Instructables

Top / Best DIY Electronic Stores & Suppliers

Picture of Top / Best DIY Electronic Stores & Suppliers
Over the last few years I have ordered countless items online for various electronics and DIY projects. Ordering stuff can be a pain - tedious, frustrating, and often, overly expensive. This is the first Instructable you should read before beginning any electronics-centric project!

Each step has specific details about the stores. 

These are just my opinions based on my experience. This is in no way definitive. I encourage you to leave comments about each store based on your experience so we can build a stronger evaluation. I can potentially add more stores upon request - I know I left many out. 


ELECTRONICS


MECHANICAL, MATERIALS & MANUFACTURING


This list is (as you can probably tell) North America specific.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: All Electronics (allelectronics.com)

Picture of All Electronics (allelectronics.com)
The Good
  • Amazing prices on tools and small components
  • Good selection
  • They have a storefront 
The Mediocre
  • Surplus parts are sometimes a bit odd
The Not-So-Good
  • No datasheets and limited part descriptions
  • Slow shipping 

Step 2: Futurlec (futurlec.com)

Picture of Futurlec (futurlec.com)
The Good
  • Amazing prices!
The Mediocre
  • Site search and navigation is a bit odd
The Not-So-Good
  • Some knock-off and bogus products
  • Slow shipping to USA
  • I have seen others leave terrible ratings and reviews

Step 3: Adafruit (adafruit.com)

Picture of Adafruit (adafruit.com)
The Good
  • Great resources and code samples
  • Unique products
  • Strong community
The Mediocre
  • Small inventory
  • Customer service
The Not-So-Good
  • ?

Step 4: Sparkfun (sparkfun.com)

Picture of Sparkfun (sparkfun.com)
The Good
  • Great resources and code samples
  • Unique products
  • Strong community
  • Open Source
The Mediocre
  • ?
The Not-So-Good
  • Some of the small parts and components are insanely expensive 

Step 5: Sure Electronics (sureelectronics.net)

Picture of Sure Electronics (sureelectronics.net)
The Good
  • Holy hell they have some cheap stuff
  • Unique items
The Mediocre
  • Very unusual inventory
The Not-So-Good
  • Search and navigation is rubbish
  • Expensive shipping to USA
Yo thanx for compiling this. I often use allelectronics, futurlec and jameco. Another one you might be into is tubesandmore.com
Oliverhall4 months ago

Hello, you may consider adding: http://voltatek.com

No physical store, only webstore. This is a new webstore.

They are in Quebec, Canada

liam23171 year ago
Thank you for this instructable! Lots of very good info here. One thing I hope you could add would be what companies have a minimum purchase amount or a minimum shipping amount. A few times I have wanted to buy a just a dollar or two worth of parts but once I made it to the checkout the site would bump it up to their ~$20 minimum.
Thank you!
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  liam23171 year ago
yeah for sure

Hi Fuzzy-Wobble,

Was hoping you would consider my company: Galco Industrial Electronics (www.Galco.com). Galco is a Factory Authorized Stocking Distributor for Over One Million Products from more than 150 Brands of Industrial Electrical & Electronic Automation, Controls and Component Products; On-Site and Send-In Repair Services for Industrial Control & Automation Products for Over 2,000 Brands; Engineered Systems Integration, Retrofits & Upgrades for Variable Speed Drives, CNC, PLC Systems, Dynamometers & Test Stand Applications.

Anyways, thanks for your consideration!

JesusGeek1 year ago
I love tayda, great prices, great quality, huge selection, and shipping is fast and safe (for the parts)!
diy_bloke1 year ago
For the netherlands:
http://www.dickbest.nl
http://www.conrad.nl/ce/
For Germany:
http://www.conrad.de/ce/
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  diy_bloke1 year ago
Sorry this list is not going to cover the European stores. I just don't know enough about the DIY scene in Europe, nor the hundreds of stores that support it.
I realize that, that is why I mentioned the 2 european ones
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  diy_bloke1 year ago
'Sorry this list is not going to cover the European stores'
diy_bloke1 year ago
Interesting. I checked taydaelectronics who are actually in bangkok and they seem to be able to ship something for $0.99 whereas a company in my own country charges Euro 2.50
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  diy_bloke1 year ago
That is interesting...
MikB1 year ago
To the Newark/Element14 family, for UK/Europe you can add "Farnell In One" and "CPC"

http://uk.farnell.com/
http://cpc.farnell.com/

Also in the UK Rapid Electronics http://www.rapidonline.com/ -- I've dealt with them over the years, no problems.
mr tech1 year ago
Good Job. Here's a good handful more, some I have ordered from, the rest I plan to order from them.

http://www.alltronics.com/ - all kinds of stuff, low prices. Some new stuff, some surplus; decent grab bags.
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ - Chinese component supplier. VERY cheap prices on some items. I haven't ordered from them but I have heard they do OK.
http://www.jameco.com/ - decent prices, good selection, always find something of interest
http://dx.com/ - similar to the Aliexpress site. Cheap chinese products, free shipping though
http://www.web-tronics.com/ - Generally has a few items you can't find elsewhere, OK prices
http://www.electronicsurplus.com - name says it all
http://www.surplussales.com - vintage parts, has all types of electrical surplus items, not just components
http://www.hosfelt.com/ - little bit of everything, has wholesale pricing
http://www.excesssolutions.com/ - various surplus items
http://www.wihatools.com/ - tools, tools, tools.
http://www.victornet.com/ - machinists tools and supplies
https://www.verical.com - similar to octopart
Nice writeup, I have used several of these companies myself. Another source to sometimes look at is ebay. I have bought many odd and older electronic parts off of ebay over the years.
Seeed: Instructions for kits compatible with Arduino and their own equivalent are somewhat nonspecific, probably because Arduino has so many different header arrangements. Other than that, though, their stuff is great quality, but not too forgiving for beginners- through-plated solder holes can't be desoldered with just an iron.
randofo1 year ago
You're missing some. Do you want more suggestions? ;-)
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  randofo1 year ago
definitely
pfred21 year ago
Looks good.
glmedina1 year ago
Very nice. Thanks.
Wow, ta for this! I'm forwarding it to my son, an electronics handyman.