Mechanical Rotary Encoders

Mechanical rotary encoders, also called shaft encoders, are electro-mechanical devices that convert the angular motions (movement around fixed points) of rotary shafts into either analogue or digital signals.

What are mechanical rotary encoders used for?

Applications that require precision shaft rotation (movement around a specific point) make use of mechanical rotary encoders.

These include industrial control machinery in factories, rotating radar platforms in satellite structures or computer input devices like trackballs and mice.


Types of mechanical rotary encoders

Absolute encoders:

  • have tracking functions to determine specific shaft positioning points in industrial equipment like CNC machines, lathes and bore machines.
  • maintain positioning data even when power is cut from the system. When the system is switched on again it begins operating from the point where it stopped previously.


Incremental (relative) encoders:

  • record deviations in shaft position points over certain time frames. With each new time frame after power is cut and switched on again the encoder starts recording from a predetermined reference and measures the distance between the previous point and the current point.

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Description Price Pulses Per Revolution Shaft Style Shaft Diameter Encoder Reading Encoder Signal Mounting Type Shaft Length Index Output Maximum Operating Speed Mounting Hole Diameter Current Rating
RS Stock No. 172-8066
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
$2.323
Each (In a Tray of 60)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 265-1723
Mfr. Part No.EC16B2410408
$3.25
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 2 x 2.1 mm, 1.2 mm 0.5mA
RS Stock No. 623-4237
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$5.05
Each
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-8098
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2424407
$3.677
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 14mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 623-4221
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420404
$4.60
Each
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 265-1739
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
$7.39
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8047
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2420404
$1.747
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
24 Flat - - - Through Hole 15mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-6320
Mfr. Part No.EC16B242040R
$2.242
Each (In a Tray of 60)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental - Through Hole 25mm - - 1.2 mm, 2 x 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5842
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2430803
$2.38
Each
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-8134
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
$5.148
Each (In a Tray of 70)
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4136
Mfr. Part No.EC11B202440M
$11.28
Each
units
20 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-7621
Mfr. Part No.EC12E2430803
$2.024
Each (In a Tray of 95)
units
24 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 25mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 2 mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4293
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244C0
$23.08
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - - 2.6 x 1.5 mm, 1 mm -
RS Stock No. 623-4079
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15244A7
$11.63
Each
units
15 Flat - - - Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - - -
RS Stock No. 172-6400
Mfr. Part No.EC11E15244C0
$9.087
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm - - 1 mm, 2.6 x 1.5 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5564
Mfr. Part No.EC11B15242AF
$12.54
Each
units
15 Flat 6 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1 mm, 2.1 x 1.8 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7678
Mfr. Part No.EC11K1525401
$4.631
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm, 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm -
RS Stock No. 172-7671
Mfr. Part No.SRGP400200
$5.121
Each (On a Reel of 800)
units
12 Hollow 9.23 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 1.6mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5637
Mfr. Part No.EC11K1525401
$8.78
Each
units
15 Flat 5.975 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Through Hole 20mm Not Indexed - 1.6 x 1.9 mm, 2.65 x 1.55 mm, 1.05 mm, 2.1 mm -
RS Stock No. 729-5915
Mfr. Part No.SRGP400200
$2.88
Each
units
12 Hollow 9.23 mm Incremental Digital Square Wave Surface Mount - Not Indexed - 1.6mm -