Switches play a vital role in electrical safety, but not all switch types deliver the same level of reliability and safety. The simplest switches are known as single pole types, named because they are fitted with a single pair of terminals. While they are designed to create a break in an electrical circuit, they act on only one line.

When safety is a key concern, designers can turn to the more reliable alternative offered by the double pole switch, which features two pairs of terminals. A double pole switch can be used on two parallel wires, which means that one switch can disconnect both the live and neutral lines of an electrical circuit.

In this way, a double pole switch can completely isolate different elements of the circuit from the power supply. This is especially useful in critical applications, where it is necessary for maintainers to gain access to the circuit in safety.

In addition to their ability to isolate different elements of an electrical circuit from the power supply, 2-pole switches offer an added layer of safety through their double confirmation feature. This feature ensures that the switch is fully engaged in its desired position, providing a reliable indication of the circuit’s status. This double confirmation mechanism reduces the risk of accidental operation or ambiguous circuit states.

Double pole switches are therefore highly important for the safe operation of electrical systems. Traditional toggle switches such as APEM’s 600 series provide robust reliability for panel-mount applications but are too bulky for the latest generation of handheld and miniature devices.

The Dualmec™ 6C double pole, single throw switch from APEM is an alternative to bulky panel-mount switches. Using surface mount technology, this is a high-performance tactile switch that offers the smallest double pole switch available today. With a printed circuit board (PCB) footprint of just 8×8 mm

and a component height of only 3.5mm, the Dualmec™ 6C switch is the ideal solution for today’s handheld devices. It delivers the enhanced safety of a double pole switch with the low profile of surface-mount component. It is sealed to IP67 and delivers high reliability with an operational life of 1,000,000 cycles.