How to Memorize Resistor Color Code

How to Memorize Resistor Color Code (Check out a Video of Color Code Printing!)

Color Code that indicate resistance values and tolerances are printed on resistors.

There are individual rules regarding color band placement, meanings, and how to read color bands depending on the manufacturer, product, size, etc.

Here we explain how to indicate and read values with color Code for each case of a wire lead resistor and a chip resistor.

■Wire Lead Resistors    (→ Leaded Type)

Color codes/color bands on the body indicate “Resistance Value” and “Tolerance”.  Resistors with 4 band or 5 band are the most typical types.

Values represented by colors and their placement are defined by JIS C 60062 as follows.

(Some of them are our in-house rules.)

There are many ways to memorize the colors and the values they represent.  We will show you the simplest and easiest way to memorize as below.  Please use it as a reference if you would like.


【Resistor Color Code Chart】

“B.B. ROY of Great Britain has a Very Good Wife”

You can remember the order of color codes by remembering the order of capital letters in the above sentence.

→Leaded Type

【How to Read Color Code】




【Oh! I see.  Check out a Video of Color Code Printing! 】

The disk with a thickness of about 0.3 mm lifts the ink from the container and paints it to the resistor.

Although it depends on the product type, resistors are carried on the conveyor at a speed of 500 to 1000 pieces/minute.

Please click the video.


■Chip Resistors      (→ Surface Mount (Chip) Type)

As to chip resistors, resistance values are expressed by numbers in most cases.

However, it is necessary to read them based on the conversion rules as below.

There may be special expression/conversion rules depending on the maker, so please refer to the maker’s catalog and specifications for details.

【General Reading Examples】

102  → 10×102 = 1000Ω(1kΩ)

1002 → 100×102 = 10000Ω(10kΩ)

R047 → Read “R” as a decimal point. → 0.047Ω(47mΩ)

10L0 → Read “L” as a decimal point of mΩ → 10mΩ

Unlike wire lead resistors, tolerances are not shown on most of chip resistors.

In addition, generally there are no markings on chip resistors with a size of 1005 mm or less.  Because it is difficult to put any mark on such a small surface. And even if any marks are put on the surface, they would be too small to be readable.


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