Force Sensitive Resistor 0.5"

This is a force sensitive resistor with a round, 0.5" diameter, sensing area. This FSR will vary its resistance depending on how much pressure is being applied to the sensing area. The harder the force, the lower the resistance. When no pressure is being applied to the FSR its resistance will be larger than 1MΩ. This FSR can sense applied force anywhere in the range of 100g-10kg.

Two pins extend from the bottom of the sensor with 0.1" pitch making it bread board friendly. There is a peel-and-stick rubber backing on the other side of the sensing area to mount the FSR.

These sensors are simple to set up and great for sensing pressure, but they aren't incredibly accurate. Use them to sense if it's being squeezed, but you may not want to use it as a scale.

Note: As it states in the Integration Guide, do NOT solder directly to the exposed silver traces. With flexible substrates, the solder joint will not hold and the substrate can easily melt and distort during the soldering. We recommend using a male or female clincher connector instead.

  • Overall length: 2.375"
  • Overall width: 0.75"
  • Sensing diameter: 0.5"

Force Sensitive Resistor 0.5" Product Help and Resources

Using the SparkFun PicoBoard and Scratch

November 11, 2014

Here are a few tips in using the PicoBoard with Scratch v1.4. The PicoBoard allows us to write Scratch programs that interact with a variety of sensors on the PicoBoard. These sensors include: sound, light, a slider, a push button, and 4 external sensors (A, B, C, and D).

Force Sensitive Resistor Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

How to hook a force-sensitive resistor up to an Arduino to measure pressure variances.

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

1 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #401881 / about 7 years ago / 2

    Data sheets that refer to grams or kilograms as a force seem very sketchy. Grams are a measure of mass, NOT force!

  • Member #138149 / about 9 years ago / 2

    These are nice little devices but there are a few issues with them - they can "sense" force but they cannot "measure" force in any conventional way - you would need to calibrate the device regularly to make any kind of valid measurement because they drift with usage and the environment.

    Basically it's a metal film pressing on a carbon pad - not dissimilar to the old carbon microphones - and a common problem is that the metal film will develop cracks if you bend the device too much or too often. They are great for experimental use, project use, demonstration etc - anything that requires the sensing of pressure but not measurement - keep them flat and don't bend them and you'll be fine.

  • Member #221514 / about 10 years ago / 2

    Can someone please tell me the range of midichlorian sensitivity? My bro thinks he may have some, but it's hard to tell.

  • kobachi / about 9 years ago / 1

    Are these capacitive in nature? i.e. are they able to sense pressure applied through a non-capacitive material such as a glove?

    • PointyOintment / about 4 years ago / 1

      They are not capacitive. They are resistive, as the name indicates. They sense force, regardless of what material is applying it.

  • Member #585524 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Hi, I saw a few people on here using these for instruments. I'm trying to do the same thing: I want some velocity sensitive note activation. When I hooked one of these up to an Arduino, the amount of force that it took to get the Voltage from 1V up to 5V with one of my fingers was very low. Was anyone able to get this to work with more sensitivity? Any ideas on a more sensitive product, something that changes output more fluidly over a wider pressure range?

    • Member #591280 / about 10 years ago / 1

      What did you end up using? Im 17, have a school project with arduino, and want to make "air piano" where these would go on a glove.

  • carlocol / about 10 years ago / 1

    What is the approximate response time of this device? I would like to use one of these to measure the force applied to a piano key, in order to find out how much force is necessary to play the key softly, medium and loud. On a piano the initial velocity of the strike is what determines the loudness of the note. This strike probably happens within about 50ms - could this transducer faithfully measure forces on this time scale?

  • Member #510084 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I have a Doepfer CTM64. It has 64 contacts and a common, and when the circuits are joined by a momentary switch, pressing the switch (closing the circuit) sends a Midi note-on message. I'd like to make a momentaryswitch which has as little tactile feedback as possible (I don't want it to 'click' when I press it). Would it be possible to use the force sensing resistor as a momentary switch?

    • Member #110058 / about 10 years ago / 1

      You should be able to do something like that using a force sensor like this and a 555-timer as shown here:

      If you want to reduce component count and increase the number of sensors you can use then you could use an Arduino instead.

  • excuse me i wanna ask someting how the steps if we want to order this Force Sensitive Resistor 0.5"? thank you

  • Member #134947 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Hey I just want to confirm that this makes sense. I'd like to measure the intensity of pinching a small (squishy, cast rubber) object. Doesn't need to be accurate, just not digital (ie range from 0-10 vs 0/1). You'd still be able to get a reading from being placed inside a small object depending on the force applied and amount of quality of material correct?

  • Member #474359 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Hi Is it possible to change the range from the written 100g-10kg to perhaps 1kg-100kg in some way? I want to put the sensor in a shoe, and therefore I need to read a much higher force than 100g-10kg.

    Best regards - Kasper

    • Sadly, no. This is a function of the material property itself-not an adjustable setting. You could try using several sensors together, or instead use something like the load cell.

      • Member #486604 / about 11 years ago / 1

        Hi Tony, similar question but slightly different application. I'd like to put this, or something like this, in a shoe, just to act as a switch so I can tell when the foot is on the ground vs. midair. Would it work for this application or will the sensor break under someones body weight?

        • If you are using it for a full-grown adult, you probably don't want to use this sensor in a shoe, as the max weight is only 10kg, which is higher than the pressure that could be expected from a full-grown adult's leg. You could just go with a capacitive sensor or a basic switch if you are simply looking to see if their foot is on the ground or in midair. Capacitive sensors would allow you to read the changes a bit more, giving you a wider range of readings than a basic switch would.

      • Member #474359 / about 11 years ago / 1

        Thank you Toni for your reply. Thats too bad. I think the load cell would be to big. Perhaps I could use this: - i read that you could change the resistor to make it work up to 1000N. Do you think that would work?

        • That may work better, but again, this will limit out around 100 lbs of pressure. If you are trying to weigh more than that, you might want to consider a mesh network of sensors with the load balanced on all of them to be able to get a larger range of values.

  • hello, i am about to create a device with FSR and Arduino to measure ball kicking impact force, where the FSR will be place at the suitable contact area. as i read in several article said that this sensor varies with contact area and contact time. i am having difficulty to calibrate this sensor dynamically. hope i can get any suggestion from you guys here. tq

  • Member #446706 / about 11 years ago / 1

    I read on this site ( , under specs, marked with the *** near the bottom) that the force range can be extended depending on how its wired up, does this apply for these sensors as well?

  • Mezhan / about 12 years ago / 1

    I've read that these sensors can be damaged if pressure is applied for long periods of time. Has anyone encountered this problem? I intend to average three sensor values to measure the rough liquid level in a tank. The tank may sit on the sensors for periods of time up to a month with varying levels of liquid.

  • Ernst Hot / about 12 years ago / 1

    I believe this is the datasheet.

  • Member #313984 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Hey guys- So I'm looking for a way to wire these up... I don't want to risk melting it by soldering directly to it. I found a pic here ( with a header on it. Does anyone know where I can find something like that?

    Right now I have it jammed into a breadboard which is functional but not sexy or convenient.

    • Member #40615 / about 12 years ago / 1

      I don't think soldering it would hurt if you're quick about it -- much like any other plastic electronic component.

  • Member #300916 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'm kind of new to electronics and I want to make some light up shoes, but I just don't know what sensor to get for them! I was thinking this might work, but I don't know. Any advice on what I should get?
    Anything would be greatly appreciated :-)

  • godzillatron / about 13 years ago / 1

    When I apply static load to this sensor, resistance starts from some value and than slowly drifts down to the zero. It can take 5 to 10 minutes, but it will eventually go from 100,000 KOhm to 1 KOhm.

    What is wrong, shouldn't it settle at one value?

  • Nick Short / about 13 years ago / 1

    "This FSR can sense applied force anywhere in the range of 100g-10kg."
    Not to be a physics geek, but in this case, this should read:
    "This FSR can sense applied force anywhere in the range of 0.981N-98N."
    Force is measured in Newtons, mass in Kilograms.

  • luca.carida / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'm thinking about using this kind of sensors "underwater", after having isolated the parts where the pins are connected to cables. Would the pad work underwater? I'm not looking for precision, just for a signal when pressure in the water changes.

    • TyTower / about 13 years ago / 1

      Did you do this and what was the response? I want to use one in water to sense water pressure . I was told that I could immerse the whole thing , circuit board too , in a sealed oil filled container and it would work but I hav'nt done that yet

  • AdamTolley / about 13 years ago / 1

    If I was after the sum of pressure on multiple sensors, could I get away with putting them in series and using only one analog pin to read them?

  • N.Poole / about 14 years ago / 1

    I'm hoping to use this to detect the presence of a shot glass in a liquor dispensing robot, lol. If all goes well I'll report back.

    • N.Poole / about 13 years ago / 2

      These things are great!
      Word of advice, however:
      Don't... spill... water (liquor)... on... it.
      liquids will get trapped in the pad and wildly change the electrical response (duh.)
      I ended up turning my $7 sensor into a $7 push-button. But I can tell you that as long as you keep 'em dry, they're pretty great!

      • Member #261799 / about 12 years ago / 1

        Hey N.Poole. I know this was years ago- but do you have a good code to use this force sensor as merely a switch on/off?

  • SomeGuy123 / about 14 years ago * / 1

    These work surprisingly well.

  • EATYone / about 14 years ago / 1

    I use them to build a drumpad, and they are very nice. After calibration, i have some good velocity sensitive pads!
    i'm happy :)

    • Jacob_B / about 10 years ago / 1

      I don't know if you are still an active user but can you give more info about that? Sounds interesting. Any coding help?

  • capt jim / about 9 years ago / 0

    Before 'fly by wire' I read a report out of DoD about a study comparing Joysticks to Forcesticks for tracking control of a dot on a screen... bottom line was the average operator could become proficient using the forcestick 50 times faster than using a joystick. I haven't lately, but the last time I looked for a reasonably price, non-trivial forcestick they were pretty pricey. So for $14, this looks like a good start on a project.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5

Based on 19 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

It does exactly what it says

I bought this resistor because i needed a pressure sensor, not one precise enough to build a scale, but giving more information than "something is there" and "Nothing is there". That's the way its datasheet describes it, and that's exactly what it is, so yay FSR 0.5".

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Works great

Resistance goes down with increasing pressure. Used this in a robotic arm application where the FSR was in a bite switch that activated the arm. Turns out moisture will wreck the FSR, so protecting it appropriately is necessary. Also when using this part between two hard surfaces like plastic, it helps a great deal to put pad over the FSR to act like the lad of your finger.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Works well.

Does what it is supposed to do. If the object is not the same diameter as the sensor I had to put an object of thst diameter under it to make the sensor work. But that could be my resistor value i chose as well.

I'm perfectly happy with the results.

Great product!

Works well, perfect for breadboard prototyping!

Force Sensitive Resistor Review

The first one I bought I soldered vertically into the board just to find out that the metal paths in it can easily break. So I bent the leads on this one 90 degrees and glued the resistor to the PC board. Works great. I have the output of the voltage divider feeding into my Arduino's analog input and the Arduino programmed to write raw data onto an SD card. I wrote a program in Visual C# to format the data so it can be imported into Graphical Analysis or Spreadsheet.

Not a great product for a final project.

Over the last few months, I have purchased 8 fsr sensors. Out of this, 4 have broken (one has gone unused, bought extra in case of more breaking), The gold-colored metal rips off of the plastic. This is very unfortunate and dissapointing. Otherwise, Sparkfun products has been great. I have done many many projects using Sparkfun products, and this is the first issue I have come across.

This product works wonderfully when functional. It should be confined to breadboard use only, but then there is little practical application aside from pinching with your fingers.

Amazingly great

These sensors, despite being a bit expensive, work great for detecting foot steps on a floor we made. Much better than the other kind of sensor we are testing out at the same time.

Works perfectly.

I was able to implement my project just fine, the sample code on this site was also a big help to start me off quickly.

I am using it for heel strike and toe-off event detection and it is giving me results which are perfectly fine. Thanks!

Arduino Project

Used 12 for Arduino toneKeyboard project. Students loved it.

Best prices around for a great part.

I make and sell Eurorack Synthesizer Modules based around these FSRs under the brand name Synthwerks, and find that SparkFun is constantly cheaper than any other vendor I can find. Their service is great. I have even had SparkFun drop ship these to users in the EU who needed replacement parts. The units are very sensitive and quite robust. They can be dented with sharp objects (this makes them act as though they are being pressed) but that can be prevented by using something as simple as a cut-up old mousepad laid on top. The FSR will still work fine, and some people find they work better for them that way. You do have to be careful soldering the leads, too long with the iron and the flex circuit will melt. The self-adhesive backing is a great thing for mounting them and they do stick on very tightly. I peel the backing off halfway (exposing only part of the pad) and then align them where I want, stick down that exposed part, and then pull out the remains backing and press them in place. Once glued down, they cannot be removed easily without destroying them so make sure when sticking them in place. We use both the .5" and the 1,5" square versions and both are excellent devices.

Works as described.

Will it change over time is my only concern.

Using this sensor

The sensor works fine......... I used it to measure the weight of an object on a mock assembly line for a college project. It worked as expected.

Works great

Need to take care with the connector pins, its easy to break them !