Are the capacitor "use" categories on Mouser just like serving suggestions, or are the actually useful categories?

See attached screenshot of the "Product" filter category for the "film capacitor" category on Mouser. Do these options mean anything by them selves, or are they just shortcuts for other specs like operating temperature, tolerance, ESR, etc?


  • Screenshot 2023-09-05 at 12.53.23 PM.png
    Screenshot 2023-09-05 at 12.53.23 PM.png
    27.1 KB · Views: 36
Some of those categories mean something. For example, safety capacitors probably means X and Y capacitors. X and Y capacitors are guaranteed not to go up in flames when you connect them across the mains and a voltage peak occurs on the mains. If I remember well, Y capacitors are also guaranteed not to cause electrocution when one side is connected to the mains and the other to a person.
It is more than 90% helpful tool - it helps you to find a suitable component faster, but there are errors, wrongly classified, for example, and cases where classification would be much more suitable in another application than Mouser indicated. These less than 10% errors can be just tricks, but there is also the possibility that the person entering this data does not understand everything.
In general, it is useful, when in doubt it is always wise to look at the specific data sheets of manufacturers.
The useful data is:

1) dielectric - this is by far the most important determiner of properties.
2) construction (stacked, wound, etc)
3) value/tolerance/tempco
4) working voltage (capacitors usually quote a working voltage, not an abs. max., which is nice since you can run a 50V cap at 50V all day long).
5) is manufacturer reputable? (which simply means don't buy from J Random on eBay)
6) certifications (class X etc).
7) max working temperature (can occasionally be an issue, for instance PP and PS are weak against temperature, PPS/PTFE are strong). Higher quoted temperatures for electrolytics implies longer life too.
8) for electrolytics ripple current and ESR are often important