How to Read a Resistor Color Code

Resistor Colour CodeHere is a nice resistor color (colour for some of you) code diagram I ran across online. I used to read resistors so often that I didn’t need a guide, but It has been so long that I can no longer decode them from memory. Lately I’ve needed to read some resistor color codes occasionally so I found this chart online. I thought it was very easy to read and have it hanging on the wall in my lab for quick reference. I don’t remember where I found it and I’ve seen it in several locations so I don’t know who to credit but I wanted to repost it here for everyone to make use of.


Resistor Colour Code

Here are some tips that might speed up decoding resistors.

Most of the resistors you come across will be the 4 band variety like the example on top and most of those have a tolerance of 5%, so the last band is usually gold. You will also see the same numbers over and over again like 10, 22, and 47, … so you will get to know those color combinations and quickly recognize them. Then it’s just a matter of figuring out the multiplier so you know if it’s 47 ohm (black), 470 ohm(brown), 4.7k (red), 47k (orange), etc…

4 thoughts on “How to Read a Resistor Color Code”

  1. How do you read a one band resistor? I have one that has a grey band, thats all. It may be a dark brown body and a grey band in the middle

  2. A one band resistor is typically a zero ohm resistor. These are often used to connect two points on a board and are able to be placed and soldered by the same machines placing other resistors.

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