In this buyer’s guide we’re going to talk about the current best benchtop power supplies for 2019. Every home electronics enthusiast should have one! They make the hobby more enjoyable and provide a quick way to power not only your projects, but to test equipment and circuits when you suspect the power source is flaky or outright defective.

What is the Best Benchtop Power Supply?

Answering that question first takes some understanding of what benchtop power supplies are, why you might want one in the first place, and ultimate what purpose(s) you are planning to use it for!  If you want to skip right to point, our pick for the best benchtop power supply in 2019 is the KORAD KD3005D 30V 5A lab grade supply.

Benchtop power supplies are power supplies you can sit on your workbench and adjust its voltage and current capacity with dials and buttons on its control panel. This allows you to create a temporary power source that is customized to the project you are working on and lets you focus on the fundamentals of it immediately. 

This is handy for numerous reasons:

  1. You might find that your power requirements change during the build of your circuit or device. If you spec the power supply up front, you’ll likely need to change it later or limit the functionality of your project.
  2. Sometimes you just need to get started on a prototype and the power source is just something that gets in your way. With a variable benchtop power supply you can start immediately.
  3. You may have a project or electronic device that is failing to operate as expected. If you suspect it is a power supply issue you can quickly configure a benchtop power supply to replace and test it. Either proving or disproving a power source problem.

Benchtop power supplies are just like any other electronics testing tool. They come in a wide range of specifications, options, and features to suit many different budgets. You should take the time to think about what will suit your budget and needs.

The Best Benchtop Power Supplies for Hobbyists 2019

Let’s list off our top three benchtop power supplies.  After the reading our list, you can read on below where we will step through what is important when buying a benchtop power supply and why we made the choices we did!

Buy it on AmazonOur first choice for the best benchtop power supply is the KORAD KD3005D 30V, 5A lab grade power supply. This supply hits what feel is the sweet spot for price and performance and can easily handle the demands of most home electronics enthusiasts.

This power supply is robust, the specs are right for most everyone, and the price is almost perfect. It has the right mix of everything to land our #1 spot. The KORAD KD3005D is variable from 0 to 30V DC, and can support up to 5 amp loads!

This unit has built in overload protection for current, short circuit, and even temperature. These are handy protections to have in the prototyping environment where the unexpected happens!

It 4-digit LED display that is super easy to read, and displays the voltage and current values in real time. From our testing is is low ripple and noise, high reliability and high accuracy. Something just about anyone in our hobby will appreciate!  It also has a great 1 year warranty, as many low cost supplies are limited 90 days.

What We Loved

  • Resilient overload protection
  • Large screen
  • All digital controls
  • Great warranty
  • Banana style cables included
  • Variable voltage and current
  • Great warranty

What Could Be Better

  • No temporary on/off button
  • No preset buttons
  • Plastic front panel and knobs

Buy it on AmazonOur second choice for the best benchtop power supply is the Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E triple output! Let’s be clear: This supply is a lot more expensive than our first choice!  However, it is packed with features that you’ll love and includes triple outputs for hardcore hobbyists. If you’ve got the budget, this is most definitely the one to buy.

When searching for the best benchtop power supply, if you’re looking for the Rolls-Royce and you’ve got plenty of budget… look no further! The Siglent Technologies SPD3303X-E is a beast of a supply that will have you stopped in your tracks.  We would love to rank this benchtop as our #1, but we just couldn’t justify it at the price point of almost $400 USD.

However, this benchtop supply is an absolute dream to behold.  With a support of 32V @ 3.2, supporting simultaneous triple outputs, over current protection, and output isolation, this unit has all the right specs. Add on top of that a huge (and gorgeous) 4.3 LCD display, USB, and Ethernet… you’ve got a winning combination.  But Siglent also throws a 3 year warrant on their power supplies!

What We Loved

  • Beautiful, large LCD screen
  • Isolated triple outputs
  • Overload protection
  • Banana style cables included
  • Variable voltage and current
  • Fantastic warranty

What Could Be Better

  • Expensive
  • Remote software confusing

Buy it on AmazonOur 3rd and final choice as usual is the budget choice. If you just need a solid power supply to get you buy and you need to save some cash, this is the unit.  It’s not packed with features, but it does the job.

This very unit will get the job done for most low budget hobbyists. It’s not glamorous like our #2 option and its half the price of our #1 option.

The IPSXP KPS1203D will get it done on a budget!  This benchtop supply supports 0-30V @ 10 amps.  That’s pretty capable for a unit in this price range.

What We Loved

  • Very affordable
  • Light weight
  • Decent set of features for price
  • 1 Year warranty!

What Could Be Better

  • Cheap plastic
  • Noisy

The Geek Pub Benctop Power Supply FAQ

We get asked a lot of questions about benchtop power supplies.  Let’s quickly cover some of the most common ones:

Q. Are cables interchangeable between supplies?
A. Most likely yes. But it really depends on the rating of your supply.  The best benchtop power supplies will come with cables rated at 10 amps.  However, some will only come with 5 amp cables.  You don’t want to be caught using underrated cables on your supply as you could quickly cause a fire or other damage.

Q. What does it mean to be a variable output?
A. This simply means you can adjust the output of the supply to any voltage (or current) rating you need by turning a knob. Think of it like the volume control on your radio.  You can adjust most benchtop supplies from 0 to 30 volts.  More expensive supplies can go even higher.

We hope this article has helped you in your quest to find a benchtop power supply that works for you!  If you’re still learning about electronics and making things, you might want to check out our voltage tutorial and current tutorial