Google+ Facebook Twitter Pin It Reddit

Roll Call logo

Best Electronic Components – Worst Electronic Components

What are the Most and Least Favorite Components?

LEDs When surveyed about their most favorite components used in their electronics projects, American electronics hobbyists said that microcontrollers, LEDs, transistors, integrated circuits and Op Amps were the top five. Microcontrollers were listed as a favorite by 31% of all respondents, which is more than three times more popular than the next closest component, LEDs.

This should be no surprise as the advent of microcontrollers like Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and Picaxe have opened up electronics for a new generation of hobbyists. We've seen an increase in interest amongst hobby electronics since the Maker Movement has gained popularity throughout the last few years.

Most Favorite Components
Op Amps
Least Favorite Components

While many respondents claim to love all electronic components, when asked which electronic components are their least favorite, electronics hobbyists stated that SMDs, capacitors, inductors, resistors and batteries took the cake. This was somewhat surprising, since we learned how much hobbyists like to blow up components, capacitors included.

What's the most important electronic invention of the past 50 years?

Although over one-third of hobbyists identified the microprocessor and the internet as the most important electronic invention of the past 50 years (26% and 11% respectively), there were over 100 suggestions in total including solar cells, vacuum tubes, GPS technology, frequency counter, electric vehicles and more. The wide variation in responses stands as testament to the range of developments in electronics over the past 50 years. While it's clear that hobbyists have plenty of love for the analog devices that served as the industry's foundation, the top responses largely fell to more recent digital innovations.

Multimeters are one of the basic tools employed by an electronics hobbyist. While less than 1% (0.8%) of hobbyists report not owning a multimeter, 63.7% report owning 3 or more multimeters with most of those people (40.9%) reporting that they own at least 4 multimeters. It was surprising to see this popular tool rank in the top ten, but not the top five.

Most Important Electronics Invention of Past 50 Years

Solid State Components
Test Equipment
3D Printer
For more information, you may also enjoy:

The Great American Electronics Hobbyist Census

Getting Started with Hobby Electronics

What Does the Future Hold for Hobby Electronics?

New Technologies Lead to Hobby Electronics and the Maker Movement

If you're interested in receiving a PDF of the full results, send an email to [email protected] with "census" in the subject line and we'll send you a complimentary executive summary.

Do you have a most or least favorite component you use with your electronics hobby projects? What do you think has been the most important electronic invention of the past 50 years? Write to [email protected] and share your thoughts.