How To Read A Resistor Color Code – All About Resistor Codes

How To Read A Resistor Color Code
How To Read A Resistor Color Code

The resistor color code helps you to identify the resistive value of a resistor or the amount of resistance in ohms that the resistor is set to. This code is a pattern of colored bands on the surface of the resistor. This article breaks down the bands on a resistor and provides example pictures so you can get familiar with how to identify each of the colors, if you don’t want to manually do this, you can use a Resistor color code calculator to decode the value of your resistor by entering the colors of the bands.

Knowing how to read a resistor color code is really useful for DIY projects where resistors are used- so if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to learn this skill, then this article is for you! In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to identify colors by their numbers, and more importantly, calculate the resistance of a particular resistor in ohms.

Resistor Color Code Chart

You’ve probably noticed that it has a series of colored stripes running along its body. These colors correspond to numbers, and they indicate the value of the resistor. By knowing how to read the color code, you can quickly determine the value of any resistor following the reference chart can be used to determine the code of each color band.

Resistor Color Code Chart
Resistor Color Code Chart

How To Read A Resistor Color Code

Steps Of Reading Resistor Color Codes:

The resistance of a resistor depends on the number of color bands (from 3 to 6) on the resistor. Reading of resistance through the color band is different for a different number of color bands. For example, if you have resistance with four color bands its resistance reading varies from the resistor with six bands.

First, hold the resistor so the tolerance band (gold or silver) is on your right. Then follow the steps below according to the number of the color bands on your resistance.

Three or Four Band Resistors

This code consists of three colored bands that are read from left to right. The first band represents the first digit of the resistance value, the second band represents the second digit of the resistance value, and the third band is known as the multiplier. The multiplier is used to calculate the actual resistance value of a resistor based on its color code.

Some resistors also have a fourth band that represents the tolerance of the resistor. The tolerance is usually represented as a percentage and can be +/- 5%, 10%, or 20%.

The most common values for resistors are 10 ohms, 100 ohms, 1 kilohm (1000 ohms), and 10 kilohms (10,000 ohms). The standard tolerance values are 5% and 10%.

Five or Six Band Resistors

On five band resistor, the first three bands indicate the first three digits of the resistance value, while the fourth band indicates the multiplier means the number of zeros that follow.

The fifth band on a five or six-band resistor indicates the tolerance of the resistance value. The most common tolerance values are 5% and 10%. This means that the actual resistance value of the resistor could be up to 5% or 10% higher or lower than the indicated value.

Finally, the six bands on a six-band resistor indicate the temperature coefficient. This is a measure of how much the resistance value will change with temperature. The most common values are +/- 200ppm/K and +/- 500ppm/K.

Resistor Color Code Mnemonic

There are many ways to memorize the resistor color code, but one of the most popular is using a mnemonic. A mnemonic is a phrase that helps you remember something by associating it with a word or phrase that is easy to remember.

One common mnemonic is “Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly.” This acronym stands for Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray, and White. As you can see, it spells out the colors in order from darkest to lightest.

Another mnemonic is “Bread better brought home brown or foreign foods might make babies barf badly.” This one also spells out the colors in order from darkest to lightest.

Once you have memorized one of these mnemonics, simply apply it to the resistor color code and you’ll be able to read it quickly and easily!

Examples of Different Resistor Codes

As you know The color code on a resistor indicates the value of its resistance. Here are some examples of different resistor codes:

Example 1: Red, Green, Red, Gold

The first two colors (Red and Green in this case) represent the first two digits of the resistance value, while the third color (Red) represents the number of zeroes to add to those digits to get the full value. Finally, the fourth color (Gold) is the tolerance of the resistor, which indicates how accurate its resistance value is.

To determine the resistance of a given resistor, then, you simply need to read off the colors from left to right and convert them into numbers according to the above scheme. In this case, the resistor has a resistance value of 2500 ± 5% Ω or 2.5 kΩ.

Example 2: Orange, Green, Blue, Gold

Here the first color is orange, which shows a value of 3; the second color is green, which indicates a value of 5.

And the third color is blue, which would indicate a value of 10^5; and if the fourth color is gold, this would indicate a tolerance value of 5%. This gives us a total resistance value for this particular resistor of 35.00MΩ.

Example 3: Brown, Grey, Orange, Silver

To determine the resistance of a given resistor with the given color sequence, you will need to use Resistor Color Code Chart.

Brown (1), Grey (8), Orange (3), Silver (10%)

The first two colors on the chart, brown and grey, represent the first and second digits of the resistance value respectively. The third color, orange, represents the decimal point. The fourth color, silver, denotes that the tolerance is +/- 10%.

So, in this case, the resistance would be 18.00kΩ ± 10%.

FAQs_ How to Read Resistor Color Codes

Below are some common questions about Resistor color code reading.

What is a resistor?

A resistor is an electrical component that limits or regulates the flow of electrical current in an electronic circuit. Resistors are used to create voltage drops in circuits or to change the amount of current flowing through a circuit.

What is resistor color code

The resistor color code is a system used to identify the value of a resistor. It consists of four colored bands that are placed around the body of the resistor. The first two bands represent the digits of the resistance value, while the third band represents the multiplier. The fourth band is used as a tolerance value.

How do I read the resistor color code?

To read the resistor color code, you will need to identify the colors of each band and then convert them into numbers. The first two bands represent the digits of the resistance value, while the third band represents the multiplier. The fourth band is used as a tolerance value. You can use an online calculator to help you with this conversion process.

What are some common mistakes when reading the resistor color code?

One common mistake is confusing the order of the colors. Another mistake is forgetting to take into account the multiplier value represented by the third band.

What are the most common resistance values?

The most common resistance values are :
-10 ohms
-100 ohms
-1,000 ohms (1 kilohm)
-10,000 ohms (10 kilohms)
-100,000 ohms (100 kilohms)


Resistors are one of the most basic components in electronics, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Though their function is simple, choosing the right resistor for a circuit can be tricky—especially if you’re dealing with surface-mount resistors with tiny markings. In this article, we’ve shown you how to quickly read a resistor color code so that you can select the correct component for your project. With a little practice, you’ll be able to decode these codes in no time at all!

By following the above-mentioned steps, you should be able to quickly and easily read any resistor color code. If you still have trouble after reading this article, you can comment down below. With a little practice, you’ll be reading resistor color codes like a pro in no time!


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