I'm searching for a button/switch similar to one on a common flashlight: you click the button to turn the light on, then eventually click it again to turn off. Example clip of Button (Adafruit / YouTube).

The only one I can find on Mouser/Digikey is by Adafruit/overpriced. I'm sure there are more like this but looking through many datasheets I have no way of what is a basic button and what has fixed on/off states like the Adafruit switch/button.

How can I find/filter/distinguish buttons with fixed on/off positions? (I'm looking for surface mount with a small package size to be specific).

Adafruit button/switch with on/off positions

  • \$\begingroup\$ That video was difficult to watch for me. The speaker struggled with saying even so much as "single pole" and almost certainly had zero clues about the life experiences of the audience she was targeting with her sales pitch. The audience was demeaned by the quality of the individual they chose to present the product. What you may be looking for is a self-locking or self-latching SPST push button. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    May 19 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Or, as I'm finding, sometimes also called SPDT even when it's not.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    May 19 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ A button that doesn't maintain its state after pressing is momentary. I don't know if there's a word for what you're looking for other than "not momentary". \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    May 19 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the help, still searching! @ThePhoton "not momentary" is "maintained action (locking)" according to this datasheet MHPS Switches - which is the single button I've found so far which is clear about this (this specific button won't work for me unfortunately). Still a great datasheet compared to the rest - even details at what stages the button makes a click sound. \$\endgroup\$ May 19 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton I also respect what you say and I can gather up that perspective, as well. I am also pleased they have and continue to make resources that others can use for their own purposes, so readily. I just have a violent reactions to "shopping channel" approaches to a public and have made the choice to reduce consumption from anyone employing them (for any reason.) Thanks, though, for the added information about the individual. I've adjusted my thoughts there, as appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    May 20 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


When looking at switches and buttons, you'll find a wide variety of terms to describe the switch action. Further, those terms will vary a little bit based on the type of switch as well. For example, it would be more common to see "latching" or "on/off" with a pushbutton switch, but not a rocker or toggle. Slide switches, which are typically not momentary, even have momentary versions, making it a vendor's decision whether or not to label the "normal" ones somehow.

Let's take a look at pushbutton switches at two popular vendors, Digikey and Mouser:

  • Digikey:

    Digikey "Switch Function" filter

    Any position on a switch that's momentary is denoted by the "Mom" abbreviation in the list. A pushbutton in the style you're looking for would then be found under the "Off-On" category. Here, "On" would mean it stays in that position, because otherwise they would use "Mom" to indicate that position is momentary.

    Also note that "Off-Mom" and "On-Mom" would help distinguish what the switch does by default. The first being "off unless pushed" and the second being "on unless pushed."

  • Mouser:

    Mouser "Switch Function" filter

    Mouser uses parenthesis to indicate momentary positions. So "(ON)" here is the same as "Mom" above. They've also kind of went a bit overboard (IMO) and show the reciprocal function in some cases, so "OFF - ON, ON - OFF" just means you could have either position be off or on, depending on how you wire it. (This is the same as "OFF - ON" but my guess is manufacturer-provided data gets put into more than one category that should otherwise be combined.)

    The number of poles (or common terminals) on a switch may also have something to do with unusual switch action filter options.

The switch you refer to is small, but I wouldn't call it surface mount. The tabs are certainly something you could surface mount if desired, but it appears to be a very small panel mount switch. Some panel mount switches have flanges or threads to mount through some sort of enclosure wall, others may have holes to allow mounting via screws, and still others (like the one you show) may just use a bit of glue or some sort of friction fit. An actual surface-mount/tactile switch (at least the ones I can find) is almost always momentary.

Adafruit provides the datasheet (or this) to their switch, but that probably doesn't help you source them. The closest I could find on Digikey is a Judco 40-4911-00. All that said, good quality switches can be expensive. If you're finding the Adafruit switch to be too expensive at USD $0.95 each, then you're not likely to find a better price unless you inquire about quantity discounts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot, very helpful - the Judco switch might work for me! I guess theses latch type buttons aren't as common as I would've thought. And to clarify about the Adafruit price, I didn't mean expensive as in per switch, I meant as in the exact same are only pennies on AliExpress (I bought some in the past for a handheld laser repair). Thanks for the clarification, I'll do a little more digging! Also the "Off - On" (or opposite) filters aren't the best unfortunately - tons of incorrectly labeled results. \$\endgroup\$ May 20 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AugustKimo Yep, unfortunately whoever's job it is to create those search filters has a difficult task! Manufacturers never agree on terminology and certainly don't put it in the same place in their datasheets. Searching for components and parts involves a bit of ingenuity and persistence. Good luck. \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    May 20 at 15:28

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