The 8 Best Arduino Starter Kits of 2018

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Arduino is an open-source hardware platform that provides virtually unlimited possibilities that can be achieved using microcontroller-based products. With the help of the Arduino platform, many people can learn to program and the process is never-ending as new hardware is designed and released to the market almost every day. The good news is that the basics are the same. You might also be interested in our articles about the best raspberry pi and best stick PC.

If you wish to start off with this platform, purchasing an Arduino starter kit is the way to go. They come packed with the right hardware and information for people who want to explore the creative possibilities of Arduino but the kits can be very different. The following are some of the things that you need to be aware of to be able to identify the best kit for your needs:

1. The centerpiece hardware

Most kits contain an Arduino UNO R3 board which represents the flagship model of the Arduino platform. Some kits use other variations so make sure that the microcontroller board is absolutely compatible with the UNO R3.

2. Check the components

Not all kits are made for the same purposes. It depends on what you’re planning to do with the Arduino board but it’s generally a good idea to check the kind of electronic components and parts included in the kit you’re interested in. It’s also recommended to see the number of components and parts because you might need many passive and active components to be able to carry out as many learning tutorials or projects as possible.

3. Manuals and guidebooks

If you’re new to these devices, it’s very likely that you’re not exactly sure about the correct hardware connections and how to program the Arduino board. It’s important to check if the starter kit has a solid manual or guidebook to help you during the learning process. There are also some well-made online beginner tutorials if you still need more guidance.

Now that you have a bit of an idea about how an Arduino starter kit needs to be, the only thing left to do is to actually go over what the market offers. There are lots of good options out there and to simplify this process, you can find in this article the best Arduino starter kits in terms of cost-effectiveness. They have been selected for your convenience after careful market research to enjoy deciding only from those kits that are truly worth the money.

1. Vilros Arduino Uno 3 Ultimate Starter Kit

The top choice for an Arduino starter kit is hands-down the Vilros Ultimate Starter Kit which comes with a genuine Arduino Uno Rev3 board and a very comprehensive full-color instruction manual. Getting the hang of the cool little learning projects you can do with Arduino is going to be a breeze with this kit. It comes in two versions, one that also contains an LCD besides all the other components.

The reason why this model is one of the best starter kits is simple. It contains all the essential components to get you started right away with the creative Arduino projects. Because Vilros understands how complicated and tedious a kit with so many components can be, a very user-friendly guide has been provided. The full color instruction manual has 72 pages and will take you on a learning journey to understand how to use each component and more importantly, to master Arduino programming.

This kit is geared towards beginners that have a keen interest in learning the basics of Arduino programming but it suits well those that are more familiar with programming. If you go through the instruction guide and learn the roles of every component, you can start making your own project by combining various components. This is definitely a valuable tool to help you figure out what Arduino is all about.

Besides the authentic Arduino Uno Rev3 board, you can find in the package LEDs, jumper wires, a USB cable, DC motor, and a small servo. In total, you should discover more than 190 electronic parts and components. If you decide to go for the other version, you also get a 16×2 LCD with a soldered pin header.

A great teaching aid and a solid kit considering everything, this one is a clear winner on the market for Arduino starter kits. The set contains all the needed components and the instruction booklet that’s provided manages to describe things very intuitively that even older children and teenagers can work with it. Vilros did a good job with this kit so all in all, it’s highly recommended for the money.

Key Features:

  • Genuine Arduino Uno Rev3 Board
  • Instruction Manual
  • 190 electronic parts included in total
  • DC Motor, Small Servo, Relay
  • Jumper Wires, USB Cable, LEDs
  • Bread Board, Holder

2. Arduino Starter Kit English Official

If you prefer the official route, the Arduino English Official starter kit is the way to go. It’s more expensive but it offers premium parts and instructions to assemble 15 unique projects. Using many basic electronic components like a DC motor, a tilt sensor, LEDs, and a servo motor, you can create very interesting fun little projects that can be a tremendous help when learning to programme. Let’s see what you can achieve with the official kit from Arduino.

There’s no better way to learn Arduino than by making a bunch of creative projects. This kit comes with a very user-friendly book that teaches you how to use the various components included. The instructions are definitely the main selling point for this set as it contains step-by-step tutorials for every project you can make with the supplied electronic parts.

Among the projects, there is one called Spaceship Interface where you will learn to design the control panel for a starship. Another interesting one is the Light Theremin, a project that creates a musical instrument for you to play by simply waving your hands. There are many interesting ones and it’s hard to pick a certain highlight. In the Digital Hourglass project, you will learn to make a light-up hourglass that stops you from overworking. The Motorized Pinwheel will make your head spin as it involves the creation of a colored wheel.

The great news about this kit is that once you’ve mastered how to create all these projects, you’ll have a palette of circuits and software at your disposal which you can take and reshape into your own creation and make someone smile by making a beautiful invention.

From the basics to more complex projects, this kit will make you able to take control of the physical world with sensors and actuators. The Official Arduino Starter Kit walks you through the Arduino learning process in a hands-on way and it offers lots of quality items for the cost. If you have a bigger budget and want to get one of the easiest to use kits on the market, this one’s for you.

Key Features:

  • Parts and instructions for 15 projects
  • 150 pages book with comprehensive walk-through
  • Easy to use

3. Sunfounder Project Super Starter Kit V2.0

For those yearning for a more dynamic and creative experience, the Sunfounder Project Super Starter Kit seems like a solid option as it’s well suited for beginners who want to learn how to code. This starter kit offers you the ability to go over 19 projects thanks to a multitude of components that come in a stylish packaging.

The world of Arduino can be a magical place, especially for teens or beginners who have an interest in programming. As this kit contains 19 lessons which go in-depth over important aspects such as circuit connection and code explanations, you can begin making cool Arduino projects from scratch quickly and without too much hassle.

Some of the lessons are regarding the DC motor control, flowing LED lights, dot-matrix display, rotary encoder, and serial monitor to name a few. There’s detailed introduction of the various components found in this set so you can try some extension experiments on your own after you finish studying this kit.

The tutorials come with a project book and DVD that makes following along a breeze. It’s interesting to see how seamlessly the projects advance from the basics to learning geared towards more advanced users. To keep everything neatly together, SunFounder provides a blue plastic packaging box which will make it more easy to handle the kit’s components.

There’s no included Arduino board with this kit but this means that you can use whatever model you prefer. The experiments in the manual are based on the Uno board but SunFounder claims that they should suit other boards too like the Mega2560 or Leonardo.

In conclusion, the Sunfounder Project Super Starter Kit v2.0 is an excellent kit considering the overall value. It’s less expensive than some other models on the market and it offers an incredible amount of components and versatility.

Coupled with the easy-to-follow instructions, this is clearly a kit to keep in mind if you’re searching for a quality and reliable Arduino starter kit.

Key Features:

  • 19 projects with diverse functions
  • Stylish blue plastic packaging box
  • Great for beginners
  • Quick-responding technical support
  • Easy to use

4. Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit

Elegoo is a manufacturer of various components for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and 3D printers. It gained popularity as it’s concerned with the design and the development of high-quality components for starting your programming journey with Arduino. Their Super Starter Kit is offering a lot for the money and that is why it deserves a spot on this list.

This model comes with a staggering amount of lessons – 22 to be more exact. The PDF tutorial goes over the basic concepts and the more advanced projects. Most of the provided examples are extremely helpful for a beginner as they will walk you through the basics of how to wire up a circuit for example.

The lessons are good at explaining basic programming and the good news for those that get a bit too addicted to these fun projects is that you can always find more interesting examples on Arduino’s official website. They are absolutely free and they work without any issues with the components from this kit.

This kit is loaded with components and various electronic parts and a great addition is a Lcd1602 module with a pin header. It doesn’t have to be soldered by yourself so this is quite convenient. Elegoo made some improvements on this kit as this is an upgraded version that comes with power supply module. The included board is the UNO R3 model and some components worth mentioning are the servo motor (SG90), Ultrasonic Sensor, 5V Relay, and the Breadboard. A good selection of LEDs has been included. You will find five pieces of yellow, blue, green, and red LEDs plus one RGB LED for a total of 21 LEDs.

This is definitely one of the most economical kits you can find as it provides everything plus the Arduino board at a good price. Learning to work on various projects can be difficult at first for a beginner and it will take a while until you get the hang of the more advanced components but overall this is a valuable kit for the cost, so it’s fully recommended.

Key Features:

  • Free PDF tutorial with 20+ lessons
  • Recommended for beginners
  • Lcd1602 module with pin header
  • Power supply module, 9V battery with DC
  • High-quality kite with Uno R3

5. Kuman Arduino Project Complete Starter Kit

Another great starter kit for those getting into Arduino is the Kuman Complete Starter Kit. It boasts 23 lessons developed for beginners and advanced users alike and it provides a total of 44 components to create a reliable Arduino learning experience. The cost is quite low so this is a budget-friendly kit but it can still pack quite a punch.

As this is an upgraded version of Kuman’s Super Starter Kit, it comes with some improvements, most notably the addition of a high-quality LED Thermistor Touch sensor module. The board included in the kit is a Kuman UNO R3 development board. A 1602 LCD display with pin header can also be found in this kit but it does need to be soldered.

When it comes to power supply, Kuman supplies a 9V battery with DC prototype expansion board. Looking over the long list of components you can easily see that the most common and useful electronic parts are included. Nothing extra or unnecessary that you probably don’t need if you’re a beginner. Everything is packed in a nice plastic package to help you be more organized and store all the components in the same place.

Something that’s really appreciated regarding this manufacturer is how client-oriented they are. They promise detailed technical documentation tailored to different customers’ needs to ensure the best Arduino experience. The instructions provided in this kit come on a CD and they’re useful though sometimes they can be pretty challenging. It’s good that Kuman offers such extensive online support.

There is some good value in this kit, perhaps the only real drawback would be the Arduino clone board which can have some reliability issues and the box which although practical, is a bit tiny and it can be a challenging experience to get all the components of the kit back into the box. Kuman did a nice job with this starter kit considering what you pay for it, even if you have low expectations, you can be surprised how well this works for Arduino beginners.

Key Features:

  • Free PDF tutorial with 23 lessons
  • Developed for beginners
  • 44pcs components
  • Nice plastic package
  • Power Supply Module Servo Motor 9V Battery

6. Elegoo Mega 2560 Project Ultimate Starter Kit

Elegoo has some of the best starter kits for those interested in Arduino and one of the greatest kits you can find is their Ultimate Starter Kit. Geared towards Arduino hobbyists as well as more advanced users like those who work in professional labs or engineers, this kit is a strong choice if you want something more from an Arduino starter kit.

Figuring out electronics can be much simpler than expected if you have this incredible set of tools at your disposal, complete with intuitive instructions. The guidance provided by this kit is one of the best aspects of it. Even novice users who lack any electronics knowledge can follow the tutorials and step-by-step instructions and will come to enjoy learning about Arduino programming. There are a few translation issues here and there but nothing deal-breaking.

In terms of quality, Elegoo didn’t really make any compromises. The most important items like the controller board and the expansion boards are good Arduino clones with solid product finish. The kit offers lots of small parts like LED diodes, potentiometer, resistors and all the way to bigger components like the LCD 1602, breadboard, and the RFID module. The set is capable of meeting your demands and it doesn’t matter if your project is simple or complex.

Pins and wires on some helpful parts like the LCD 1602 have been pre-soldered for your convenience. It saves some time and it’s proof that Elegoo takes quality control standards very seriously. Most of the components tend to be sturdy and well-made. The customer support is excellent too. If you stumble upon any missing components or faulty parts, Elegoo is very responsive and will definitely solve your problem.

A great balance of quantity and quality, the Elegoo Mega 2560 Ultimate Starter Kit is a treasure of valuable goodies to get you started with Arduino programming. Don’t be deceived by the fact that this product is near the end of the list, it’s actually one of the best that money can buy. It’s just important to keep in mind that it’s a bit more expensive than budget kits but it’s totally worth it.

Key Features:

  • More than 200pcs components
  • Free PDF tutorial on a CD
  • Lcd1602 module & gy-521 sensor module with pin header
  • Clear listing package
  • Small box provided to keep widgets

7. Elegoo 37-in-1 Sensor Module Kit for Arduino UNO R3, MEGA, NANO v2.0

If you want to extend the possibilities for Arduino projects, getting a sensor module kit like this one provided by Elegoo is the perfect solution. This is the second version which has received certain upgrades as Elegoo took into account feedback from customers to improve their product. The light cup and mercury module have been removed as they contain mercury and there have been some interesting additions to reach 37 sensor modules in total.

The tutorial for this kit is reasonably comprehensive. It has all the schematics and wiring diagrams to figure out how to connect the components correctly and obtain the desired project. Speaking of projects, you’ve got more than 30 lessons that range from basic projects like how to use the DHT11 sensor to monitor temperature to more advanced ones like how to use a 1 channel relay module to make a timing control switch. These are not hard to follow even by beginners in programming with Arduino.

The Arduino IDE and programming codes are readily accessible on Elegoo’s website as well as on the CD. If you’re a professional and you’re in the mood for some DIY tasks, you can easily edit the codes to create a more customized experienced.

This sensor kit is a solid improvement over the previous version. Many useless modules like the hall sensors, the heartbeat sensor and one of the dual-color sensors have all been eliminated from the package. Instead, new ones have been added, which hopefully are more useful. You will discover a GY-521 accelerometer module, a DS3231 real time clock module, and an LCD 1602 screen among others.

As it comes with a pretty good documentation, this sensor kit is full of great items that will potentially offer you more creative possibilities to enjoy the wonders of Arduino programming. Considering all the features and the quality of the sensors, this kit represents excellent value for the money.

Key Features:

  • Resistor bag
  • 37 sensors modules
  • Great for beginners
  • Tutorial on a CD
  • Easy to use

8. Kuman UNO R3 Project Super Starter Kit

Kuman’s Super Starter Kit is a solid starter kit for anyone who wishes to learn the basic concepts of Arduino programming using a more hands-on approach. This comes with a Kuman Uno R3 motherboard and a nice tutorial for getting through engaging lessons and completing your first Arduino projects.

The kit will provide you all the needed tools to embark upon a creative journey and learn to use various parts and components involved in a project. Some of the projects that you can make using this kit are the Flame module, LED Scintillation test, Passive buzzer, and the Digital tube display experiment.

Kuman includes various sensors, for flame and temperature, and to complete mechanical control over objects you have the servo, motor, and the ULN2003 driver board at your disposal. For displaying your work you can use the supplied LCD module. The kit is compatible with Arduino UNO R3 as well as with the MEGA 2560 NANO.

The parts from the kit come individually wrapped and they all fit into a convenient plastic carrying case. Everything is functional and ready to use but if there are any issues, Kuman can be extremely supportive and provide a solution. Besides the instructions, the source code for the projects is also present without any additional charges so this can be a great way for both beginners and more advanced students to learn.

There is some extra work that needs to be done during the first time you’re using the kit if you’re not familiar with electronics, but thankfully you can also do a quick search on YouTube and find some excellent tutorial series that will provide a better understanding of Arduino basics. Although this kit offers good projects and the manufacturers obviously put some effort with their guidance, some of the translations and instructions aren’t that great so you might have to rely on other sources.

A nice kit, all in all, the Kuman Super Starter Kit can help you to put together a few projects within a couple of hours. It’s not that difficult to set-up though you can experience some issues when you’re reading the instructions. As the parts are of decent quality and very affordable, this can be considered as a good candidate for an Arduino starter kit.

Key Features:

  • Easy to learn basic programming
  • Servo, motor included
  • ULN2003 driver board provided
  • LCD modules for displaying your work
  • Free PDF tutorial and clear listing