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Push Button Switch

What are push button switches?
Push button switches are widely used on a daily basis within the home, office, industry and outdoor environments. Also known as pushbutton switches or push switches, these simple devices are activated by finger or hand to make or break an electrical circuit.

How does a push button switch work?
The majority of push button switches work in the same way. When the actuator or button is pressed, a spring and moveable contacts inside the switch are pushed down, touching stationary contacts at the bottom of the switch. This will either close or open an electrical circuit. When the button is released or pressed again, the spring retracts and the state of the circuit is changed again.
The below picture shows the internal workings of a typical single pole push button switch:

Internal workings of a push button switch

Types of Push Button Switches

There are two basic types of push switch – Momentary and Latching.
Momentary – a momentary switch requires the operator to keep pressing the actuator to activate or deactivate the circuit. When the button is released the circuit returns to its original state. The electrical symbol for a momentary push switch is illustrated below. The triangles depict the momentary action. The poles relate to the number of circuits the switch can operate.

Single Pole Momentary Double Pole Momentary
SP momentary push button circuit diagramDP momentary push button circuit diagram

Latching – a latching push button switch maintains its state until pressed. It needs to be pressed again to return the circuit to its original state. Below are electrical symbols for this type of push switch:

Single Pole LatchingDouble Pole Latching
SP latching push button switch circuit diagramDP latching push button switch circuit diagram

What is the difference between a Push to Make Switch and Push to Break Switch?

Push to Make Switch

Also known as Normally Open (NO). It is the most common switch form. The electrical flow in a circuit is activated when the push button is pressed. When the button is released, the circuit is broken.

Push to Break Switch

Also known as Normally Closed (NC). This type of switch works in the opposite way. In its normal state the switch will allow electricity to flow through the circuit. When the switch is pressed the circuit is broken. A typical example is the fridge light switch. When the fridge door is closed, the button in the door is pressed deactivating the circuit. When the door opens the button is released and the light comes on.

Switch mounting
The majority of the switches we supply are panel mount and the panel cut-out size is a key factor when selecting a switch.
Below is an example of the cutout information provided on technical data sheets. This refers to the size of the hole needed to fit the switch into.  We also supply surface mount devices in the form of tactile switches.  Data sheets can be download from the product pages on our website.
Push button switch cutout diagram

Miniature push button switch

For more information on switches in general visit the following website –

Pushbutton switches are available in huge variety of shapes, sizes, colours and terminal options. They can be rectangular, round or square.
At Alan Butcher Components, we offer a comprehensive range of push button switches, including the following brands:

Molveno – P1 series (16mm), SP60 series (25mm). These switches are manufactured by the Italian manufacturer, Everel. We are their UK distributor and agent. The SP60 series has a choice of coloured caps which snap fit on to the actuator. One of our most popular switches is the SP6014C10000 – SPST momentary push button switch.

Signalux – SXL4 (13mmx19mm). The SXL4 is a rectangular push switch available in SP & DP options, latching or momentary, illuminated or non-illuminated. The Signalux brand is also manufactured by Everel, Italy.

Deca SwitchLab – D16 series (16mm). These illuminated switches are modular enabling customers to select the switch, lens and lamp most suited to their needs. The switches are supported by the P16 series of pilot lights which offer visual continuity when fitted into a panel. The Deca push button switches are connected using solder terminals. They are predominantly used within control panels.

Kedu – HY69 series (36.5×13.5mm). Widely used as door override switches, the HY69 range is suitable for vending machines, kiosks, gaming machines, HVAC and security devices. They enable service technicians to turn a machine on or off, allowing them to work on the internal panels for maintenance purposes.

Anti vandal switches – AB-AV series (12mm, 16mm, 19mm and 22mm) Alan Butcher Components has a highly competitive range of stainless steel, anti-vandal push button switches. They are available with dot or ring illumination in a variety of cutouts. Depending on the series they can reach IP67 rating. Termination styles include solder or screw terminals. Our 12mm miniature push button switches have plastic buttons in a variety of colours.

Tactile switches – We offer 6x6mm and 12x12mm tactile switches. These are miniature push button switches, widely used within control panels and keyboards. Surface mount and thru hole versions are available.

Push button switch accessories

25mm Push Button CapsColoured caps are offered for the non-illuminated push buttons within our SP60 range. These snap-fit easily on to the actuator, providing a bright, tactile button for the user.

Splash proof cap SP60PRT1Splash proof caps – we supply splash proof covers which snap fit over the push button switch. When fitted correctly, they provide an IP65 rating.

L16mm push button switch colour lensesamps and Lenses – lamps and lenses for the Deca modular push switches, the D16 series. lamps for 16mm push button switches

Please visit our switch accessories page –

For more information on our range of pushbutton switches, please visit our website at

From here you can use the selection criteria at the top of the page to narrow down the product search. You can select by cutout, switch action and illumination. Once on a product page, you can download the technical data sheet or complete a product enquiry form. This will enable you to request a sample, quotation or additional technical details. Please add your telephone number if you would like us to call you back.

As mentioned, there is a large variety of push button switch products available. We will be very happy to discuss your application with you to ensure you have all the information you need to make the right choice. We also have area representatives who will be happy to arrange a visit to discuss your application in more detail. Click on the following link to our Contact page –

Call 01258 45360 or email

About Alan Butcher Components Ltd.

We are a UK distributor of electronic and electro-mechanical components. We have been supplying UK manufacturers and broadline distributors for over thirty years. Many of our customers have been with us since the beginning.

Our core products include switches, piezo buzzers, miniature speakers, microphones, reed sensors, IEC connectors, neon indicators, Berker socket outlets and switch systems.

We have developed strong, long term relationships with our suppliers which enables us to offer the exceptionally high level of customer service we are recognized for.