It's a mechanical switch Ms. Willow. As for how long they last, the button should be good for around 5-10 thousand clicks as long as you've not gotten any juice into it. If you haven't been rough on the cord (as in you haven't pulled it too many times, gotten caught on something, etc.), it can last for months. Of the 4 pt's I've owned, 1 lasted 8 months, 2 lasted for 5, and the other lasted for 4. The 8 months one was only used in the apartment at the time, the other 3 in my car.