I'm looking for a tactile switch for mounting on a PCB. I use Mouser to find them. https://www.mouser.jp/Electromechanical/Switches/Tactile-Switches/_/N-5g2m?P=1z0z7pt

In that page, there is Mounting Direction filter, and there are 3 options: Right Angle, SMD/SMT, and Straight.

I know the meaning of Right Angle, but I don't know the difference between SMD/SMT and Straight when I select SMD/SMT with Mounting Style filter.

I thought there are no differences in terms of the way to mount and actuator orientation, but actually, the number of search results are different.

What is the difference?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Short answer: The database that the distributor uses to let you search for different types of parts often has errors, or confusing data. Trust only the datasheets from the manufacturers themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Jun 26, 2019 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see, thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    Jun 26, 2019 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Straight usually means vertical pins that are perpendicular to the board with no bends in them. It also means that the connector is usually perpendicular to the board. Right angle are generally parallel to the board.


SMD/SMT is surface mount device / surface mount technology. This means that the component is soldered onto the surface of the board and the pins do not go into holes through the board.

They will be somewhat weaker than straight ones that use through-hole connections, in that sideways or pulling forces are much more likely to break the component off of the board by breaking the pads or traces. This is probably why SMD right-angle versions are not common. The advantage is that you can put components on the other side of the board and/or route on inner layers underneath, without needing vias.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Click through OP's link and you'll see the ones categorized as "straight" are actually also SMT types (at least as far as the images shown go, I didn't dig through to the actual datasheets). \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Jun 26, 2019 at 19:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I see. It looks like I was talking about the Mounting Style, not the Mounting Direction. There are only 3 products there with a Mounting Direction of SMD/SMT, sounds like they put it in the wrong field. And as you say I am probably wrong about Straight implying through-hole. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justin
    Jun 26, 2019 at 20:34

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