Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

good toggle switches in 'bulk'

archibald tuttle
archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,043
edited June 2021 in Thermostats and Controls
This is the kind of thread you could put on an automotive electrical discussion as well where a lot of panel switches get used also.

These are often 'comfort' items bought when needed and I have tried to stock them ahead both to save a run to the store and the premium they charge for having them on the shelf.

the problem i'm finding is that you can buy lots of 5 to 10 switches in whatever config, but they are mostly unlabeled chinese stuff that some people purport to find quite adequate and others fault for having terminal tabs only loosely riveted to the switch, etc.

The best affordable plausibly midgrade option i've found is Carling brand (made in mexico) at Grainger, e.g. SPST , SPDT. The DPDT options aren't as competitive so I think I'm going to try a couple of the single pulls to et a sense of quality but wondering if anyone has had experience with these or any other branded or non-branded switches of useful quality. Because I would like to fill out stock in both screw terminal and quick connect. (until Taco or Caleffi get the message i leave at AHR every year and start putting in on off therm switches for each zone in their relays I'm stuck putting my own in). I'm not out to buy a gross of these switches although a dozen or two dozen isn't above my normal stocking targets but it seems like one at a time from Grainger could be my best option.

I actually kind of like the Grainger model these days as well, they generally can get 75% of the stuff in their catalogue to the local branch by the morning following my order. That is service from my perspective (may be helped by my strategic location between NYC and Boston. And, as doesn't often happen, they are cheaper on the single pull Carlings than their Amazon for business cousin Zoro.

So I can see this belongs in "control" forum, but its really of course an electrical equipment question which also poses another conundrum. I can buy electric boxes and accessories from online plumbing suppliers easier and more cost effectively than from electrical suppliers. On the most standard vanilla items, still cheapest to buy locally, but the price of items that move less volume, e.g. box extensions or oversize (4 11/16) boxes, etc. tends to reflect giving up shelf space to slower moving items. Meanwhile, electric supply really seems to lag behind plumbing in terms of online availability. There was one spirited entry where I used to buy but they got bought by southwire and it's not the site it was.


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,898
    There is a small adaptor to go on screw terminals to give you 1/4" male spades, some even do double spades. Check diameter of screw head for fit on the doubles.

    I used some yesterday and had to spread the spades to get the screw head to fit.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,826
    You will find better selection, pricing, and quality for appliance/electronic type switches from an electronics distributor like mouser/digikey/newark/jameco than you will from an industrial supplier. You can also get terminals and the various terminal adapter and bridging hardware from them.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,137
    Hi, I see about 22.5 thousand listings for "toggle switch" on Ebay. There could be a deal or two there. o:)

    Yours, Larry
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,146
    I buy from Digikey or mouser.

    For a toggle switch I'd typically look at NKK or C&K.

    But you're going to be paying $4+ each for a good quality switch.

    This one you'll get it down to just over $6 if you buy 100..

    I'll be honest, I have used a few of these no-name push buttons that are mass produced in disgusting quantities and sold under all kinds of names. I've yet to have an issue. I even used them on my home built portable generator.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,826
    The house branded switches from the major electronics distributors are usually fine unless you are really going to be abusing them.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,043

    there are also 22,499 comments on ebay about the back contact rivets being loose on the cheap switches. of course the only folks who comment are the ones who got the monday switches and maybe the same thing can happen going up market a little bit. i have over the years used some cheap stuff but its not always easy to know which is the cheap stuff by how much you pay. I was just wondering if anybody had found a brand/supplier that was a good compromise of quality and cost. i'm going to try the ones i found at graingers for mid level money and report back.


    with you on digikey although just wondering to myself if i should spend $3 at graingers and check it out or 4.50 to 6 there. if they really have done the QC, i probably don't object.

    those adapters can come in handy. i agree. just not a good way to get a heavy enough tab for screw threads that can double as a 1/4" flag.