The Arduino board is a great tool to start into electronics and programming. It is used worldwide by makers, students, and even engineers.
Do you want to start making your own electronics projects? An Arduino is a good starting point – find out the best Arduino and Arduino-compatible Starter Kits and start making your own gadgets!
Why are we writing this article? We (Rui Santos and Sara Santos) are the owners of the Random Nerd Tutorials blog. A blog with electronics projects and tutorials about the Arduino, ESP32, ESP8266, and Raspberry Pi.
We have dozens of projects with the Arduino board with step-by-step instructions with code that you can easily follow. Many of our readers ask us what they need to get started with the Arduino and Arduino-compatible boards. Our recommendation is an Arduino/Arduino-compatible starter kit. So we’ve decided to make a compilation with the Best Arduino-based Starter Kits for beginners.
In this article, you’ll also find some additional information about the Arduino board and resources to get started.
Best Arduino and Arduino-Compatible Starter Kits Comparison
We’ve put together a list of the best Arduino/Arduino-compatible starter kits. See the list below to compare their features and continue reading this post for a more in-depth analysis of each kit.
Continue reading this post for a detailed analysis of each Arduino/Arduino-compatible Kit.
Number of Items
Our Instructions' Rating
Arduino Starter Kit
Elegoo Complete Starter Kit
Elegoo Super Starter Kit
DFROBOT Starter Kit
Geekcreit UNOR3 Basic Starter Kit
SunFounder Project Complete Starter kit
What is Arduino?
The Arduino is a microcontroller board that you can program to read information from the world around you and send commands to the outside world. In simple words, the Arduino controls outputs and reads inputs. The outputs can be an LED, a motor, a relay, or a display, and the inputs can be potentiometers, buttons, or sensors.
Getting Started with an Arduino/Arduino-compatible Starter Kit
Getting started with Arduino is easy, and anyone can learn electronics and programming with this board. However, it can be a little intimidating, especially when you’re starting, when you don’t know what an Arduino can do.
The easiest way to learn Arduino is by doing projects! Start with a simple “Blinking LED” tutorial and then evolve into more interesting projects. We recommend checking our course for Arduino: Step-by-Step projects with Arduino—a compilation of 25 projects with step-by-step instructions. This includes simple projects like “Blinking an LED” and more advanced (yet easy) projects like a Time Attendance System, a Weather Station, a Memory Game, and much more!
If you’re completely new to Arduino, and you’re still unsure if it is a good fit for you, we have a free Mini Course about Arduino that you can enroll here, where you’ll have your first LED blinking in less than 15 minutes.
What do you need to get started?
In our opinion, the best way to get started with the Arduino is by getting one Arduino/Arduino-compatible starter kit that contains all the components you need to learn the basics and start doing projects.
Don’t be disappointed if your first project is a simple blinking LED. Learning how to blink an LED is more powerful than you think. If you can control an LED, you can control almost anything, whether it is a lamp or a toaster. After mastering the basics, you can also choose from a wide variety of Arduino compatible sensors and Arduino shields.
There are a wide variety of Arduino and Arduino-comaptible Starter Kits. The best kit for you depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend.
The biggest difference between the available kits is the number of items, the quality of the components, if it comes with an original Arduino board or an Arduino clone, and if it comes with instructions or not. Additionally, some kits come with more expensive sensors and displays.
Continue reading to find the best Arduino/Arduino-compatible Starter Kit for your needs.
Recommended reading: 60+ Arduino Projects and Tutorials
Best Arduino and Arduino-Compatible Starter Kits
This is the official Arduino starter kit. It comes with a project book with 15 projects and with all the needed components to build them. This is great if you’re a total beginner because you’ll learn how to do cool projects with the components provided. The kit comes with the Arduino UNO board, the projects’ book with 15 projects, a breadboard, jumper wires, resistors, LEDs, a temperature sensor, a DC motor, a servo motor, and much more.
An Arduino starter kit is an awesome gift to give to your kids on their birthday.
Note: the project book is available in other languages besides English like Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
What’s included in this kit?
- Arduino UNO + USB cable
- Project Book with 15 projects
- 1 breadboard
- Jumper wires
- Wooden base
- 9V battery snap
- 6x phototransistor
- 3x potentiometer
- 10x pushbuttons
- Temperature sensor [TMP36]
- Tilt sensor
- 16×2 LCD
- LEDs (several colors)
- DC motor
- Servo motor
- Piezo capsule
- Motor drive L293D
- Optocoupler 4N35
- Transistors, capacitors, and diodes
- Resistors assortment (with the most common values)
There’s a bundle product that comes with the Arduino started kit plus the best-selling book “Getting Started with Arduino” by :Make. Check this bundle below:
For more suggestions of Arduino books, we recommend:
ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Most Complete Starter Kit w/Tutorial Compatible with Arduino IDE (63 Items)
$59.99 in stock
1 used from $59.39
This Arduino-based kit from Elegoo is just awesome. It comes with more than 200 components, of which 63 are different. Besides basic components like resistors, LEDs, and pushbuttons, it comes with a nice set of modules and sensors like an RFID reader, water level sensor, accelerometer/gyroscope module, LED matrix, motion sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and much more.
There is also a manual included with instructions for projects to help you get started. The manual includes the code (you can copy the code from a CD that comes with the kit) and pictures of assembled circuits. All the code was tested, so hopefully, you won’t have compilation errors when uploading code to your Arduino-based board.
Everything comes in a nice plastic case to keep everything organized, plus an extra mini box to store small parts. The microcontroller is an Arduino clone from Elegoo but works exactly in the same way as the official Arduino board. This is a good kit not just for beginners but also for experienced makers.
Recommend resource: Download free Arduino eBook.
This Arduino-based kit doesn’t come with as many components as the previous one. Still, it brings the essential components to learn Arduino basics easily and for an excellent price. This is perfect if you are on a lower budget.
The kit includes an Arduino clone, LCD with header pins, a 7-segment display, small electronics components like LEDs, resistors, pushbuttons, a potentiometer, and jumper wires. It also comes with other cool components like a thermistor, a servo motor, a DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor, a stepper motor driver board, and much more.
All parts come with header pins, so you don’t need to worry about soldering. Additionally, everything comes organized in a handy plastic case. Besides the electronics components, the kit also brings a PDF document with 22 lessons with instructions.
Recommended reading: Best Arduino-Compatible Sensors and Modules Kits
This Arduino-based Kit from DFRobot comes with 20 different components. Everything comes clearly labeled and organized in a plastic box, so you don’t have trouble finding the right parts for your projects. They provide flash cards and instructions (on their website) to build 15 different projects. These are good resources for both teaching and learning. It comes with an Arduino clone compatible with the original Arduino UNO.
This is one of the cheapest Arduino-based starter kits you can get. Nonetheless, it comes with a good variety of components. Besides the LEDs, buttons, and resistors, it also comes with an IR remote, LCD, dot matrix, IR receiver, servo motor, stepper motor and controller module, buzzer, prototyping shield, etc.
If you’re on a lower budget, this is one of the best kits you can get for such a lower price.
SunFounder Project Complete Starter kit Compatible with Arduino UNO R3 Arduino IDE/Scratch Coding with 42 Detailed Online Tutorials
This SunFounder starter kit for Arduino comes with multiple LEDs with different colors and resistors with a wide range of values. Comes with three different displays: LCD, seven-segment display with one digit, and a seven-segment display with four digits. It includes three different types of motors: DC motor, servo motor, and stepper motor and the corresponding interface circuit board. Additionally, it also comes with a temperature sensor, joystick, IR remote, and much more. They also provide 42 tutorials to build projects with the components included. Taking into account the included components, it’s a great deal for the price.
Need Tutorials to Get Started?
Do you need some tutorials to get started? You can take a look at our course for the Arduino board or our free resources to learn Arduino:
- Step-by-step Projects with the Arduino (Build 25 projects)
- FREE eBook with Arduino project +18 projects
- FREE Mini Course for Arduino
- FREE Arduino-related Projects and Tutorials
We also recommend the following books on Amazon:
For more recommendations about Arduino-related books, you can read the following articles:
Other Essential Tools
If you want to start learning Arduino, there are other essential tools you might consider getting, like a multimeter and a soldering iron.
A multimeter is an essential tool to debug your circuits (it also helps you understand how electricity works). If you don’t want to invest a large amount of money on this tool, a $12 low-cost multimeter will do just fine.
Another essential tool is a soldering iron. It is an essential tool to solder wires or pins together and build your own circuits. If you don’t have a lot of space for a soldering station and want something lean and easy to use, we recommend the TS80 portable soldering iron.
Are you looking for other tools to start putting together your electronics lab? Read our tips on How To Set Up an Electronics Lab: Tools and Equipment.
In this post, we’ve shown you our choices regarding the best Arduino/Arduino-compatible starter kits. The best kit for you will depend on your needs, your expertise level, and on what you intend to do with the Arduino.
If you’re an absolute beginner and you don’t know anything about electronics and programming, and you don’t even know how to identify different parts, the Official Arduino Starter kit is a better option. Although a bit more pricey, it comes with an excellent booklet to guide you all the way through.
Have you ordered one of these Arduino-compatible starter kits? Let us know what do you think.
PS: If you’re looking for Projects with the Arduino, check our Course for Arduino on Random Nerd Tutorials website.
[Recommended Course] Learn ESP32 with Arduino IDE
Register in our brand new ESP32 course with Arduino IDE. This is our complete guide to program the ESP32 with Arduino IDE, including projects, tips, and tricks! The registrations are open, so sign up now.