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There are plenty of great beginner Arduino projects 10 Great Arduino Projects for Beginners 10 Great Arduino Projects for Beginners Completing an Arduino project gives you a sense of satisfaction like no other. Most beginners aren't sure where to start though, and even beginner's projects can seem rather daunting. Read More  that you can use to get started, but you’ll need an Arduino and some components first. Here’s our pick of 4 of the best starter kits What's in Your Arduino Starter Kit? [Arduino Beginners] What's in Your Arduino Starter Kit? [Arduino Beginners] Faced with a box full of electronic components, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Here's a guide to exactly what you'll find in your kit. Read More for any beginning Arduino enthusiast.

Funduino Advanced Starter Kit ($50)

funduino-advanced-kit

This kit includes everything you need to get started with electronics Beginner's Electronics: 10 Skills You Need to Know Beginner's Electronics: 10 Skills You Need to Know Many of us have never even touched a soldering iron - but making things can incredibly rewarding. Here's ten of the most basic DIY electronics skills to help you get started. Read More using an Arduino, and a lot of things that will take you from a beginner to an enthusiast. It includes all of the basics: a Funduino UNO board, breadboard, cables, LEDs, resistors, and pushbutton switches.

But it also packs a lot of other things that will help you build some really fun things: temperature, flame, and infrared sensors; light-dependent resistors; a stepper motor; two sizes of seven-segment display; an LCD display; and even a joystick.

funduino-boards

Funduino is Chinese company, so their instructions are badly translated and you will need to do a bit of research to find project instructions. Because of this, a little electronics or programming experience might be beneficial, but it’s not necessary. I used a Funduino board to build the Pomoduino timer The Pomoduino: Make an Arduino-Powered Pomodoro Timer The Pomoduino: Make an Arduino-Powered Pomodoro Timer Read More , and was able to do so with little experience and a few online searches. This is the best value kit by far, but perhaps not suited to complete beginners who would prefer a precise walkthrough of the basics.

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DFRobot Beginner Kit for Arduino v3 ($50)

dfrobot-kit

On the other hand, this one is a great kit for absolute beginners. The kit comes with numbered project cards that walk you through the creation of 15 unqiue projects from a blinking LED to an RGB light dimmer. One of my favorite things about this kit is something that’s very under-appreciated when it comes to electronics kits — each piece is clearly labelled.

Could you pick out an IR remote control sensor, an ambient light sensor, or a specific type of resistor without help? If not, then these labels will be extremely helpful.

dfrobot-project-cards

While this kit comes few less components, you’ll definitely have enough to get started. LEDs, a micro servo and a small motor, 8-segment LED, push buttons, and a few sensors provide plenty of versatility.

The kit also comes with a prototyping shield as well as a breadboard, which means you could easily solder down one of your creations Learn How to Solder, with These Simple Tips and Projects Learn How to Solder, with These Simple Tips and Projects Are you a little intimidated by the thought of a hot iron and molten metal? If you want to start working with electronics, you're going to need to learn to solder. Let us help. Read More into a more solid piece of electronic kit.

123D Arduino Basic Kit ($84)

123d-kit

Although you don’t get nearly as many components as you would if you spent $84 on a cheap starter kit and a sensor pack or two, the 123D Arduino basic kit comes with a high-quality project book with some really fun project ideas — you’ll create a musical instrument, make a spaceship interface panel, build a motorized pinwheel, and even craft a magic crystal ball.

In addition to all of the components you need for these projects, the kit comes with cardboard cutouts to make your projects more colorful. (It’s possible that this is meant for children, but I think it’s awesome.)

123d-digital-projects

The basic kit also comes with access to 123D’s online project lessons through their platform Project Ignite. One of the nice things that’s included in this kit is a wooden plate to which you can mount your Arduino and a small breadboard; it’s a great way to keep things together and make your projects more portable.

And with over 150 components, you’ll have enough knowledge and parts when you’re done with the included projects to start building your own Arduino devices.

ARDX Experimentation Kit ($85)

ardx-kit

Like the 123D basic kit, the ARDX pack doesn’t include with as many parts as some, but it’s tough to beat when it comes to high-quality instructions. Not only does it have 11 different projects of increasing complexity for you to complete, but it also has breadboard layout sheets that you can cut out and lay over your breadboard, showing you exactly where to put your cables and components – great for those worried about wiring things in wrong.

This kit also includes an acrylic holder that you can mount your Arduino and breadboard to – not a necessity, but definitely nice for keeping things tidy.

ardx-kit2

Because the components that come with this set are rather basic—though it does include a cool force / touch sensor—you might outgrow this kit fairly quickly. You will however be familiar with the basics of prototyping and Arduino programming by the time you get through the instruction book, which is after all what a starter kit is for. In fact, it’s with one of these ARDX kits that our own DIY Editor James got started many years ago.

When you’ve outgrown it, you can easily upgrade with another component set or Arduino shield The Top 4 Arduino Shields To Superpower Your Projects The Top 4 Arduino Shields To Superpower Your Projects You’ve bought an Arduino starter kit, you’ve followed all the basic guides, but now you’ve hit a stumbling block - you need more bits and bobs to realise your electronics dream. Luckily, if you have... Read More for $30 or $40 that will dramatically expand the possibilities.

Get Started!

Taking on your first electronics project can be intimidating, but if you work your way up from the basics, you should have no problem getting into this really fun hobby. Buying an Arduino starter kit is a fantastic way to get the pieces you need for your first project, and the four kits above won’t break the bank, either.

Ready to take the next stop? Why not try building your own Arduino Don't Spend Money On An Arduino - Build Your Own For Much Less Don't Spend Money On An Arduino - Build Your Own For Much Less I love my Arduinos. At any point, I have quite a few projects on the go - prototyping is just so easy with them. But sometimes, I want to keep the project functional without buying... Read More ?

Which Arduino starter kits have you used? Would you recommend them? Share your favorites below!

Image Credits:Introducing Arduino by Viq111 via Shutterstock

  1. Edward Mallon
    August 9, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    We've been teaching an instrumentation class with Arduinos for a couple of years now, and building our 'Arduino Starter Kits" from scratch to run the labs. Some teacher friends asked what we put in them, so I posted the full list (minus opamps,555s, etc) at:

    https://edwardmallon.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/build-your-own-arduino-classroom/

    Hopefully that helps any teachers out there who want to introduce Arduinos to their classroom, but are working within a limited budget. My recommendation is to go with the minimum parts necessary till you have your lesson plans sorted out, and then add extra parts as you go along.

    Cheers.

  2. npete
    April 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I have read a number of blog posts around the techblogosphere and I am still pretty flummoxed about which beginner kit to get. I am a beginner when it comes to working with chips and boards (though as a kid I built my own cool-but-useless gadgets with a soldering iron and a handful of parts from my local Radio Shack). I am somewhat comfortable coding HTML, limited JS and other web-based languages but I've never touched anything for Arduino or any other programming for hardware. So, I'm looking for good (preferably fun) instructions that will teach me the basics and get me started. Based on the above post, I can't really tell which of the 4 mentioned would be my best option.

    I'd love a nudge in the right direction.

    FYI: I know a place near me that sells the Arduino Starter Kit from Make for $72. It's an older kit, but it seems pretty good based on a few things I've read about it. So I'm considering that.

    TIA!

  3. Chila
    November 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I notice none of the comments actually recommend a board most of you are just shooting them done not much help for a beginner like myself looking to value for my money and a good learning experience

    • Dann Albright
      November 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      That's because these kits are actually, in general, a pretty good deal. If someone is trashing the kits in the article and not recommending a better one, that's because they can't think of one!

  4. Uncle Ed McNerd
    August 31, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    These are all overpriced--well, they seem like it until you start adding up the cost of the parts purchased one at a time and add in shipping and whatever other costs come along. When I got started, I thought I was being efficient and bought Uno plus a bunch of stuff at good prices and ended up over $160 (American.)

    Then my grandson showed me up badly by purchasing the genuine Arduino Starter Kit from Arduino. It's now down to about $90 and a much better value than the pile of parts I bought. In fact, it made me mad so I bought one for myself.

    The projects are well thought out and described nicely. I wish they'd reprint the book, as the colors are not very friendly for imperfect eyes and the binding won't stay open to a page. If I were going to start out again, I'd buy another one.

    • Dann Albright
      November 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Yeah, buying a kit is way more efficient than buying single parts, unless you're building something really specific and need a lot of parts that you can't get in a starter kit, in which case you'd end up ordering all of them anyway.

      Thanks for the tip on the Arduino starter kit; I was doing my best to stay under that price point, as a lot of people can't justify that much money just to try it out, but it does look like a pretty good kit. And high-quality documentation is extremely valuable, even if the physical print isn't great.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Jean-Francois Messier
    August 30, 2015 at 2:17 am

    You can get the whole kit, with the display module, the USB connector, the wires, resistors, LEDs and other components. You can purchase only the module itself, but you can have the whole kit too. That's what I got from my order through Kickstarter.

    • Dann Albright
      August 31, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Ah, I see. Well that sounds like a pretty cool deal. How do you find using the display module? Does it make it easier to work with the Arduino? Are you a beginner, or have you been working with microcontrollers for a while? I'm very curious about how this module helps people learn to use the board; it sounds really cool!

      • Jean-Francois Messier
        August 31, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        I have to admit I am a beginner. Considering this, I liked the way that the tutorials were created. I mainly had time to do the ones that only involve the main display component, but they worked perfectly. I lack time to do everything I wish I could do . The kit is well delivered, and the learning content is also very good. As for Arduino, I understand hthat is is using the same programming framework, using drivers and specific components for the Microview.

        • Dann Albright
          September 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm

          Sounds like a pretty cool kit! Maybe when I get another Arduino (I just moved across the world), I'll look into this one. Thanks for pointing it out!

  6. Christopher HasARightToPrivacy
    August 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    They're all overpriced but the last two (ARDX & 123D) are especially so. I would pick the Funduino for a beginner if it had the DFDuino kit's packaging and project cards, RGB LEDs, NPN transistors (an important concept to learn) and a 1602 driver board..

    • Dann Albright
      August 29, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      You'd pick the Funduino if it had the components of another one of the sets? I'm not really sure I understand you . . . as far as I understand what you're saying, that's not possible. Do you have a better recommendation for a beginner set? You say these are overpriced, but why do you think that? What other sets have as good instructions and come with these sorts of component sets that cost less?

  7. Jean-Francois Messier
    August 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    There is also another kit named Microview, which was on Kickstarter and that I backed. The components are also very good. This is not an Arduino board, not the official one, but the board has a built-in LED display, is very small and also has all kinds of components, including a motor, an RGB LED, and several sensors.

    You can get more info there:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12923

    • Dann Albright
      August 29, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      So this isn't actually, a kit, right? The Microview is just a module that you can use to see what your Arduino is "thinking"? It seems like a cool idea, but it doesn't seem to me like it's a beginner kit. But maybe I'm missing something.

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