resistors and tolerance

As a newbie I have to ask:

I need a resistor that is 56K, 5 tolerance. Can I use a resister I have that is 56K, 1 tolerance? I would assume it would work as it is "better" than plus or minus 5 tolerance.

Yes, it is just guaranteed to be closer to 56K ohms.

I would assume it would work as it is "better" than plus or minus 5 tolerance.

In certain analog applications, say and op-amp circuit where the resistances sets the gain, a lower-tolerance resistor will make the gain more accurate. Or if you have a stereo amplifier, the left & right channels gains will be better-matched with lower tolerance resistors.

But, there are many cases (analog or digital) where you can use anything between 5k & 50k and it will make no difference in performance.

Statistically, there is a chance that the 5% resistor is closer to 56k than the 1% resistor!

I used to wonder if they selected-out the "best" resistors and sold them as 1%, but apparently they don't manufacturer them that way. But, I wouldn't be too surprised if 0.1% or 0.01% resistors are selected-out of the batch.

As has been said, sometimes it matters how close it is but in many cases it does not.

When you need to tie an input pin to 5v, we usually say use 10k. This can be anywhere from 1k to over 30k. Here the tolerance does not matter.

In digital circuits with the Arduino, tolerance is unimportant in most cases.