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Difference between Contactor and Relay

Difference between Contactor and Relay

Are you unsure of the difference between a contactor and a relay? You’re not alone. Many people don’t know the difference, or when to use each one. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between contactors and relays, and provide guidance on when to use each one.

What is Contactor?

A contactor is a device used to interrupt the flow of electricity. It is usually controlled by an electromagnet, which is activated by a switch. Contactor switchgear is often used in industrial and commercial applications, such as in heating and air conditioning systems. Contactor relays are also used in automotive applications, such as starter motors.

When the switch is closed, the electromagnet activates and closes the contacts, allowing current to flow. When the switch is opened, the electromagnet deactivates and the contacts open, interrupting the flow of current. Contactor switchgear is available in a variety of sizes and configurations to suit different applications.

What is Relay?

Relays are electrically operated switches that use an electromagnet to mechanically operate the switch. When the current flowing through the coil is increased, the resulting magnetic field interacts with the armature, which either makes or breaks the connection between the two terminals.

Relays are used for a variety of applications, including signal isolation, voltage, and current multiplication, and providing a low-impedance path for currents to flow. Relays can also be used to create time delay circuits or to sense the presence of a voltage or current.

Difference between Contactor and Relay

A Contactor is an electromagnetic device used for switching an electrical circuit on or off. It is controlled by a separate circuit, usually activated by a low voltage signal.

  • A Relay is an electrically operated switch that can be used to turn on or off a circuit. Unlike a Contactor, a Relay is not controlled by a separate circuit, but by the same voltage that it is switching.
  • Contactor’s are more expensive than Relay’s, but they can handle more voltage and current. Contactor’s are also better at switching high currents, making them suitable for use with large motors and other heavy loads.
  • In general, Contactor’s are better suited for industrial applications, while Relay’s are more commonly used in consumer electronics.


We hope this article has helped to clear up the difference between contactors and relays.

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