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Top 4 Arduino Starter Kits for DIY Electronic Enthusiasts!

(Last Updated On: July 14, 2017)

Arduino is an electronics platform that utilizes easy-to-use software and hardware.  If you are into DIY electronics, there’s a fat chance you’ve already or would soon come across that name.

Interested?  There are a variety of starter kits that would help you get started on Arduino development.  An Arduino kit can allow you to do simple things such as lighting a bulb and sending a Facebook status, among other stuff.

What are the best Arduino starter kits available?

Contents

  • The Official Arduino Starter Kit
  • Vilros Uno Ultimate Starter Kit
  • ARDX Starter Kit for Arduino
  • SunFounder New UNO R3 Super Kit
  • Side by side comparison

1. The Official Arduino Starter Kit

What better way to get started than to get the Official Arduino Starter Kit?  The kit has everything you need to create and complete 15 projects.  It comes with the Project Book that details how to finish these projects and provides a step-by-step tutorial for each one.

It also comes with the most basic components that you will need for the projects.  These components can also be used for other more advanced projects.

Some of the projects you could create include the Love-o-Meter, Mood Cue, Digital Hourglass, Motorized Pinwheel, Crystal Ball, and Hacking Buttons.

The components packed inside the box include:

  • The 170-page Project Book
  • Arduino Uno
  • USB cable
  • Solid core jumper wires
  • Resistors
  • LEDs in different colors
  • Pushbuttons
  • Phototransistor
  • Diodes
  • Capacitors
  • Potentiometer
  • Transparent gels
  • Stranded jumper wires
  • Mosfet transistors
  • Breadboard
  • Tilt sensor
  • Easy-to-assemble wooden base
  • 9v battery snap
  • Temperature sensor
  • Small servo motor
  • Optocouplers
  • Small DC motor
  • Alphanumeric LCD
  • Piezo capsule
  • Male pins strip
  • H-bridge motor driver

You can buy the Official Arduino Starter Kit for €79.90 or around $85 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).  This is just perfect for those who are beginners in both robotics and electronics.  The projects range in scope so you learn about the different capabilities of Arduino, including creating control panels, making music, animation, light, and others.

The projects are arranged so that each one builds on the previous project.  This way, you learn about circuits first, and then coding, and then acquire other skills as you progress.  In fact, the most difficult projects in this kit are the last three projects.  It also helps that all components are packaged neatly and safely.

You might have a problem putting everything back into the box once you take them out, though.  Not really that much of a problem if you have another storage box handy.

There are also complaints about the Arduino UNO board being easy to break.  Luckily, the kit has a wooden base that you can attach it to so that you could keep it in a safe place.

The Official Arduino Starter Kit is the perfect kit for beginners to learn from and build their skills.  However, it is not just for beginners as the projects become more and more difficult as you progress.

Additionally, you can take everything you have learned and eventually create your own projects using the components included in this kit!

2. Vilros Uno Ultimate Starter Kit

If the Official Arduino Starter Kit has a 170-page instruction book, the Vilros Uno Ultimate Starter Kit’s instruction guide is a 72-page one.

This kit is great for learning about different components, what they do, and how to get them to work for your projects as these are thoroughly explained in the instruction book.  For instance, the guide explains how LEDs are programmed and gives you great insight on how to use LEDs in your project.

The kit includes more than 190 components, such as:

  • Arduino Uno Rev3 board
  • Arduino breadboard
  • Arduino and breadboard holder
  • Shift register
  • Transistors
  • Diodes
  • DC motor with wires
  • Small servo,
  • 1 5V relay
  • Temp sensor
  • USB cable
  • Jumper wires
  • LEDs
  • Photocells
  • Resistors

The Vilros Uno Ultimate Starter Kit has a list price of $129.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), but you can find it on Amazon at close to half its original price.  That gives you tremendous savings as all 190 components cost more than $100 when you buy them separately.

These components can help you complete dozens of Arduino projects.  Aside from teaching you electronics, the Uno Rev3 board also teaches you coding and programming.

However, the Vilros Uno Ultimate Starter Kit only includes an explanation of what the various components are and what they do.  It does not have a list of projects that you can accomplish with them.

This isn’t necessarily a problem as there are several resources on the Internet that can help you with project ideas.  There are also “For Dummies” books that you can turn to for help.

3. ARDX Starter Kit for Arduino

The ARDX Starter Kit for Arduino is great for beginners because it needs no soldering skills.  That means you can give it to younger kids if they show an interest in robotics and electronics early on.

This is the perfect kit for those who are new to electronics and are simply curious to dive in.  It comes with an illustrated instructions manual that takes you through 13 activities that are designed to make you feel more familiar with Arduino and electronics.

It has paper overlays that can help you put wires and parts into the breadboards easily, helping you avoid the frustration of placing them wrong.

The kit includes the following components:

  • Arduino UNO R3
  • Full color guide
  • Premium jumper wires
  • USB cable
  • 9V battery clip
  • LED bulbs
  • Piezo Sensor
  • Toy DC motor
  • 9g High Sensitive Mini Servo
  • 74HC595
  • Buzzer
  • 1M resistor
  • Pushbuttons
  • Potentiometer (10K)
  • Light sensor (5528)
  • Temperature sensor TMP36
  • Relay (5v,3A/120VAC)
  • P2N2222A
  • Resistors
  • Capacitor
  • 1N4001
  • Breadboard
  • Male pin header
  • Plastic rivet
  • Acrylic holder
  • Rubber bumpers
  • Color breadboard layout sheets

4. SunFounder New UNO R3 Super Kit

The Sunfounder Super Kit has a 73-page instruction book that details 19 projects.  The projects in the book are great for beginners as they include detailed instructions as well as source codes.  The kit also has everything you need to complete these 19 projects.

Lessons include how to make LED blinks, how to control LEDs, how to control DC motors, how to create different kinds of displays, and how to create simple devices such as a traffic light, a small fan, or a light alarm.

The starter kit sells for $34 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) on the manufacturer’s online store and includes the following components:

  • Project Box
  • Booklet
  • Resistors
  • LEDs
  • Capacitors
  • Transistors
  • Pin headers
  • Timer IC
  • Optocouplers
  • Shift Resister
  • H-Bridge
  • Accelerometer
  • Rotary Encoder
  • Push-Button
  • Switch
  • Potentiometer
  • Displays
  • DC Motor
  • Diode rectifiers
  • Breadboard
  • USB Cable
  • Jumper wires
  • Dupont wires
  • Passive Buzzer
  • Fan

Final words and side by side comparison of the best Arduino starter kits

All of these starter kits are great for people who want to learn more about electronics and robotics.  These starter kits are all geared for beginners and they teach you the basics so that you can create your own projects using the components that are included in the box.

A side-by-side comparison of these top four Arduino starter kits can help you decide which one is perfect for you:

 

Official Arduino Starter Kit Vilros Ultimate Starter Kit ARDX Starter kit for Arduino Sunfounder Super Kit
Price $85 $130 $70 $34
Projects 15 12 13 19
Genuine UNO R3
Atmega 328P Chip
Breadboard 30-row 30-row 30-row 60-row
16×2 char LCD ü√
Red LEDs 8 10 12 16
Green LEDs 8 13 2
Yellow LEDs 8 10 2 2
Blue LEDS 3
White LEDs 1 2
RGB LEDS 1 1 1 1
Optocoupler 1 2
Potentiometers 3 1 1 1
Pushbuttons 10 2 3 5
DC Motor
Piezo
Servo
Temp Sensor
Photoresistors
H-bridge IC
Tilt Sensor
Relay
Accelerometer
7-seg display
8×8 Dot Matrix LED
555 timer

 

If you have a limited budget, you cannot go wrong with the Sunfounder Super Kit, which has the lowest list price out of all starter kits discussed here.  Not only that, the Sunfounder Kit has the most projects included, complete with step-by-step instructions for each one.

The lower price, however, comes with sacrifices.  Using the Sunfounder Super Kit, you will not learn about different sensors such as the temperature and tilt sensors.  It also does not make use of a genuine UNO R3, but instead has the company’s own flavor UNO R3.

It is, however, the only kit that gives you an accelerometer, a 60-row breadboard, a 555 timer, and several displays, including 7-seg display and the 8×8 Dot Matrix LED.

Meanwhile, the Official Arduino Starter Kit gives you the chance to complete 15 projects with a kit priced at $85.  You can get lower-priced kits on Amazon, as well.  You will love the number of LEDs that are included here, and this kit has more color for its LEDs than any other kits.  It also has more pushbuttons and potentiometers.

The most expensive starter kit is the Vilros Ultimate Starter Kit, with a list price of $130.  However, it only gives detailed instructions for 12 projects.  Plus, it has just about the same components offered by other starter kits.

In between these three is the ArdX Starter Kit for Arduino, which is moderately priced at $70 with instructions for 13 projects, a genuine UNO R3, 30 row breadboard, and basically the same components found in the expensive Vilros kit.  In fact, comparing it only with Vilros, you would see that the ARDX Starter Kit for Arduino has more components than the Vilros kit, except that it does not have the 16 x 2 character LCD display.

Lastly, aside from these starter kits, there are other kits that you can buy that would teach you how to create a single, more complex project.  There are also sensor kits, IoT kits, smart home kits, and other kits that you can buy to expand on your Arduino journey.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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