or non-shorting.
  • Maximum Current - The maximum current is the maximum nominal, or nameplate current capacity of a device.
  • Maximum AC & DC Voltage - The maximum AC and DC voltage capabilities are also important to consider.

Physical Specifications

Important physical specifications to consider when searching for foot switches include:How to Select Foot Switches


  • Construction Material - The switch base material can be thermoplastic or plastic, PVC, or metal. Choices for actuator or pedal material include thermoplastic or plastic, PVC or metal.
  • Terminal Type - The terminal type on foot switches can be wire leads or cords without plugs, wire leads or cords with plugs, solder terminals, screw terminals, and quick connects or blades.




  • Protection Features - Common protection features found on foot switches include no guard, full guard, anti-trip mechanism, dustproof, explosion proof, and weather resistant or waterproof.
  • Certifications - Certifications granted include CE certification, CSA certification, and UL listing or registration.




The operating temperature is an important environmental parameter to consider.




FORD ES15 - Foot switches



Image Credit:


Linemaster Switch Corporation