WORKSHOP VIDEO: Parts we stock and part storage

What parts do you stock, and how do you store them?

In this workshop video we cover:

  • The common parts we stock and try to use in every design
  • Substitutions and shortcuts we take when building a prototype
  • How we store our parts

Sources for most of the parts in the video are available on our master partlist.

Continue below for a short summary of the parts.

0603/0805 Resistors. 2K and 10K in reels of 4000.

0603/0805 Capacitors. 18 or 27pF, 0.1uF, and 1.0uF in reels of 4000.

A case/Kemet A/1206 Tantalum. Bulk buys of 1000+, though we try to avoid them now in favor of 10uF ceramic capacitors. Tantalum is a conflict mineral, and that gives us a sad.

  SOD-323 Diode. 500+, or a full reel. This is a general purpose diode, we use BAS16J which is good for around 100mA. Need more current? For switch mode power supplies and similar we reach for a 1A+ Scotty diode.

NPN transistor SOT-23-BEC. 500+, or a full reel. We’re stocking BC818 lately, good to 100mA or so. BEC is our preferred pinpoint. Just remember “boys eat cheese”, or substitute your own!

LEDs 0805. We stick with 0805 LEDs because 0603 is down right tiny. LEDs are expensive so we only buy them by the 100 or 500s.

HC-49/US SMD crystal. The cheapest. We use this package whenever possible. 12, 16, and 20MHz are in the chest of drawers. A dozen other frequencies are on hand for odd uses (25MHz for ENC28J60 Ethernet transceiver).

4x6mm SMD crystal. More expensive than HC-49/U. We use sparingly when space is at a premium. 12MHz and 8MHz are the values we usually have available.

SOT-23-5 voltage regulator, with enable switch. Usually 150mA. We buy 100+ of 3.3volts and 5volts, but stock a range with 1.2volt, 2.5volt, and adjustable regulators in this package.

SOT-223 voltage regulator. Usually provides 800mA. We buy 100+ of 3.3volt and 5volt. These are handy when 150mA isn’t enough.

0603/0805 ferrite bead. 1A+ rating. We buy 100+, though you can leave it out of most prototypes.

5.2mm SMD (or 4.8mm) button. A pick and place friendly button. We buy them 500+ at a time for the best price break.

01×40 0.1″ (2.54mm) male straight/right angle pin header. Great replacement for shrouded headers you can’t source quickly. Buy big bulk bundles on eBay for cheap.

Join the Conversation


  1. Good video. I learned about using binder pages for SMT parts at DP a while ago, and it’s a lot better than the mess of cut tape strips loose in the toolbox which was my previous situation.
    The Adafruit 0805, 0603 sets are nice and tidy. and they also have just the book with empty pages by itself in case you already got some SMT assortments elsewhere…

    1. I have the MDFly one too. I mentioned it in the ‘extended’ video, but it ended up on the cutting room floor :)

  2. is a good place to create a component database. I use it to check if I got a component before I jump into the pile of parts.

  3. Who is we? You always refer to We in your videos but who else is there, I have never seen you introduce the others. Would be nice to have a tour and meet video

    1. We are an editorial team, and the Dangerous Prototypes style guide dictates the use of WE/US/OUR instead of I/ME/MINE:

      It is a hang over from all the other blogs I’ve written for with that tend to do the same thing.

      You can meet (part) of the team on the who are we wiki, I just asked everyone to update it earlier this week, so missing people should be there monday or so:

  4. My parts are just in boxes for each design I have. Shared common parts are in another box. Everything else is category drawers (passive, active, etc).

  5. Never knew about the SMD sample books. Very compact and useful. I’ll have to get some.

  6. You need to get a label printer! I got myself a Brother P-Touch that prints on 6 to 20mm tape, and with the freely downloadable P-touch Editor, I can print batches of (automatically cut) labels from an Excel spreadsheet. Just set up the layout, choose which columns in the spreadsheet to link to which textboxes in the layout and print.

    Sorry if this sounds like an advertisement, but I really do think its quite handy :)

  7. I would be particularly interested in advice about ESD-safe storage for ICs (mix of PTH & SMD).

  8. Ian, I’ve used 2.25″ x 3.5″ coin envelopes for several years. I still have tons of thru hole components and using these little coin envelopes seems to work for me. I write the part number and or value on the envelope, right along the top, when the envelope is turned on it’s side. The envelopes can be sorted manually and stored in a cardboard box, bin or tray.

    The nice thing about this method, is that you can easily see all the values when they’re stored in a tray. You pull the envelope you need, and work with just those parts while you’re prototyping. When done, return the envelope back into the box or tray, in it’s proper place.

    If you’ve run out of a component, the envelope now serves as a reminder of what to order. I have the part number and sometimes the supplier info on the envelope too. I’ve even sketched usage information on the back side.

    Coin envelopes are cheap, around $9 for 500 in office supply stores.

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