What Are Soft Touch Knobs?

Soft touch knob by Monroe Engineering

Knobs are available in different styles. While some of them have a hard and rigid construction, others feel soft to the touch. Known as soft touch knobs, they look like traditional knobs. Soft touch knobs simply feature a unique construction that makes them soft to the touch.

Overview of Soft Touch Knobs

Soft touch knobs are control knobs that feature a soft texture. They are used for tightening, pulling and fastening applications. They are known as “soft touch knobs” because they have a soft texture.

Common Features of Soft Touch Knobs

Most soft touch knobs feature a metal insert and an outer elastomeric covering. The metal insert serves as the core. Zinc-plated steel, for instance, is often used as the metal insert. Soft touch knobs may feature a zinc-plated steel insert as the core. The zinc-plated steel insert is then covered in an elastomeric material.

The elastomeric covering is responsible for the soft texture that defines these control knobs. Elastomeric materials, of course, are able to return to their original shape and size after being deformed. They are essentially elastic. If you bend or pull an elastomeric material, you won’t damage it. Rather, the elastomeric material will revert to its original shape and size.

Elastomeric materials are soft. They aren’t hard or rigid. Hard and rigid materials are susceptible to permanent deformation. Elastomeric materials are only susceptible to temporary deformation. Regardless, soft touch knobs feature a metal insert and an outer elastomeric covering, the latter of which is responsible for their soft texture.

Benefits of Soft Touch Knobs

Soft touch knobs are ergonomic. They have a naturally soft texture that minimizes stress. Many soft touch knobs even have grips to prevent your fingers or hands from slipping. Other types of knobs may lack the ergonomic features of soft touch knobs.

With their elastomeric covering, soft touch knobs are resistant to rust and corrosion. Only metal can rust and corrode. While soft touch knobs often feature a metal insert, they also have an elastomeric covering, such as a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) covering.

TPE can’t rust, nor can it corrode. It’s an elastomeric polymer that’s immune to rust and corrosion. As a result, soft touch knobs with a TPE covering can withstand moisture.

You can find soft touch knobs in different mounting styles. Some of them have a tapped hole, whereas others have a threaded stud. Those with a tapped hole are designed for use with objects that have a stud. Soft touch knobs with a threaded stud, on the other hand, are designed for use with objects that have a hole.

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