Types of Electrical Connectors

Electronic connectors are electromechanical devices used to quickly and easily disconnect or interrupt a circuit path. Because they have such a wide range of applications, connectors come in a variety of sizes, shapes, complexities, and quality levels to suit those applications. For example, those used in more rugged and extreme conditions require protection from vibrations, extreme temperatures, dirt, water, and contaminants.

Connectors come in pairs, male connectors which have protruding pins and female connectors which have recessed sockets. When the two come together, they “mate” and form a connection. They’re also usually polarized to prevent two incorrectly oriented connectors from mating.

Versatile and adaptable, connectors serve in many different functions and applications. Ranging from military and space to consumer electronics, there are many different types of connectors. However, they all do the same essential thing, they connect. Connectors serve as a configurable bridge for any number of electrical sources and devices. Of course, some connectors are better and more optimal than others for certain applications. Some types of electronic connectors include:

  • Blind mate connectors make it easy to safely mate connectors even if you can’t see them or when physical access to the mating connector area is limited.
  • D-sub connectors have many different applications and are known for their distinct D-shaped metal shell.
  • Hot-swap connectors don’t require the entire system to shut down, they don’t risk damage when adding, removing, or replacing components while “hot” or under load.
  • IP67 connectors are dust and water resistant, so they’re ideal for harsh environments and demanding applications.
  • Military connectors have higher durability, reliability, and precision in order to serve the many demanding requirements of military applications.
  • Modular connectors can use pre-existing blocks to arrange unique contact arrangements for user and application customizability.
  • Power connectors deliver electrical power from either A/C or D/C sources to electronic devices.
  • Press-fit connectors are designed to be pressed through a printed circuit board’s plated-through holes instead of being soldered.
  • Space connectors are perfect for the extreme conditions of spaceflight as a result of their low outgassing, non-magnetism, and extreme reliability.


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