# 10K Resistor Color Code

The 10K resistor is one of the most common resistors in electronics. Its popularity makes it perfect for learning the resistor color code. It’s useful to be able to readily recognize them in projects, along with other common resistors.

The 10k resistor color code allows us to quickly identify the resistance value and tolerance of a 10k (10,000) ohm resistor.

In this article, we’ll cover how to read 4 band, 5 band, and 6 band 10K resistors.

## 10K Resistor Color Bands

It’s important to realize that not all four bands correspond to the amount of resistance in Ohms. The first three bands tell us that the resistor’s nominal value is 10,000 Ohms, and the 4th band gives us the tolerance of the resistor.

## What Does a 10K Resistor Look Like?

The 10k resistor has the following bands: brown, black, orange, and gold or silver. The image below shows what most 10k resistors look like:

1) Identify the 4th band first. It should be separated from the other three bands by a small gap. This band is also almost always gold or silver, so it is usually the easiest to identify. This band gives us the tolerance.

2) After identifying the 4th band, look at the bands on the opposite side of the resistor. The first two bands give us a base value, which needs to be multiplied by the multiplier to identify the full resistance value.

3) The third band is the multiplier. Multiply the value designated by the first two bands with the multiplier to find the full value of the resistor.

## How To Read the 10K Resistor Color Code

Resistor color codes always have digits, followed by a multiplier, follower by a tolerance value.

For a four band resistor, each band has a specific role:

Band One – 1st Digit: This is the first digit of the resistance value. The first band is brown, which corresponds to the value 1.

Band Two – 2nd Digit: The second digit of the resistance value. This band is black, which corresponds to the value 0. This is added to the right of the first digit (from band one).

Therefore the digits from band one and band two are: 10.

Band ThreeMultiplier: Takes the digits and multiplies them by a value given by this band. The actual multiplier is 10n, where n is the value of the band color. In this case, the third band is orange which corresponds to the number 3. Therefore the multiplier is 103 = 1,000.

So the total value of the resistance given by the colors is 10 x 103 Ω = 10,000 Ω = 10kΩ.

Band Four – Tolerance: Gives the value of the tolerance for the resistor. The most common values are 5% (designated by a gold band), and 10% (designated by a silver band). This example uses a gold band, giving us a tolerance of 5%.

The total resistance is therefore: 10kΩ ± 5% Ω.

This means that the actual resistance value could be anywhere from 9500 Ω to 10500 Ω.

If the fourth band is silver, this means that the tolerance is 10% and the total resistance is 10kΩ ± 10% Ω. The actual resistance should be between 9,000 Ω and 11,000 Ω.

You can use a multimeter to find out the actual resistance, but note that it will also vary slightly with temperature. The temperature dependence is given by the last band in 6 band resistors (this is covered below).

Multimeters are a great way to check any resistors you aren’t sure of, just be sure to follow practical safety guidelines.

## 4-Band vs. 5-Band vs. 6-Band 1K Resistor Color Code

You will probably encounter 5 band or even 6 band resistors on your journeys in electronics.

Luckily, it is very easy to read 5 or 6 band resistors if you already know how to read a four band resistor.

### 5 Band 10K Resistor Color Code

For 10K resistors with five bands, the first three bands will be brown, black, and black (indicating 100) and the fourth band will be brown indicating a multiplier of x10.

### 4 Band vs. 5 Band 10K Resistor

Four band resistors have two bands for the value, one for the multiplier, and one for the tolerance.

Five band resistors add an extra band for the value.

Therefore five band resistors have three bands for the value, one for the multiplier, and one for the tolerance. The process of analyzing the resistor is the same; start with the 5th band, looking for a small gap between the fourth and fifth band. This will be the tolerance. Then go back to the first four bands to calculate the resistance value.

For a 10K resistor with five bands, we should see an order of brown (1), black (0), black (0), red (x100), gold/silver (± 5 or 10%).

### 6 Band 10k Resistor

Six band resistors are exactly like five band resistors except they have an extra band to indicate the temperature coefficient, i.e. how much the resistance will change with temperature.

In this case, the last two bands (i.e. the fifth and sixth bands) should be closely spaced, with a gap between the fourth and fifth bands.