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Makezine_COTM_Resistors-BadgeChris Connors shows his technique for storing resistors. Executive summary: he sorts by the 3rd color band!

Over the years, I’ve seen and inherited parts bins with every drawer labeled for a single value resistor. This can take up dozens of drawers in a rack. It also makes returning the resistors a pain, because you have to figure out the value of every single resistor you want to put away. I guess that makes it a good exercise in learning to read the codes, but it is certainly not a very quick process for people who don’t have the resistor color chart memorized. When I get enough resistors that I’m in a mood to put them away, I just grab a handful, and sort by the third band. It goes pretty quick. I can put a fistful of resistors away in a few minutes.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. Adam says:

    A good idea! I don’t have a huge amount of resistors, so I have two bins, one for up to 1Kohms and the other for higher levels. I probably will add a bin for over 1Mohm since I only have a few and they are hard to pick out of a bin otherwise full of others.

  2. Timothy Gray says:

    Got a solution for Surface mount resistors? mine have become a nightmare.

  3. I find that this strategy helps in general, but I still reserve specific drawers/packets for the ultra-common values, such as 220, 470, 1K, 2.2K, 4.7K, 10K, etc., since just a handful of values usually makes up a good 90% of my resistor use, and I usually have between 50 and 100 of those values on hand.

    For those ‘special’ values, small plastic baggies in the drawer, along with a bit of index card with the color bands drawn on the edge makes it quick and easy to pick out the packet I need. The drawers for 10/100, 1K/10K, and 100K/1M sorting have drawers directly under them for the ‘specials’ within the same ranges, and those are by far the drawers I go to most often.

  4. Bosco says:

    I don’t sort my resistors by color… i sort by thickness…

  5. I sort my resistors differently – according to the first two bands. I have 12 drawers for all E12 values and I put in each drawer all the decades – for example 470, 4.7K, 47K, 470K – all go to the same drawer. This way it’s very easy to find what I want according to the color of one band only. The E12 values cover all my need, I rarely ever need a precise value that is not on that list.