Resistor Types (Different Type of Resistors)

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There are different types of resistor available in the market and you need to select one for your application based on your need.
Following sections describes in brief about various types of resistors available in market that one can use.Kindly note that the values corresponding to the resistor types will only provide estimate but not exact values.

Different Types of Resistors

Type Precision Charcteristics Used in
NIST 0.001% Ultra-High Precision Standard measuring Instruments
Foil Resistors >0.01% Extremely low TCR; Ultraprecision Precision DC measurements
Thin Film >0.01% Usually Costly; High Precision; Low variance with Temperature hybrid assemblies, microwave and RF circuits, amplifiers, oscillators, attenuators, couplers, and filters.
Cermet Resistor >2%
Carbon composition Resistor 5% Very poor tolerance; Unreliable; Old technology
Carbon Film Resistor 5% Simple technology; Cheaper; Low Precision
Thick Film >1% High variance with Temperature; Cheaper Printers, automotive, computers, cell phone, attery chargres
Metal Film 5% Good Precision; Relatively low variance with temperature
Fusable Metal Film resistor >2%
Wirewound Precision 1% High Power; Good Tolerance; Inductive affect
Grid Resistors 5% Used in High current applications
Filament Resistor >5%
Power Film Resistor 2% to 0.1%.
Thermistors >1% Resistance varies with temperature

Resistors can also be categorised based on the type of mounting:
Though hole
Surface Mount (SMD)
Chassis Mount

Fastly becoming popular are the surface mount devices and are almost replacing the through hole types rappidly in all the applications.

Following table lists various diamentions of SMD resistors available in the market. However, while selecting the resistor you need to take care about the power rating of the resistor and also the tolerance required.

Different Types of Surface Mount Resistors

Size Length (mm) Width (mm) Height (mm)
0201 0.6 0.3 0.25
0402 1.0 0.5 0.25
0603 1.6 0.8 0.45
0805 2.0 1.25 0.5
1210 3.2 1.6 0.6
2010 5.1 2.6 0.6
2512 6.5 2.5 0.6
0201 0.6 3.2 0.6

Above are different kinds of resitors available in the market.
Future updates Why, where and how to buy resistors and capacitors

Resistors can also be selected based on the power rating.

Basic types Resistor Wattages available in the market

Wattage Typical Base Element
1/80W (12.5mW) thin film resistors
1/20W (50mW) thin & thick film resistors
1/10W (100mW) thin & thick film resistors
1/8W (125mW) thin & thick film resistors
1/4W (250mW) thin & thick film, carbon composition, Metal Film resistors
1/2W (500mW) thick film, metal film
1W thick film, metal film, wirewound, bare metal, ceramic
5W thick film, metal film, wirewound, bare metal, ceramic, wirewound ceramic, metal oxide, metal foil, metal strip, Manganin
10W thick film, metal film, wirewound, cement, metal oxide, ceramic
20W thick film, metal film, wirewound, ceramic
25W thick film, metal film, wirewound, ceramic
50W thick film, metal film, wirewound, ceramic
100W thick film, metal film, wirewound, ceramic
1kW thick film, metal film, wirewound
5kW thick film

More varities of resistors are available in the market, but the above data provides most frequently used ones.
Note: above data is for reference only and website is not liable for any information provided.