What Is a Terminal Block?


Terminal blocks are a type of versatile electrical connector that can be found in several places; for instance, in the average automobile. Since they allow complicated devices to be connected and disconnected easily, it should come as no surprise that practically every circuit in a car uses at least one.


  • The phrase "terminal block" can generally be applied to any kind of connector that allows multiple circuits to be disconnected at a single location.


  • Terminal blocks can be found in three categories: screw-in, plug-in and PCB (printed circuit board) mounted.

Screw-In Types

  • Screw-in blocks can commonly be found on low-voltage circuits like stereo equipment. The main benefit of this type is the ability to use bare wire ends to make a connection, but the exposed wires are left exposed. This can lead to weathering-related and short-circuit malfunctions.

Plug-In Types

  • Plug-in blocks can be found everywhere in a car and consist of a male terminal that plugs into a female receptacle. The best example of a plug-In type would be either of the average car's two fuse panels.

PCB Types

  • Printed circuit board (PCB) blocks are permanently soldered to the circuit board on which they are found. Computer and sensor wiring harnesses are good examples of these.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Peter Shanks
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