These are the most common types of resistors available. Resistors like rheostat and potentiometer are virtually the same, the difference is that a potentiometer always have 3 pins while rheostat may have 2 or 3 pins depending on its subtype and application.
They also differ in application as rheostat is used to control very much larger current compared to the potentiometer.
The thermistor is a variable type resistor, specially design to adjust its resistance with respect to the temperature around it.
The other type of variable resistor is the photoresistor, designed to adjust its resistance with respect to the light intensity.
by Jake Hertz
In Partnership with Infineon Technologies
by Dale Wilson