Comparison of Arduino Starter kits

I wrote up an article on Arduino Started kits, specifically the ones offered by Adafruit Industries and SparkFun Electronics. I'm interested in a bit of feedback, and if you find anyone who asking this question, point them this way.

Here's the link:

Why only those 2?

There are lots more on the market. Plus those are US based. What about European consumers?

Is this news or is it better in Hardware->Development?

Why only those 2?

There are lots more on the market. Plus those are US based. What about European consumers?

Those were the two that I stumbled across yesterday as I was writing. I'd like to expand the list. Do you have suggestions on other kits I should write about?

thanks for the input!


This is a badly needed article - good stuff. I would suggest the following improvements:

  1. Put a summary at the top for the absolute noob. One sentence only. It may sound strange, but a total newbie is not going to understand or even read the down to the bottom. A one sentence: "If you are a total noob, buy xxx" is useful. Newbies just want you to make a decision for them, which is a completely reasonable request. The rest can come later.

  2. You have just compared the kits, but the on-line instructions, support and what a newbie using a "follow these steps" approach can do with one is equally important. Have you considered evaluating them for on-line instructions as well? (When I was a newbie, I chose Adafruit's for this reason).

  3. People who come to your page may be inspired to buy a kit. How about a paragraph on "OK, I bought the kit. Now what." Include some links too, if you feel up to it. (As a pre-purchase newbie I found the arduino site pretty confusing, and ended up at Adafruit's as often as not, because stuff seemed to be laid out better.) I know this stuff is available elsewhere, but yours might be the site the person comes to.

  4. You have the date you wrote the article front and center. Excellent, and important info for the newbie. Keep it up to date.

What is the opposite of a sensor?


Good article.

  • Brian

Sircaster - Some more :-

Thanks for the input, and thanks for "annunciator" Brian. :)

I will look into expanding/adding to the article in the next couple of days to include European packages, and a couple more North American sets.

What is the opposite of a sensor?


Another option might be "actuator".


Another one to consider:

Hey folks, I’ve posted a second part to this, including 5 more kits (3 from the UK.) Thanks for the recommendations…

Edit: Link my be important :slight_smile:

Very nice article.

However, looks like you didn't actually read the book ;)

Also, the reason my kit is called "Arduino Compatible" is because I had it advertised as an Arduino Starter Kit and Mr. Banzi sent me an email to say that I wasn't allowed to call it that as I did not have an Arduino Board in the kit, but had a Freeduino Board. I believe this makes it confusing for the customer but there is not a lot I can do about that. As far as I am concerned the word 'Arduino' doesn't mean the board as there is also the IDe and the Bootloader. The Freeduino Boards use the same IDE and Bootloader and the hardware is also identical.

The ony way i can call the kit an Arduino Starter Kit is by putting a genuine Arduino in it and the only way I can order Arduino's is through in the UK with a minimum order of £500 before VAT and P&P.

Indeed the kit is HUGE and is set to get bigger as the next incarantion will have 2 x 7-segment displays and a 16x2 LCD display for NO extra cost :)

Thanks Mike,

Yeah, I haven't read the book. I just saw that recently you released the book for free. I'll take a look at it when I get a moment. I'm very interested. When I had written the section on your kit, the book wasn't available. (I'll make a note in the article.)

I made an extra effort to point out that a compatible board is just as good as an official one. I want beginners to be clear that they don't have to go with the official board. I think it's great you went with a Freeduino. It's just as good, shows the spirit of the whole thing, and brings down costs, which is pretty great for everyone.

For those in India, I'd like to recommend Bhasha:

They make Freeduino boards - I have purchased 2 from them, and the experience was great. (I have no affiliation with them.)

This artcile is about Starter Kits. Do they do Starter Kits?

I've seen that company before and they are very expensive.

This artcile is about Starter Kits. Do they do Starter Kits?

I just looked, and actually their "kit" consists of only the power supply and cables, so I guess really they don't qualify.

I've seen that company before and they are very expensive.

I found them to have reasonable prices. The Freeduino (Decimilia compatible) USB board from them costs Rs. 1300 (about US$ 26)

I have not found any other seller for Freeduino/Arduino in India. Buying from US/UK is much more expensive because of shipping charges and customs duty imposed by the Indian Govt.

I'm using the projects pack from and I'm happy so far. :)

Hi, We have recently launched Basic Component Kit for our arduino/freeduino/sanguino boards. This basic component kit has enough components to get you started on arduino platform and become a pro.

Check out

Your comments and feedback are welcome, if you think we need to add any specific components let us know

And quite cheap...around $ compared to others...

rgds Sharya :)


Forgive me if I've missed this, but it doesn't look like your kit actually includes an Arduino of any kind. $12 would be an amazing price if it included an official Arduino, or even a free Arduino variant. With the Freeduino you offer, the total would be more around $35.00, still a good deal I think for what your customer is getting. You should offer the components kit with a Arduino Compatible device.


Thanks for your feedback, well actually we are offering multiple variants of Arduino/Freeduino/Sanguino boards with different configurations. Most of our customers are happy to pick the board of their choice whether its Arduino Severino, Lilypad, Freeduino Serial, Freeduino USB, Freeduino Lite or even the powerful Sanguino and then get the Basic Component kit as an add-on accessory. So we have left the choice to the end user. Something like a product configurator, which is working out well.

Plus our recent tie up with Indian Postal Service (SpeedPost) has got down the domestic and international prices by 40% which also works in favour of our customers.

Win-Win situation for everybody :)