I don't mean the colored bands, but the colors of the bodies themselves. They come in brown, blue, green, etc. Is there a standard?

For instance, epanorama says:

But there are two resistor body colors which you should know what they need if youre fixing some electronics circuit. Resistor body colors white and blue are used to mark non-flammable resistors and fusible resistors. If you encounter tjis type of resistor in the circuit do not replace it with normal reistor because this would cause fire danger is something goes wring in the circuit.

Is this always true? Only with certain manufacturers?


I've seen a few manufacturers that make their high precision metal film resistors blue and their generic paper/carbon ones pale brown, but I'd guess it's not a universal thing...it's like when Walkers (Lays) crisps messed around with the colour flavour combos, everyone had to relearn cheese & onion and salt & vinegar grrrr!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Chips...chip resistors...mmmm \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Oct 14 '10 at 21:02

It's up to the manufacturer, it doesn't have any relevance to the properties of the device.


You haven't seen different colors until you've seen inside a scope, or at least an old one.

HP 54501A

From a HP 54501A.

You can take a guess at what the colors mean, but without knowing the manufacturers it is difficult, nigh impossible. In this example suspect the green ones are precision (probably ±0.1%), while the pink and blue ones have larger tolerance, due to the relative quantities of them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ They don't make 'em like they used to. \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Jaffey Oct 15 '10 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just compare to an equivalent Rigol 100 MHz scope or even the 50 MHz models and you can see the difference. Then again, the scope did apparently cost $3,300 USD new. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas O Oct 15 '10 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ wow - it's like a sweet shop with all the bright colours :) \$\endgroup\$ – Jim Oct 25 '10 at 15:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ waking a 6 year old thread up... but I just wanted to add that the green "resistors" are likely inductors. Small wirewound inductors that looked like green resistors were commonplace around that period. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Onn Jul 24 '16 at 11:42

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