Resistor color code bands explained
Resistors color codes should be read from left to right, when the grouping of the rings is to the left. If it is a 5% or 10% resistor, the gold and silver ring must be to the right. The silver and gold rings are for tolerance, and they can never be the first ring.
Resistors with 3 bands are all 20% tolerance resistors and should be decoded as a 4 band resistor.
Resistors with 6 bands are special resistors with a temperature coefficient band. These are used in equipment where the resistors ability to withstand a certain temperature, is critical.
On SMD and other small resistors, the value can be given in a numerical way, like “103F”. These numbers should be decoded in the table as a 4 band resistors.
In order to write Ohm values easily in schematics, R is used for sub 1000 Ohm values, as 0R1 = 0.1 Ohm. K is kilo and is used for thousands as in 4K7 = 4700 Ohm. M is mega and is used for millions as in 10M = 10000000 Ohm.
Resistor values table
|Color||1st band||2nd band||3rd band||Multiplier||Tolerance|
|Brown||1||1||1||10 Ω||1% (F)|
|Red||2||2||2||100 Ω||2% (G)|
|Green||5||5||5||100 KΩ||0.5% (D)|
|Blue||6||6||6||1 MΩ||0.25% (C)|
|Violet||7||7||7||10 MΩ||0.1% (B)|
|Gold||–||–||–||0.1 Ω||5% (J)|
|Silver||–||–||–||0.01 Ω||10% (K)|
It can also be a good idea to use a resistor color code calculator, to get the correct values for a band resistor. If you are designing a electronic circuit that uses transistors, you might be interested in using the transistor base resistor calculator.
Published September 24, 2013. Updated November 1, 2021.