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What is the difference between toggle switch and rocker switch?

Rocker switches and toggle switches are often confused due to their similarity in appearance and performance. This article will introduce you some differences between rocker switches and toggle switches from definition, structure, classification, and applications.

the difference of toggle switch and rocker switch


A rocker switch is also called a boat switch because its button resembles the shape of a small boat. The rocker switch is often used as a power switch for electronic equipment, its contacts are divided into single-pole single-throw and double-pole double-throw, etc. Some switches also have indicators in different colors.

A toggle switch has an operating lever, which can be pushed up and down or left and right to switch the circuit. Toggle “is a small wooden stick used as a fastener for clothes to replace buttons. The term” toggle switch “is generated because the operating lever of the switch is very similar to the toggle lever used on clothes.


A toggle switch from Omron brand usually consists of a plunger, lever, spring, O-rings, moving armature, case, and base.

toggle switch

A rocker switch is composed of a button, spring, moving piece, terminal, support, and contact.

Rocker switch 01

Classification of toggle switch

Toggle switches can be categorized by their external size.

Miniature toggle switch

The diameter of the mounting hole of this switch on the panel is 12mm.

Sub-miniature toggle switch

The diameter of the mounting hole of this switch on the panel is 6mm.

Ultra sub-miniature soggle switch

It is soldered directly onto PCB boards.

In addition to the external dimensions, the changes of other products also depend on the number of contacts, the open/close status of the lever position, momentary operation (that is, whether the lever resets automatically after the user moves his hand away from the lever) and other characteristics.

Classification of rocker switch

According to the circuit form, the rocker switch can be divided into single pole single throw(SPST), single pole double throw(SPDT), double pole single throw(DPST), and double pole double throw(DPDT).

According to the waterproof function, it can be divided into ordinary models and waterproof models.

According to the current load, it can be divided into small-current and high-current rocker switches.


A toggle switch is mainly used in two aspects. One is industrial equipment, the other is commercial equipment. The former includes Machine tools, metalworking equipment, packaging machines, conveyors, robots, etc. The latter includes measuring devices, imaging equipment, broadcast equipment, communications equipment, etc.

As for rocker switches, we can see them everywhere. They are widely used in electronic equipment, automation equipment, and home appliances like electric baking pans, heaters, water dispensers, hair dryers, etc.

Seeing this, I believe you have a certain understanding of rocker switches and toggle switches. As a rocker switch supplier, KANGERLE has been manufacturing and selling rocker switches. We also have micro switches, waterproof micro switches, detector switches, tact switches, and other switches. Our superior production equipment and advanced technology guarantee high-quality switches. KANGERLE supports customized service and provides you with professional switch solutions. For more details on our switches, welcome to visit KANGERLE official website.

Post time: Dec-29-2022

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