Mechanical Vs Digital Thermostat: What to know before buying?

Posted: November 15, 2022

Mechanical Vs Digital Thermostat - PartsFe

Did you know there are two types of thermostats - one mechanical and the other digital? And the differences between them may not be clear to everyone.

Mechanical thermostats were invented over 100 years ago, but still work well today. While they're difficult to program, they can save an average of $200 per year in energy costs.

Digital thermostats are easier to program than their mechanical counterparts. They communicate with one another and can prevent energy waste by shutting off when nobody's home. Don't make a hasty decision here. The average digital thermostat costs $20 to $150 and usually requires professional installation.

PartsFe is the leading online retailer of replacement parts for ovens, fryers, grills, griddles, ice machines and other commercial cooking equipment needs. Parts from many well-known brands are available at competitive prices that are 100% reliable. Browse for various thermostats from top brands for your kitchen equipment.

Do you want a cheaper option or more modern convenience? Make an educated decision before making your purchase so you can be satisfied with your purchase for years to come. 

Why do you need a thermostat in your kitchen appliances?

Thermostats control a system's temperature. Many appliances, such as ovens and refrigerators, have thermostats. By regulating the temperature, it prevents the appliance from overheating or freezing. 

The thermostat is also used to regulate the temperature in your home by controlling how much heat or cool air comes out of your furnace or air conditioner. 

A thermostat usually has a round dial with symbols indicating the temperature. It often has two indicators, one that shows the current temperature and one that shows how much is left on the system. Its purpose is to make sure the system stays at its own set temperature.

Most thermostats have a round dial, one of the most common shapes and sizes. It is easier for users to read the temperature from a distance when the thermostat dial is round. Thermostats with two indicators are less common than those with one indicator, but they are more commonly found in smaller spaces or places where visibility is limited. The purpose of all thermostats is to regulate a system's temperature and make sure it stays at its set temperature. 

What is a mechanical thermostat?

Ovens, griddles, fryers, braising pans, and pasta cookers can all be controlled by thermostats. The primary gas flow is automatically controlled by a mechanical thermostat that is either snap-acting or modulation controlled. 

Mercury, which typically controls mechanical thermostats, expands and contracts in response to temperature. This opens or shuts a circuit. Despite being turned off, an oil vat will continue to heat up. like attempting to halt a vehicle. The temperature overshoots as a result of this.

What is an electronic or digital thermostat?

It is an everyday object found in many commercial kitchens. Digital thermostats are regulating devices that control the temperature of physical systems by sensing the temperature and performing actions to maintain the temperature at a set point. This is different from a mechanical thermostat, which uses mechanics to control the temperature. With their higher accuracy and greater functionality, digital thermostats outperform mechanical ones.

Digital vs. mechanical thermostats-What's the difference?

Most people in this industry don't seem to ask this question very often. When compared to equivalent mechanical thermostats, models of fryers, pizza ovens, combi ovens, freezers, etc. with thermostat digital are frequently much more expensive. And this would deter many consumers from purchasing the pricier model. But it can be worthwhile to spend more money depending on the product you are cooking. It might not, though. 

In short, the difference are as follows: 

The range of tolerance for a mechanical thermostat is 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. With a tolerance of between 1 and 3 oC, the digital thermostat is significantly superior.

For Example:

If a fryer has a mechanical thermostat and is set to 180 °C, it will likely overshoot this temperature and reach 190 °C before the temperature begins to fall. After that, it will probably cool to 170°C before heating up once more.

On the other hand, if you set a fryer with an electronic thermostat to 180°C, it won't likely overshoot. And if it does, it will only reach a temperature of about 182°C before falling to about 178°C.

Why did this happen?

As discussed before, a mechanical thermostat is often operated by mercury. So, depending on the temperature, mercury expands and contracts and opens or closes a circuit. A vat of oil that is heating up will keep heating even after the heat is turned off. comparable to trying to stop an automobile. The result is a temperature overshoot.

Then how does a digital thermostat work? A digital thermostat can be configured to account for these problems. If set at 180°C, it may halt at 175°C and allow the temperature to rise to 180.

Best Brands For Digital Thermostats

PartsFe offers the following digital thermostat brands at competitive prices that are 100% reliable:


Pitco has been in the thermostat business for over 100 years. The company's Digital thermostats have become popular for their versatility and reliability. Pitco thermostats are used in commercial kitchens, restaurants, hotels, and more. 

Find the perfect Pitco digital thermostat for your commercial cooking equipment and save money by buying online. At PartsFe, we offer a wide selection of Pitco products at discounted prices. We've got the best deals on Pitco digital thermostats PP11012 right here! Get started by entering your product number or OEM part number in the search bar at the top!

Southern Pride

Southern Pride Digital Thermostat is a high quality thermostat that helps to monitor, control and adjust the temperatures in a variety of commercial kitchens. It has a large display that displays the temperature essential information. With a wide selection of Southern Pride Thermostats, PartsFe has the perfect thermostat for your commercial kitchen. Using the search bar, you can easily find the Southern Pride Digital thermostat 432001 by entering the below product number or OEM part number.


Frymaster offers various thermostats. Browse the collection of Frymaster thermostats to find the right fit for your kitchen equipment. PartsFe offers same-day shipping on your orders.


Find genuine Garland thermostats and accessories at PartsFe. We carry large inventory of various kitchen equipment parts and supplies for all major brands. Garland thermostats are one of the finest and most sought after.

Which thermostat should you choose- a digital or a mechanical?

The digital thermostats are the right choice for you if you're cooking something that needs a very accurate and reliable temperature control. However, the mechanical option will work just fine if your cooking is more about volume than exact temperature.