Florian Ruess is your contact for tactile switches at RAFI

Florian Ruess

Ravensburger Str. 128–134
D-88276 Berg/Ravensburg
P +49 751 89-6500

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Tactile switches

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Tactile switches are small but powerful key switches that react to pressure. They are typically installed under keycaps or membranes and actuated easily by finger push. Tactile switches are used wherever operators need precision control of electronics, especially if high accuracy and sensitivity are important. RAFI supplies a wide range of micro-switches suitable for every conceivable application. You can choose from various models and characteristics – especially in terms of size, mounting depth, and operating force. So you get switch solutions tailored exactly to your application field.

What makes RAFI tactile switches special? The new generation of our MICON and RACON product families comes with distinctive haptics and excellent tactility. The gold contacts guarantee error-free key switch actuation. Thanks to the higher IP degree of protection, the micro-switches can be installed on PCBs before casting, painting, or nanocoating to protect against environmental influences and contamination. The extreme temperature resistance from -40°C to +125°C makes MICON and RACON excellent solutions for automotive or similar outdoor applications.

[Translate to Englisch:] Die Mikrotaster der MICON 5-Baureihe von RAFI überzeugen mit einem außergewöhnlichen taktilen Feedback


Small key switch, big impact: The tactile switches in the MICON 5 series stand out for exceptional tactile feedback. The gold contacts guarantee reliable operation.

With the MICON 5 S, MICON 5 SL, and MICON 5 SAFETY, we offer you three distinct models, each designed for different use cases. The versatile MICON 5 S is suitable for various electronic applications, while the MICON 5 SL achieves up to ten million actuation cycles for an extremely long service life. The MICON 5 SAFETY is our latest innovation and represents a new benchmark in safety. It features a dual-channel system architecture, making it perfect for safety-relevant applications in various industries and use cases. Barely on the market, already a winner: The MICON 5 SAFETY was ranked second in the category electromechanical and passive components and received the Electronics Product of the Year 2023 award.


The RACON ST from RAFI seamlessly fits into your control system


The RACON ST fits seamlessly into your control system. This series offers the right tactile switch for every project: The RACON 8 ST and RACON 12 ST types are distinguished by different dimensions and operating forces. Both are available in SMT and THT versions. A tight, rugged contact system makes this key switch model extremely tough and reliable. This has made RACON the standard in many industries.




Our MICON and RACON micro-switches can be installed as components on PCBs using SMT (surface mounting technology) or THT (through hole technology), or as SMDs (surface mounted devices). Three common sealing processing are available to protect the PCBs including tactile switches and power supply from dust, moisture, and condensation: Casting, painting, and nanocoating all make the entire assembly, including the cable and plug, impervious to negative environmental influences. The individual protection solutions offer different advantages. For an overview of the basic characteristics, degree of protection, process, cost, capacity for alteration, and reparability, go to our page


If you want to know the exact product properties and dimensions of RAFI tactile switches plus details of the various accessory programs, take a look at our eCatalog, tactile switch brochure, or MICON and RACON product pages. Of course, we’d love to advise you personally so we can discuss your specific requirements.


HOW DO tactile switches WORK?

Tactile switches, also known as microbuttons or micro-switches, essentially consist of a spring-loaded switching contact enclosed in a housing. Pressing the key switch compresses the spring and closes the switching contact. As soon as the user lets go, the spring springs back and the switching contact opens again. This is how the closing mechanism guarantees fast and precise operation of the mini switch. So our tactile switches are normally-open (NO) rather than normally-closed (NC) contacts. The exception is the MICON 5 SAFETY, which combines both contact systems.



Tactile switches are integrated in a whole range of electronic devices and applications, with functions that are almost freely definable. They are everywhere: in the automotive industry, telecommunications, machine and plant engineering, robotics, and medical technology. It’s thanks to tactile switches that we can switch on our smartphones, regulate the air conditioning in our cars, start up industrial PCs, switch on LED lights, change TV channels, and more. In industry, the tiny key switches perform even more complex tasks. Their small size and high reliability make tactile switches the solution of choice for compact electronic devices. Especially their ultra-reliability also qualifies them for numerous medical applications. Medical instruments and equipment demand absolute precision and uncompromising operational safety. That’s why manufacturers of e.g. blood-pressure measuring devices, insulin pumps, and surgical instruments rely on MICON and RACON.




Micro-switches come with significant advantages over other types of switch. The biggest factor is of course size. They are small enough to fit inside devices that barely have room for operating elements. What’s more, micro-switches are reliable and long-life. They are designed for an extremely high number of actuations without any loss of performance or functionality. Even under intensive, constant use, they reliably respond to every keypress. Equally important, micro-switches offer precise control and sensitivity that provide outstanding tactility. They react instantly to pressure for exact, immediate operation.



Before you choose a tactile switch, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of your application. Ultimately, the application field determines whether you need MICON or RACON, which variant, and the number of switches. Read on to find the key properties to consider so you choose the right solution for your use case.

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Operating force: The operating force is the pressure needed to close the switching contact. Tactile switches with a low operating force are ideal for light-touch operation, e.g. of electronic control panels. Less sensitive applications in fields such as heavy industry or construction call for robust micro-switches with a higher operating force.

Long life: The service life indicates how many actuations the tactile switch can handle before it loses performance or functionality. All RAFI tactile switches excel in this respect with a massive number of cycles that easily stand up to permanent operation in industry or machine construction.

Protection: There are various ways of protecting tactile switches from environmental stresses such as condensation or contamination. We and our customers frequently rely on painting, casting, or nanocoating entire PCB assemblies. One difficulty for earlier tactile switches was that they often weren’t designed for this kind of protective covering. With our new-generation MICON and RACON tactile switches, we’ve addressed this problem.

Standards: Throughout industry, top functional safety is increasingly the standard. That’s why we developed the MICON 5 SAFETY. Its product properties make this switch an excellent solution for applications that need to meet industry-specific functional safety standards. Here is just a selection of relevant standards: IEC 61508 (basic functional safety standard), IEC 62061 (safety of control systems), IEC 60601 (medical electrical equipment), ISO 26262 (road vehicles), DIN EN 50128 (railway applications), DIN EN ISO 13849 (safety-related parts of control systems), DIN EN ISO 25119 (control systems for agricultural and forestry machines).

Dimensions: Ultimately, the decisive factor is the size of the tactile switch. How much space do you have? However tight things get, our RAFI micro-switches deliver operating safety and reliability even in the most constricted spaces.

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WHY CHOOSE tactile switches FROM RAFI?

Many global market leaders and hidden champions choose RAFI tactile switches. In fact, every day you use MICONs and RACONs without even knowing it. Whether sensors, modules, or adapters: Our products guarantee reliable, precise control. RAFI tactile switches are the answer especially for applications that demand tiny dimensions and high precision. With their small size, reliability, and precise control, RAFI tactile switches are also the best choice for your project. Other benefits for you: Compared to our competitors, we offer extremely short shipping and delivery times combined with replacement-part availability over decades.