What is a DIN Rail?

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If you do any larger commercial work you’ve probably seen a DIN rail without knowing what it is called. It is simply a mounting standard that originated in Germany in the 80’s and slowly worked its way over here.

DIN rails can be used to mount terminal blocks, relays, starters, breakers… just about anything electrically. They aren’t designed to conduct electricity like a busbar, though they are used in some cases as a grounding assembly.

The most common DIN rail type is the “top hat” or TS35 shown in these photos.

Components that attach to a DIN rail have little release clips so that they can be easily installed and removed. In addition to the “top hat” style there are also some less common, heavier DIN rails with a C and G style configuration.

So if you ever see one of these don’t be alarmed, you can just sound cool when you call your boss and tell him “yeah, it’s one of those DIN rail mounted relays” and just wait for him to say “What??”

— Bryan

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