Common SMD resistors: a size comparison

It’s very hard to find new and interesting chips in DIP packages nowadays. Hell, it’s even worse than this: many electronics manufacturers are now even dumping the SOIC package (0.05″ / 1.27mm pitch) completely in favor of ever smaller sizes.

If you are starting with surface mount components, you will have to solder a lot of resistors. They come in various sizes, but here’s a quick size comparison chart:

Common SMD resistors package size comparison. I included a DIP package so you can clearly see the incredible size difference.
Common SMD resistors package size comparison. I included a DIP package so you can clearly see the incredible size difference.

 

In practice, for us hobbyists; 0402 resistors are too small. And I’d even dare to say: 0603 are not worth it. Of course with some patience and practice you can solder these tiny specks of dust but you have to ask yourself if risking a solder bridge to save 1mm on your PCB is worth it.

I personally like 1206 resistors. They are considered “enormous” for a surface mount resistor, but they are perfect for custom made projects. They’re also generally rated 1/4W which is the typical rating of the small through-hole resistors. One for one replacements, for a fraction of the size.

Anyhow, I had trouble finding a clear picture with a size comparison so I decided to make my own; and I hope this will be useful for someone else!

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