Guide to the 1K Resistor Color Code
The four band 1K resistor is one of the most common resistors in electronics. Its popularity makes it ideal to help learn the resistor color code and it’s useful to be able to readily recognize them in projects.
The 1k resistor color code allows us to quickly identify the resistance value and tolerance of a 1k ohm resistor.
In this article, we’ll cover how to read 4 band, 5 band, and 6 band 1K resistors.
1K 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 1000 Ohms, and the 4th band gives us the tolerance of the resistor.
Two Helpful Tips for Reading a Resistor:
1) Identify the 4th band first. This band is almost always gold or silver, so it is usually easy to identify.
2) Look for the gap between the 3rd and 4th band.
1K Resistor Color Chart
|4||Tolerance||Gold (or silver)||± 5%|
1000 ± 5% Ω
How To Read the 1K 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 Three – Multiplier: 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 red which corresponds to the number 2. Therefore the multiplier is 102 = 100.
So the total value of the resistance given by the colors is 10 x 102 Ω = 1000 Ω = 1kΩ.
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: 1kΩ ± 5% Ω.
This means that the actual resistance value could be anywhere from 950 Ω to 1050 Ω.
If the fourth band is silver, this means that the tolerance is 10% and the total resistance is 1kΩ ± 10% Ω. The actual resistance should be between 900 Ω and 1000 Ω.
You can use a multimeter to find out the actual resistance, but note that it will also vary slightly with temperature.
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 1K Resistor Color Code
For 1K 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.
|5||Tolerance||Gold (or silver)||± 5%|
1000 ± 5% Ω
|4-Band Resistor||5-Band Resistor||6-Band Resistor|
|1st band||1st digit of resistance value||1st digit of resistance value||1st digit of resistance value|
|2nd band||2nd digit of resistance value||2nd digit of resistance value||2nd digit of resistance value|
|3rd band||Multiplier (x 10, 100, etc)||3rd digit of resistance value||3rd digit of resistance value|
|4th band||Tolerance (± %)||Multiplier (x 10, 100, etc)||Multiplier (x 10, 100, etc)|
|5th band||N/A||Tolerance (± %)||Tolerance (± %)|
|6th band||N/A||N/A||Temperature Coefficient R(T)|
4 Band vs. 5 Band 1K 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.
So 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.
6 Band Resistors
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.