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Home > Analog technology > What is a 10k Resistor? 10k Ohm Resistor Color Code

What is a 10k Resistor? 10k Ohm Resistor Color Code

Update Time: 2023-11-02 18:07:57


The 10K resistor is prominent among electronics' most frequently used resistors. Its ubiquity makes it an ideal candidate for understanding the intricacies of the resistor color code. Being able to promptly identify these resistors in various projects, alongside other common counterparts, proves immensely beneficial. The 10K resistor color code is a valuable tool, enabling us to swiftly discern the resistance value and tolerance of a 10K (10,000-ohm) resistor.

In this article, we will look in-depth at the 10K resistor color code, examining each color band step by step to understand how to calculate the resistor's precise value. Proficiency in deciphering resistor color codes is a valuable skill for individuals in the electronics and electrical fields. We hope this article serves as a useful guide, particularly for beginners seeking to enhance their knowledge in this area.

What is a 10K Resistor?

A 10K resistor, though passive, plays a pivotal role in regulating the flow of electrical current within a circuit. Its terminology, "10K ohm resistor," signifies its resistance value of 10,000 Ohms. The identification of this component is facilitated by the presence of its distinctive color bands.

10k resistor.jpg

10K/10k Ohm Resistor Color Code

The 10K or 10,000 Ohm Resistor Color Code – A resistor, an essential passive component in electrical circuits, imparts specific resistance to the circuit. The resistor color code employs a system of colors to denote the resistance value. This code can consist of 3, 4, or 5 color bands, each carrying its numerical significance to create a resistance value. Learning about this resistor color code is easily accomplished by referring to a "Resistor Color Code Chart." This standard adheres to IEC60062, a globally recognized code.

Without delay, let's explore the color code for a 10K ohm resistor, signifying a resistance of 10,000 ohms. In this instance, we will utilize a 4-band resistor color code. The first two bands convey numerical values, the third indicates the multiplier, and the fourth signifies tolerance. For a clearer understanding, please refer to the table below:

10K Ohm Resistor Color Code.png

10K Ohm Resistor Color

Referring to the chart provided above simplifies the process of identifying the requisite colors for locating 10K ohm resistors. For a visual reference, please consider the image below, which illustrates a 10K ohm resistor. It's important to note that the resistor's body color holds no inherent meaning; however, its size does influence its power rating, with larger sizes generally signifying higher power ratings.

10K Ohm Resistor Color.jpg

In the context of a 10K ohm resistor, the color bands convey the following information:

10K Resistor Color Code.png


The first band, brown, corresponds to the first digit, which is 1.

The second band, black, signifies the second digit, which is 0.

The third band, orange, represents the multiplier, equating to 1000 or 1K.

The fourth band, gold, denotes the tolerance, which is ±5%.

As a result, the resistance value can be calculated as follows: (1) (0) (x1000) (±5%) = 10K ±5% ohm.

How to Read Resistor Color Code?

Deciphering the color bands on a resistor is a straightforward and cost-effective method for determining the component's value. The alternative of using printed alphanumeric codes on tiny resistors would be impractical, making the resistor color code a valuable invention dating back to the early 1920s.

One common question that arises is where to begin when reading the resistor color code. Fortunately, there are a few visual cues to assist you:

  • Band Grouping: In most cases, the color bands on a resistor are not evenly spaced. There is typically a gap, and the bands are grouped in a particular way. The largest gap appears before the tolerance band. Place this broader group on the left side and read the resistor from left to right.

  • Tolerance Marker: The tolerance of a resistor is often 5% or 10%. These tolerance values are represented by metallic colors: gold for 5% and silver for 10%. Importantly, the resistor color code never commences with a metallic color. Therefore, if you spot a metallic color on your resistor, it unequivocally indicates the tolerance value and should be positioned on the right side. Again, read the resistor from left to right.

  • Starting Band: Generally, the first band is closest to one end of the resistor, but this is not an absolute rule. If you are unsure, other clues can be used to confirm the starting point.

If none of the above guidelines provide clarity, employing a multimeter to distinguish between two possible resistances and reading directions is a viable solution.

Now, let's delve into the specifics of how to read the resistor color code:

The resistance value is denoted by the sequence of colors, where each color corresponds to a specific number:

resistor color code.png

The color code is applicable to the initial two or three bands from the left side.

After these initial bands, we encounter the multiplier band, which is distinguished by a different set of color codes:

resistance band color code.png

In this context, each color signifies a power of 10 by which the number derived from the preceding bands should be multiplied. These multipliers can be represented using prefixes such as kilo, mega, or giga (KΩ, MΩ, GΩ). Alternatively, scientific notation, such as 10^9Ω (gigaohm), is also employed.

Concluding the color bands, the last band, found in all resistor types (4, 5, and 6 bands), is the tolerance band. It is expressed in percentages, reflecting the statistical variation in component resistance, typically following a normal distribution:

resistor band calculator.png

That covers the color interpretations for 4 and 5-band resistor color codes. In the case of 6-band resistors, there's an extra band that denotes the temperature coefficient, which is discussed in a dedicated section for 6-band resistors. To delve into the relevant formulas based on your resistor type, please continue scrolling down.

How to use this Resistor Color Code Calculator? 

Our resistor color code calculator is designed to be user-friendly, but if you encounter any issues, take a look at this example for guidance:

1. Select the number of bands on your resistor. You have three options: 4, 5, or 6 bands. Let's assume you're working with a resistor that has five bands.

2. Choose the colors of these bands. If you're unsure which is the first and last band, refer to the pictures provided in the calculator. Typically, there's a gap before the tolerance band, helping you identify the start and end. In our example, let's say the colors are: brown, red, violet, black, and red.

Example of how to use resistor color code calculator.png

3. The calculator will display the colored bands. Compare them with the bands on your resistor. Are they in the same order?

4. Once you've entered all the bands, the resistor color code calculator will reveal the resistance, along with the tolerance and the maximum and minimum values considering this tolerance. In our example, the resistance should read as 127 Ω.

If you've input a 6-band resistor color code, the calculator will also show the meaning of the 6th band: the temperature coefficient, expressed in ppm/°C.

Additionally, we offer other tool closely related to this topic, such as the resistor color code calculator. This tool assists you in determining the ideal resistance values when working on electronic circuits. 

How To Read the 10K Resistor Color Code

Resistor color codes consistently comprise digits, a multiplier, and a tolerance value. In the case of a four-band resistor, each band serves a distinct purpose:

Band One – 1st Digit: This initial band represents the first digit of the resistance value, with the color brown symbolizing the value 1.

Band Two – 2nd Digit: The second band designates the second digit of the resistance value, colored black, corresponding to 0. This digit is placed to the right of the first digit from band one, resulting in the digit 10.

Band Three – Multiplier: This band multiplies the digits obtained from bands one and two by a value dictated by its color. The actual multiplier equals 10^n, with 'n' representing the value of the band color. In this instance, the third band is orange, signifying the number 3. Consequently, the multiplier becomes 10^3 = 1,000.

Hence, the combined resistance value derived from these colors stands at 10 x 1,000 Ω = 10,000 Ω, which is equivalently expressed as 10kΩ.

Band Four – Tolerance: This band indicates the tolerance value for the resistor, commonly manifesting as 5% (represented by a gold band) or 10% (indicated by a silver band). In our example, a gold band is utilized, signifying a tolerance of 5%.

Therefore, the overall resistance value is 10kΩ ± 5% Ω.

Calculating 10k Ohm Resistor Color Code

Consider a 4-band resistor as our example, specifically the 10k ohm resistor with the following color code: Brown-Black-Orange-Red. To break it down further, the first band is Brown, the second is Black, the third signifies the multiplier and is represented by orange, and the fourth indicates tolerance and appears as Red. Consequently, the resulting resistor value is 10K ohms with a tolerance of 2%. The image below illustrates the 100 Ohm Resistor Color Code for 4-band resistors. We also have more information on 4k7 resistors and 1k ohm resistors waiting for you to explore!

Calculating 10k Ohm Resistor Color Code.jpg

4-Band vs. 5-Band vs. 6-Band 10K Resistor Color Code

You may come across 5-band or even 6-band resistors in your electronics endeavors. The good news is that reading 5 or 6-band resistors is straightforward if you're already familiar with deciphering four-band resistors. We also provide the resistor color code calculator for calculating resistance values and tolerance.

4 Band vs. 5 Band 10K Resistor

Four band resistors consist of two bands for the value, one for the multiplier, and one for the tolerance. 

Five-band resistors introduce an additional band for the value.

Consequently, five-band resistors feature three bands for the value, one for the multiplier, and one for the tolerance. The process of analyzing the resistor remains consistent; commence with the fifth band and observe for a small gap between the fourth and fifth bands, which signifies the tolerance. Then, revert to the first four bands to compute the resistance value.

For instance, in the case of a 10K resistor with five bands, the order should be brown (1), black (0), black (0), red (x100), and gold/silver (± 5 or 10%).

5 Band 10K Resistor Color Code

For 10K resistors with five bands, the initial three bands will be brown, black, and black (representing 100), while the fourth band will be brown, denoting a multiplier of x10.

Band NumberFunctionColorValue
11st DigitBrown1
22nd DigitBlack0
33rd DigitBlack0
4MultiplierRedx 100
5ToleranceGold (or silver)± 5%
                                                                                               Total Value: 10,000 ± 5% Ω

6 Band 10k Resistor Color Code

Six-band resistors closely resemble five-band resistors but come with an additional band that signifies the temperature coefficient, indicating how resistance changes with temperature.

Band NumberFunctionColorValue
11st DigitBrown1
22nd DigitBlack0
33rd DigitBlack0
4MultiplierRedx 100
5ToleranceGold (or silver)± 5%
6Temp. CoefficientAnySee Chart Below
                                                                                               Total Value: 10,000 ± 5% Ω

In this scenario, pay attention to the last two bands, the fifth and sixth, which should be closely spaced, with a gap between the fourth and fifth bands.

ColorTemperature Coefficient
Brown100 ppm/ºC
Orange15 ppm/ºC
Yellow25 ppm/ºC
Blue10 ppm/ºC
Violet5 ppm/ºC

Applications of 10k Resistor

The 10k resistor finds numerous significant applications in electronics, frequently employed in breadboards and various prototyping applications, with some of the popular uses listed below:

Voltage Divider Circuits

Voltage divider circuits are fundamental in electronics, aiding in converting high voltage into more manageable levels. The 10k resistor is well-suited for voltage dividers. It helps prevent high-power voltage or current from disrupting circuit operations, ensuring optimal device performance. Its small and compact design makes it ideal for use in circuit protection devices.

Breadboards and Perf Boards

Breadboards, or plug blocks, are valuable tools for setting up temporary circuits. Perfboards, or strip boards, are essential for electronic prototyping. Both of these boards provide a foundation for various PCBs. The 10k ohm resistor's slim profile allows it to integrate seamlessly into these boards. It fits securely into a breadboard with minimal movement, making it a hassle-free choice for your next project.


Current Limiters

Certain circuit components require controlled current flow for proper operation. Resistors play a crucial role in such scenarios, and 10k ohm resistors excel as current limiters. When you must restrict current flow in a circuit, this resistor comes to the rescue. It effectively limits the current, allowing only the desired voltage to pass through. This precise control ensures that your circuits perform optimally.

Setting Bias and Operating Points

Biasing constitutes a foundational concept in electronics, particularly so in amplifier circuits and transistor applications. A 10k resistor frequently serves to establish the operating point of transistors or other active components. By providing these components with a defined bias voltage or current, one ensures that they operate within their linear or desired regions, a fundamental prerequisite for proper amplification and signal processing.

Filtering and Time Constants

Within RC (resistor-capacitor) circuits, 10k resistors are intrinsic components responsible for defining time constants and molding the frequency response of the circuit. By judiciously selecting resistor values, control over the cutoff frequencies of filters is attained, as well as influence over the rate at which a circuit responds to input changes. These time constants assume critical roles in applications such as audio filtering, signal smoothing, and time delay circuits.

Compatibility and Component Availability

The selection of a 10k resistor or other resistor values may also be contingent upon the availability of components and their compatibility. Designers frequently opt for standard resistor values that can be readily procured from suppliers or are easily accessible within their geographic region. This ensures that the necessary resistors can be sourced without delays or issues related to availability.

Power Dissipation

The flow of current through resistors induces the generation of heat. Excessive heat can lead to the overheating and potential failure of resistors if they operate beyond their designated power ratings. Therefore, when choosing a 10k resistor, or any resistor for that matter, it is paramount to consider its power rating. This specification is typically expressed in watts and should not be exceeded to prevent damage while maintaining reliable operation.

These various applications underscore the versatility of 10k resistors in electronics, establishing them as indispensable tools for regulating currents, defining reference voltages, and ensuring the proper operation of a broad spectrum of electronic devices and circuits.

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors, often paired with 10k resistors, hold immense importance in achieving precise temperature control within devices such as thermostats and ovens. They function by generating temperature-dependent voltage signals within voltage divider networks, thereby enabling accurate regulation. An additional advantage of these sensors is their ability to offset component drift, ensuring consistent circuit performance. In the realm of battery management, they undertake the role of monitoring temperature to facilitate controlled charging, thus extending battery life and enhancing safety. In industrial processes, temperature sensors in conjunction with 10k resistors uphold accuracy in systems such as ovens, furnaces, and chemical processes, consequently optimizing production processes. Collectively, they establish precision, reliability, and safety across a wide array of electronic applications.

Digital Logic

Within digital circuits, 10k resistors emerge as versatile components that play pivotal roles in ensuring stable and reliable operations. They are often deployed as pull-up and pull-down resistors, serving as effective safeguards against undefined states in input pins, while concurrently enhancing the stability of the circuit. These resistors also hold significant roles in communication protocols like I2C and SMBus, where they enable bidirectional data exchange through their service as pull-up resistors. Moreover, 10k resistors simplify the design of systems incorporating buttons and switches, thereby ensuring predictable logic levels. Furthermore, they contribute to the protection of microcontroller inputs, fortifying the safeguarding measures against voltage spikes and noise in sensitive digital systems.

In essence, the versatility and precision of the 10k resistor render it an indispensable component in the realm of electronics. Whether you are working on a simple LED project, a complex analog circuit, or a digital microcontroller application, the 10k resistor ensures precise control over currents and voltages. This, in turn, bolsters the reliability and efficiency of electronic devices and systems.

Feedback Networks

Feedback networks, prevalent across diverse domains, facilitate dynamic control and adaptation. In electronics, they refine amplifier circuits, enhancing linearity and diminishing distortion. These principles also extend to control systems, ensuring the maintenance of desired conditions. In the realm of biology, feedback networks regulate processes such as temperature control, thereby upholding homeostasis. In the field of economics, they adjust pricing and supply in response to demand. These networks give rise to self-regulating systems that augment efficiency and reliability in response to changing conditions. Understanding and harnessing the power of feedback networks are fundamental endeavors, driving innovation and progress across numerous domains, while underpinning stability and optimizing operations in dynamic environments. Whether it pertains to a 10 kilo ohm resistor color code within the domain of electronics or minor resistor adjustments in the realm of economics, feedback networks stand as integral to maintaining equilibrium and achieving desired outcomes.

Pull-Up and Pull-Down Resistors

In the realm of digital electronics, pull-up and pull-down resistors (we provide a ultimate guide to these resistors in last article), typically having a resistance of 10,000 ohms, assume a pivotal role. They are essential for maintaining stable and reliable logic levels in input pins. When you need to ascertain the resistance value, a multimeter can be your tool of choice to measure values like 10,000 ohms. The 10,000-ohm resistor often takes center stage as a fundamental component in a variety of digital applications. Identifying these resistors can be facilitated through the use of the resistor color code. Typically, a 10,000-ohm resistor is represented by the color code brown-black-orange-gold. On occasion, you might also encounter resistors with values like 8,200 ohms or specific 10,000-ohm SMD resistors, each serving distinct purposes.

An adept understanding of resistor color codes becomes invaluable when you're working with resistors, especially those with a 10,000-ohm value. Whether it involves deciphering the color code of a 10,000-ohm resistor or discerning the color code for a 10,000-ohm resistor, these color codes simplify the process of resistor identification. Among engineers, the use of 10,000-ohm resistors in circuits is commonplace for establishing reference voltages and ensuring the proper operation of electronic systems. Whether you're exploring the world of 10,000-ohm resistor colors or delving into the realm of resistor values, having a profound comprehension of what a 10,000-ohm resistor entails and how to effectively integrate it into your electronic endeavors is a seemingly minor yet crucial detail in the grand tapestry of electronics.


The 10k ohm resistor plays a crucial role in the design of specific circuits, serving its purpose exceptionally well. Its slim and sleek design allows easy integration into complex, compact circuitry. The color code system proves invaluable in quickly identifying the 10k resistor, aiding in its proper application. When acquiring electronic components, including 10k resistors, it's essential to source them from a reputable vendor. This ensures a seamless working experience in your electronic projects.

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  • What is a 10K resistor used for?
  • Frequently employed in breadboards and various prototyping scenarios, these 10K ohm resistors serve admirably as pull-ups, pull-downs, and current limiters. Their sturdy lead design ensures a secure fit within a breadboard, minimizing any unwanted movement.

  • Can use a 10k resistor instead of 4.7 K?
  • For a 10k resistor, the current will be (3.3/10,000) = 0.33mA. In the case of a 4.7k resistor, it will be (3.3/4,700) = 0.70mA. Both of these currents are minuscule, and in this particular application, the resistance value is not crucial. Therefore, you have the flexibility to use either resistor value. you can read this article for details about the color codes of the 4.7k resistors: What is a 4k7 Resistor?4.7k ohm Resistor Color Code.
  • What does a 10k resistor do in a circuit?
  • A 10k resistor plays a vital role in circuits designed for voltage division.

  • How do I know if I have a 10k ohm resistor?
  • You can recognize a 10K Ohm resistor by its color bands, which can be either Brown-Black-Orange-Gold or Brown-Black-Black-Red-Gold.

  • What is the color code for 10K resistor?
  • A 10K Ohm resistor can be recognized using color codes, typically Brown-Black-Orange-Gold or Brown-Black-Black-Red-Gold.

  • Is 10K resistor good for LED?
  • If you're encountering problems with your LED fixtures or bulbs not turning off completely or flickering at certain dimming levels, the PCS 10K Load Resistor for LED Lighting is the solution you need.

  • How much voltage does a 10K resistor drop?
  • Example: What is the voltage across a 10K ohm resistor when it carries a current of 5mA? The voltage across the resistor is 50 volts, calculated as E = IR = 5mA * 10K = 50 volts. (Please note that "K" denotes thousands of ohms, and "mA" represents 1 x 10-3 amps).

  • Are 10k Resistors And 1 K Resistors Both the Same?
  • No, 10k resistors and 1k resistors are not the same. It's a common misconception to assume that all resistors are identical. In reality, a 10k resistor has a higher resistance value than a 1k resistor. Each of these resistors serves a distinct purpose in various electronic devices.

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