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. 



This list is (as you can probably tell) North America specific.
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Step 1: All Electronics (

Picture of All Electronics (
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 (

Picture of Futurlec (
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 (

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

Step 4: Sparkfun (

Picture of Sparkfun (
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 (

Picture of Sure Electronics (
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

Check out FoxyTronics at

Logo11015 months ago

add also this good resource website for electronic components :

Great list! I'd like to comment on Solarbotics.

I enjoy ordering from them. The selection isn't huge, and some items can be overpriced, but I've found that comparing them to other distributors such as and yield similar prices. You can even find some of the same products as on bigger websites (such as sparkfun stepper drivers, a number of Adafruit products, etc).

If you're in the Calgary, AB area ( like I am) I'd recommend same-day pickup! Orders placed before 2:00pm can be picked up after 4:00pm. There's no storefront, but they have a reception desk, and welcome pick-ups. For me, this is perfect if I'm in need of a part and I don't want to wait or pay extra for shipping. There's no additional cost for pick-up, besides a $5 handling fee (which is removed if you spend $30 or more).

The staff is kind and helpful, and seem to have a good knowledge of the products they sell. I've spent hundreds there in $30 orders, because I prefer their service to most others.

I hope this is helpful!

Yo thanx for compiling this. I often use allelectronics, futurlec and jameco. Another one you might be into is
Oliverhall1 year ago

Hello, you may consider adding:

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

They are in Quebec, Canada

liam23172 years 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)  liam23172 years ago
yeah for sure

Hi Fuzzy-Wobble,

Was hoping you would consider my company: Galco Industrial Electronics ( 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!

diy_bloke2 years ago
For the netherlands:
For Germany:
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  diy_bloke2 years 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_bloke2 years ago
'Sorry this list is not going to cover the European stores'
diy_bloke2 years 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_bloke2 years ago
That is interesting...
MikB2 years ago
To the Newark/Element14 family, for UK/Europe you can add "Farnell In One" and "CPC"

Also in the UK Rapid Electronics -- I've dealt with them over the years, no problems.
mr tech2 years ago
Good Job. Here's a good handful more, some I have ordered from, the rest I plan to order from them. - all kinds of stuff, low prices. Some new stuff, some surplus; decent grab bags. - Chinese component supplier. VERY cheap prices on some items. I haven't ordered from them but I have heard they do OK. - decent prices, good selection, always find something of interest - similar to the Aliexpress site. Cheap chinese products, free shipping though - Generally has a few items you can't find elsewhere, OK prices - name says it all - vintage parts, has all types of electrical surplus items, not just components - little bit of everything, has wholesale pricing - various surplus items - tools, tools, tools. - machinists tools and supplies - 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.
randofo2 years ago
You're missing some. Do you want more suggestions? ;-)
Fuzzy-Wobble (author)  randofo2 years ago
pfred22 years ago
Looks good.
glmedina2 years ago
Very nice. Thanks.
WriterChick2 years ago
Wow, ta for this! I'm forwarding it to my son, an electronics handyman.