When a metal switch is designed to switch significant power, the transitional state of the metal button switch as well as the ability to withstand continuous operating currents must be considered. When a metal push button switch is in the on state, its resistance is near zero and very little power is dropped in the contacts; when a switch is in the off state, its resistance is extremely high and even less power is dropped in the contacts. However, when the switch is flicked, the resistance must pass through a state where a quarter of the load's rated power (or worse if the load is not purely resistive) is briefly dropped in the switch.
For this reason,metal power switches intended to interrupt a load current have spring mechanisms to make sure the transition between on and off is as short as possible regardless of the speed at which the user press the button down.
Power switches usually come in two types. A momentary on‑off switch (such as on a laser pointer) usually takes the form of a metal button and only closes the circuit when the push button is depressed. A regular on‑off switch (such as on a flashlight) has a constant on-off feature. Dual-action switches incorporate both of these features.