Resistor Color Coding Tutorials

Color Code Calculator

Reading 4-Band Resistors

  1. Identify the Bands: Hold the resistor with the bands toward the left. The first two bands you see are the significant digits.
  2. Decode the Colors: Use the color code chart to translate the colors of the first two bands into numbers.
  3. Multiplier: The third band’s color tells you the multiplier, which you apply to the first two digits.
  4. Tolerance: The fourth band indicates the tolerance, which is the resistor’s precision.

For example, a resistor with bands of brown, black, red, and gold represents a 1, 0, ×100Ω with ±5% tolerance, equating to a 1kΩ resistor with a tolerance of ±5%.

Reading 5-Band and 6-Band Resistors

The process is similar to 4-band resistors, but with an additional significant digit for 5-band resistors and an extra band for the temperature coefficient in 6-band resistors.

  1. Significant Digits: The first three bands represent the significant digits for 5-band resistors.
  2. Multiplier and Tolerance: The fourth band is the multiplier, and the fifth band is the tolerance.
  3. Temperature Coefficient: For 6-band resistors, the sixth band indicates the temperature coefficient.

Tips for Memorization

  • Mnemonic Devices: Create a mnemonic to remember the order of the colors, such as “BBROY of Great Britain has a Very Good Wife” for Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Grey, White.
  • Practice: Use online resistor color code calculators and quizzes to test your knowledge.
  • Real-World Application: Practice with real resistors and try to decode their values before checking with a multimeter.


Understanding resistor color codes is a fundamental skill in electronics, enabling you to quickly identify resistor values and their tolerance. With practice, you can become proficient at reading these codes, making your electronic projects more efficient and error-free. Remember, like any language, it becomes easier with use, so incorporate this skill into your regular electronics work for the best results.

Join us as we delve deeper into each aspect of resistors and their color codes, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the colorful world of electronics with confidence.