Are you learning Arduino or how to solder electronics?  I have compiled a list of items that I have personally found useful when I received an Arduino Uno kit for Christmas and started learning how to make things with it.



You’ll want a couple of bright lights to help you see all the small components.  If you don’t already have a desk light handy I found these two lights to be useful and inexpensive.  Plus the architect lamp reminds me of the Pixar lamp.

Boston Harbor Architect Swing Arm Desk Lamp, 26-Inches, Black
3-level Dimmable Touch Switch Folding LED Desk Lamp
3-level Dimmable Touch Switch Folding LED Desk Lamp


If you don’t already have a desk I recommend a wooden one as it will generate less static electricity.  I bought a cheap folding plastic table from Costco but ended up having to buy an anti-static mat.  I bought this wooden desk later on for my laptop but it would work well for electronics work.

Winsome Wood Computer Desk, Honey

Anti Static Mat

In case you do have a plastic table, chair, or carpeted floor you might want the extra protection of an Anti Static Mat and a grounding probe to attach it to.

Anti Static Mat Kit with a Wrist Strap and a Grounding Cord
Rio RV2735 Rid-Volt Titanium Grounding Probe


An Arduino Uno, one of the most popular prototyping and learning platforms.  You can get the microcontroller by itself or part of a kit.  The kit comes with an instruction manual, and some sensors, resistors, wires, servos, motors, etc to get started.

Arduino Uno
Arduino Starter Kit

Power Supply

The Arduino doesn’t come with an external power adapter.  This one works well.

Etekcity GD-001 12V Power Adapter


I never used the expansion board but i did find the mini bread board useful.

Arduino ProtoShield prototype expansion board including mini bread board

Extra Wires

You can never have enough wires, these will come in handy.

Elenco TL-6 Alligator Lead Set, 10-Piece, 14 inches
Phantom YoYo 40P dupont cable 200mm male to female


I’ve used both of these a ton.  The magnifying glass wasn’t that great so I took it off, but the helping hands did help out.

13cm Length Black Anti-magnetic Straight Curved Tweezers 2 Pcs
SE MZ101B Helping Hand with Magnifying Glass


This soldering station allows you to set the temperature and heats up fast.

Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station
Alpha Fry AT-31604 60-40 Rosin Core Solder (4 Ounces)

Learn to Solder Kit

Don’t know how to solder yet, no problem.  This kit comes with an inexpensive soldering iron for you to use if you don’t want to spring for the more expensive soldering station above.  Watch a couple of youTube videos and pick up one of these kits to practice on.  You can always reuse the components later on.

Elenco AmeriKit Learn to Solder Kit


Now that you’ve soldered stuff together, you might find yourself needing to desolder them.  I had trouble getting the wick to work well but had better luck with the gun.

Aven 17542 Desoldering Wick, 2.5mm Width, 5′ Length
Edsyn Deluxe Soldapullt, DS017LS, Static-Safe

Sensors and Modules

I used the starter kit above with the PIR sensor and the RTC module below to build a motion activated digital clock.

HC-SR501 Human Sensor Module Pyroelectric Infrared
SainSmart Tiny RTC I2C DS1307 AT24C32 24C32 memory Real Time Clock Module


An organizer to keep all of your small components

Stanley 014725 25-Removable Compartment Professional Organizer

Surge Protector


Tripp Lite 7 Outlet Surge Protector/Suppressor Power Strip 7ft Cord Right Angle Plug (SUPER7B)
Equipping your workbench for beginner electronics (Arduino)
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