Best place to get breadboards online?

I'm thinking of purchasing 4 or 5 separate breadboards with +/- rails so I can combine them if I want to or keep them separate for different projects.

eBay is the obvious answer, but with so many low quality products out there, I was wondering if you guys can share your own actual purchase experience. Good product for a good price. Thank you in advance.

PS: I am located in the U.S.

digikey ...

oh and the ones you can get at radio shack usually come with 2 bus bars and a center part that lock together also, they only show the 20$ one with the metal plate, but it may still be in stores

I assume your link was just to Digikey and not pointing out there selection of breadboards. Cause it is showing a list of SMD components.

Maker shed carries some breadboards for a decent price.

Half sized.

Transparent full sized and regular full sized.


Electronics goldmine also has good prices but they require a $10 minimum order.

no actually it was on a breadboard page ... odd

Avoid these from AllElectronics. I added them to an order once and didn't like the quality after I got them. The rails are not detachable either.

These from are much better quality at a comparable price. Paul and Robin run a more family-type operation, and I would order from them again if I needed some.

Another one to avoid is this one.

The holes on that one are so tight that I felt like I was breaking my RBBB trying to get it in there. Eventually, it worked, but I really felt uncomfortable.

(Yes...that's what she said..blah blah blah) ;D

Thank you all for telling me not only the good ones to get but also the ones to avoid. The problem with online shopping is that I usually order things that I wasn't planning on getting to "save" on shipping. :-)

PS: TchnclFl, your post is hillarious! ;D

Buy one or two of these; trust me, you'll love it:

I bought mine at Fry's Electronics:

Cheaper, too - this Elenco model is almost "the cream of the crop" when it comes to breadboards; the individual breadboards used in it are the same as that pointed out by TBAr earlier:

It also has 4 binding posts for power needs, with 4 colors (mine had red, black, green and yellow binding posts). Right now I have breadboarded on it a full 2n3055-based (TO-3 package) h-bridge with opto-coupler (4n26) interfacing, along with power and directional indicator LEDs - its easy to breadboard even with those monsters, they fit perfectly across the valley, and the large size makes it a breeze to lay out a circuit like that comfortably. Denser circuits using more normal sized parts are no problem, either. The extra power bus strips along the top make it even more awesome. Finally, the metal base (with its rubber feet) make for a very comfortable working session.

I can also attest to the longevity of the individual breadboards used; I have and still use one such breadboard that was given to me as part of my enrollment at a local Phoenix electronics school; that was almost 20 years ago, and the thing has held up well over those years.

I am seriously considering buying 8-10 of those boards, getting a nice piece of sheet steel or aluminum, and making one awesome breadboarding lab station; something like that, with built in easy-connect debounced switches, LEDs, maybe an LCD, power supply, waveform generator, etc - the ultimate adult ###-in-one electronics kit.

One of these days...


Buy one or two of these; trust me, you'll love it:

mouth waters Man...I'd love to have one of those. But $30 seems a bit much to spend on a breadboard :(.

That Elanco breadboard is nice. I've used it. But where do you put the Arduino?

I roll my own with four breadboard strips similar to the Elanco but with a 1/4" plywood base. Like splitting the Elanco from top to bottom down the middle and separating the halves by about 2.5 inches (6.5cm). I screw the Arduino down (not too tightly!) between the pairs of breadboard strips.

I drill small holes in the corner of the individual breadboard strips and screw them down to the plywood with small wood screws instead of using the foam stick on the back of the strips. That way I can get them off later without destroying them. Add a couple of binding posts if desired and some stick-on feet from the homecenter and bingo.

mouth waters Man...I'd love to have one of those. But $30 seems a bit much to spend on a breadboard

TchnclFl: That's what I thought, too - I had eyed them every time I went into Frys; I remarked this to a friend, a few months later he bought me one for my birthday (thanks again, Jared!). I later purchased a large set of the straight wire jumpers.

I wish I had bought one sooner. It is well worth $30.00...

That Elanco breadboard is nice. I've used it. But where do you put the Arduino?

RoyK: Good question, and I like your answer; in my case, I hadn't owned my Arduino for very long, and it was slated to be the controller in my UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) plans, but I may have to change some ideas I have about my "future" lab workbench.

I've got some massive cleanup I need to do in my shop (waaaay too much clutter); after that is done, I am going to build my workbench up properly. I have this old (but I think working) digital trainer box thing, that has a small breadboard, a power supply, some leds, a low-frequency waveform generator, and a set of debounced switches - that I want to use to form a part of a prototyping system; I figure that by using parts of it, adding a larger bench power supply, my multimeter and a parallax PC o-scope I have (won it in a Nuts and Volts contest back in 2008) - I could have a pretty good bench. I am thinking about a system where I buy a few more of those Elenco boards, and leave the boards attached to the metal, but instead of mounting them with screws, I might use velcro or magnets (magnets and a piece of grounded steel for the backing might be nice!); if I use magnets I realize that certain circuits would have to be developed off-board, maybe (depending on how well the flux stays in the steel, things like non-GPS compass circuits or hall effect circuits might not work properly).

That way, I could remove the boards and use them individually, or combine them; maybe I might stick with the one I have, then just buy a bunch of the individual ones (although I would definitely want to buy a bunch of the bus strips separately - I know they are sold this way), but still do the attachment with magnets or velcro. My Arduino might become a centerpiece in such a case, kinda like you are saying (hmm, maybe with one of Mowcius' acrylic shields?) - I have already upgraded it to a 328, and my bootloaded 168 could be used as the controller for my system (my code is so far only pushing 5K, but I still have a servo control system to add), and I could keep the Arduino as the dev platform - although at some point I want to build or add a ZIF socket shield, board, or something to it.

Right now, I do most of my development on my Arduino inside my office (which needs its own cleanup!) in the house; I don't really like that arrangement, but it works. I am hoping to begin my shop cleanup this weekend (I am still wondering what to do with the PowerWheels H2 that sits inside; its the base for the beta platform of my UGV - takes up waaay too much room)...


Ebay from Hongkong. I have one of these:

No complaints so far.

Ebay from Hongkong. I have one of these:

No complaints so far.

Bought the same. Only remarks are the power bars they are devided in three sections, but there is no vissible marking. My other small breadboard has two power lines on each side, I prefer that.

But its large and it's cheap.

Ebay from Hongkong. I have one of these:

The boards on that one look like what TBAr noted earlier about the boards at AllElectronics; you get what you pay for. If you are a poor student, or don’t mind replacing your board every now and then, they are probably a pretty good deal.

But, if you are like me and expect your tools to last 20+ years, you will buy quality (Elenco) and spend the extra money. Like I said before, that breadboard I got was an Elenco, and that was in 1991 (almost 20 years ago); other than a little discoloration from use, it still works perfectly. I have no doubt that the large version I got as a gift will last just as long.

I have an Elenco, I find the holes to be a little tight, course I am comparing it to a ~10 year old radio shack model

other than occasionally bending a pin and cussing like a drunk pirate with solid ribbon cable, It is my preferred breadboard

its just a single deal, mounted on a chunk of plywood (with some liquor on it) via brass piano screws

I'd like to update you guys on my breadboard purchase.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

you get what you pay for.

Unfortunately probably not. A large percentage of the vendors selling protoboards probably get them from the same Chinese manufacturer(s) as the eBay sellers. Unless you know which manufacturer made them, and have previous experience with them, it's hard to rate boards ahead of time. And it's subject to change, especially without a "brand name." Lacking a brand-name, what you usually end up paying extra for is someone more local to complain to. :-(

The first protoboard I ever saw and purchased came from the company that has grown up into "Global Specialties" They sell both an "premium" and "economy" line of protoboards, and have a long list of distributors. I would trust a GS-branded PB to be of consistent quality, and I'd trust that their premium PBs are better than the economy version, for certain measures of "better."

How about MPJA? They seem to sell boards at a pretty reasonable price. I have ordered stuff from them before and their service seemed pretty good.