Common electronic parts to have on hand

I've been wondering for a while what everybody tries to keep stock of at their workbenches?

What values, tolerances, packages, etc of various parts? Resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc, etc... I'm on my way to the shop to pick up a decent supply of cap's and wanted to know what to get.. (i'm literally on my way out the door, so i will be picking up what i need for my project plus a random assortment of values I've seen in the past :)

For resistors, I'd say 330R (for LEDs), 1K, 4k7, 10k, and 1M.

For Caps, I'd say around .01uF, .1uF, etc. I don't use caps very often except for decoupling.

Diodes, just get some basic diodes, it's not vital.

I've spent the best part of 50 years trying to answer that question for myself and have drawers full of "readily available and useful" bits that I have never - and probably never will - use.

Find yourself a handy and speedy supply source and only buy what you really need plus say 10% for "spares"


I started my stock based on what was cheap and available, resistors of common values. looking for cheap Capacitor and Resistor starter kits with multiple values is a good start, anything else you can add as needed.

I also got a good deal on 74hc595's and MAX7219 along with several LED/LCD displays and some 3904/6 transistors!

Anything else I add as needed as this serves as a good base for most things!

Yeah, its a fairly tough question to answer with a single answer... It would depend on what the application(s) are, power source, ac/dc/etc/etc/etc...

When I first got started (about 4 months ago), I picked up a massive variety pack of resistors (10 each of pretty much everything from 10r to 1M) it has served me well so far... (also picked up a few 100 packs of the 'standard ones' 220, 47, 1k, 10k, etc).

The store I frequent (Sayal in Burlington Ontario) doesnt really have much in the way of ceramic caps (aside from a large sampler for $25), but is it safe to assume that tantalum caps would be 'close enough' for decoupling purposes? I couldnt find any 22pf's or .1uf's in ceramic (other than the expensive sampler pack)...

I currently have a mixture of 10uF's, 100uF's, 1uF's (all electro), 22pf 'mono rdl 100v' (whatever that is ;)), and a few .1uF 'mono rdl's', also a few 1uf 'tant rdl.

I also found a few 5vdc relays that can handle upwards of 10A (amprite pc4-1c005d02). I've already built up what I think is a decent supply of transistors, namely: 2n3904's, J175's, MPSA06's, ksmpsa56's, pn2222a's...

VR's I have a decent supply of (5 7805's, 1 lm2940ct-12, 1 lm2941ctp+

IC's would be the standard: 10 or so 595's, a couple cd4021's, 2 each max7221/19's (YAY for free samples!), 4 uln2803's, 2 ds1307 (more free samples), 2 LM3915/14n's

Also an okay quantity of buttons (small and large), pin headers (male/female), ribbon cable and a bunch of 5x2 headers and connectors (to go with the 5x2 to breadboard breakout PCB I made etching = fun!!)

And of course dozens of leds... red, green, rgb...

I just hate getting neck deep in a project only to find that I lack the correct bit... and it's always an insignificant part as well, like a diode or cap... or even worse: you need a 1x7 male header, but only have 1x6 left... Talk about frustration ;)

Large post, hope you made it to the end :)

Woo! No longer am I a YABB Newbie!!! Junior member NickVD Reporting for duty!

Meh promotions are overrated.

I mean, I became a GOD member recently and what did I get? PPPPL[/size]HPLH[/color]PHLPLHLPTLPTHRLPT[/size]PLHPLR[/color]THLPT!!!!!!!! (farting noise with tongue) :D

Much better than farting noises coming out the other orifice!

I've been unemployed for so long I automatically salvage any components I can. I'm gutting a digital clock for the LED display right now! :)

There really isn't a good answer for this; this is what I've recently done:

1) Bought a whole mess of Stack-On brand multi-drawers and dividers (you have to buy the dividers separately). I now have for my electronic parts two 60 small-drawer units, and two 30 small-drawer units, with an extra two 30 small-drawer units for future stock.

2) One of my 30 drawer units I used four rows, 6 columns, two values per each drawer - and filled them with 100 pcs each of an EIA "E-24" 5% decade assortment. It wasn't cheap, it wasn't easy - but I stocked up. I was pointed to do this by another forum member; after reading about it and understanding it, it made sense.

3) For my capacitors, I bought surplus 100+ pcs each of the common sizes used on the Arduino and for common digital circuits, and filtering - nothing special there. They went into other bins.

4) In still other bins I sorted out a huge variety of ICs and other parts that I have had for a long time; I also bought a ton of LEDs (red, green, yellow/amber - also white; no blue, though - need to get some blue). I have other bins with relays, small motors, small speakers, etc. Its really somewhat insane. I also have larger lidded tubs with larger component (like gear motors), as well as "tear aparts", etc.

Anything else I use my favorite local store, Apache Reclamation and Electronics, as my alternative "pay to play" storage area. Today I purchased a whole lotta various voltage regulators (7805/12/24 and 7905/12/24) and various transistors and mosfets for "scrap value". I probably got $3-400.00+ worth of stuff for about $50.00; I've been going to this place for almost 20 years though, so that helped (they even threw in a couple of small gearmotors for free!).

I bought a label maker (got it at Goodwill) and label every one of my bins; I still need to label my boxes/tubs - not all of those are labeled yet, but will be. Once I get my "shop computer" built, I plan on setting up a spreadsheet of parts and quantities, for help in the organizing and purchasing department.

The above isn't for everyone; you gotta have the room for it - if I didn't have my shop space at home (about a 100 sq ft area), it probably couldn't work - but you could do something on a smaller scale.


I have massive amounts of “junk” hanging around and still find that a particular part I want is the last part to finish a project and I have either run out or can’t find it.

Murphys law.

I just went the same rout as crOsh and bought a bunch of Stack-On units
2 each 60 small and 18 large units. I also have a smaller unit from before. In addition to getting a bunch of dividers I also got lots of extra drawers. I have found the large drawers work very well in old CD racks for over sized parts.

I have a mish mash of parts from years of tinkering and I also have new parts I am getting for various projects. I have a rack designated for resistors in a 2 stage sorting order, 6 drawers cover the multiplier bands and then they get sorted up from there into finer needs. I keep printed cards in each drawer and colors and values taped to the front to help in quick mindless sorting.

So far so good, but I am only about 10% threw sorting my crap. I do love the new system.