One the most common questions I get from new visitors to my site and friends of the guild is “I’d like to get started with Arduino, but I don’t even have a clue where to begin? What should I buy?” In this recommendation article I’m going to take the mystery out of it and help you pick from one of the best Arduino starter kits!
Skip to the point? The best Arduino starter kit is the Elegoo Mega 2560 Kit.
Let me be clear. As you can see by the many Arduino projects I have done, I have a lot of experience actually using these kits. This isn’t some click-bait article I wrote to get traffic. I’ve actually used and own every single kit listed below. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours with these kits building all kinds of projects you can do at home. Arduino projects are great for kids too.
The 3 Best Arduino Starter Kits
Before we dive in and list each starter kit and talk about what makes some better than others. The best Arduino starter kit for you might simply be the one you can afford. While the best kit for someone else might be the one with a specific component they need for a project such as a motion sensor. For others, cost may be no option and they simple want the best starter kit that has every bell and whistle. I’ll give you all of those options below, and more.
If you’re not real familiar with Arduinos in general, you might be lured into thinking that to buy an Arduino you must by one with the Arduino brand name on it. That’s not the case at all! Arduino has open sourced their designs and made them available as part of the GPL that any company can use to make Arduino boards. You’ll see many brands such as Elegoo, Kuman and Sunfounder in addition to Arduino.
So let’s get started!
#1 – The Elegoo Mega 2560 Starter Kit
This kit is by far my favorite kit. It’s got just enough of everything to get you started in a big way, at a super affordable price! It comes with the 2560 Mega which has more GPIO pins that a standard Arduino Uno so it can do more, and be more in your bigger projects. One of the most frustrating things is to run out of digital pins on standard Arduino boards.
The kit includes some really great stuff, including the following:
- Arduino Mega 2560, with power adapter and board
- Lots of cables: breadboard wires, USB, 9V battery snap
- Motors, servos, and even a stepper motor
- Sensors: Gyros, temperature, humidity, motion, water, and many more
- Displays: LCD character display, LED matrix display, LED 7 segment displays
- Much much more including LEDs, resistors, capacitors, and RFID components
If you’re looking for the best kit, this is the one to get.
#2 – The Sunfounder Arduino Uno Starter Kit
This is my second favorite on the list of the best Arduino starter kits. In fact, the only reason its ranked number two is that it contains slightly fewer components and comes with the Arduino Uno instead of the Arduino Mega 2560.
That being the case, its still a fantastic kit that’s priced very competitively. It’s one of the only kits to come with free technical support and a printed manual that includes 22 projects you can do with the kit.
Included in the Sunfounder kit:
- Arduino Uno
- Breadboard wires, USB cable
- LCD character displays and 7 segement LED displays
- Servo, and stepper motor
- Remote controls, IR receivers
- Resistors, capacitors, and other must have components
- 22 project manual with free technical support
This is definitely a solid kit and one you should consider.
#3 – The Arduino Uno Beginner Kit
This kit is Arduino branded and is a bit pricier. However, if you want only Arduino branded boards and components, this is the kit to get. This kit is also Uno kit, rather than a Mega kit just to be clear, but it comes with a fantastic projects book that will keep you and your family busy for hours working on all sorts of neat projects.
This kit doesn’t come with much in the way of security components, so if you’re looking to RFID access, this isn’t the best kit to buy. It does have lots of other great components though.
More About Arduino Starter Kits
If you’re searching for the best Arduino starter kits it’s probably because you plan to get involved in the hobby, or because you have a specific project you’re looking to do. Be sure to check out all of our cool Arduino projects before you go. We’ve got some great ones for the whole family.
You might be wondering what makes an Arduino special? What’s the secret sauce? You might be surprised to know that an Arduino is nothing but a standard Atmega 328 micro-controller that’s been around for a few years. What the Arduino guys did was actually figure out a way to package the thing into a form factor that easy for hobbyist to use. Then they wrote a programming language, integrated development environment (IDE), and a compiler to make it easy to create C (ish) code rather than needing to learn machine code to program them. This made them hugely popular, almost overnight!
Since the Arduino is packed with both analog and digital GPIO pins (as well as serial, SPI, and I2C communications buses), its of course the perfect device to create sensors for. Many companies now sell all sorts of Arduino sensor kits you can buy to add some super cool functionality to your Arduno boards.
These starter kits are generally a mix and match of different types of Arduinos, sensor kits, and the basic electronics components that you need to get started, such as breadboards, jumper wires, resistors, and capacitors.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we will try to help you!