Arduino | Beginners

Best Arduino Board for my Project | Choosing Arduino Board

Are you trying to figure out what Arduino you should buy? There are tons of different Arduino boards out there, which one is best for you? By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to decide which Arduino is right for you, and you’ll be able to buy with confidence. Find out Which is the best Arduino board for your project.

You’ll also learn about the must-have accessories if you’re planning on getting into Arduino. Here are the best buy arduino boards that you can buy online.

Buying Best Arduino Board Online

If you go to the Arduino website and look at the boards at the store, they’ve got over 20 different boards listed. If you check Wikipedia, they list over 182 different Arduino-compatible boards. has over 1,000 listings of the Arduino board, not to mention 51 different brands selling Arduino stuff. What gives? Which one are you supposed to get? Why are the names all so funky, and how do you know if the software is gonna work for the one that you buy?

Best Arduino Board for my Project

Well, let me make this as clear and simple as possible. I’m gonna cut through all of that noise, and I’m just gonna tell you which Arduino you should by for 99% of what you need to do. Are you ready for it?

Beginners Arduino Boards you can Buy Online

1. Arduino Uno R3

Buy an Arduino UNO Rev3. Rev3 stands for revision three. It’s that easy. And here’s why I can say that with confidence. First off the Arduino is by far the most popular Arduino board out there. So if you’re just getting started, and you wanna look at some example code that’s out there, you’re gonna find tons of it available for the Arduino UNO.

best arduino board should i buy
Arduino Uno

Reason number two. Not only there a ton of code available for the Arduino UNO, but most of the add-ons that you’ll find for Arduino called shields, are built to work with the Arduino UNO. This is one of the best Arduino Board for your electronic Project.

Reason number three. For 99% of your needs, the Arduino UNO is going to do exactly what you need. The UNO has 20 separate input-output channels called pins, and all of those channels could be used to read digital on-off type inputs. Six of those inputs can be used to read analog inputs, like if you were turning a knob. So for the lion’s share of projects, that is going to be plenty of input-output options.

So that’s my recommendation. I would get an Arduino UNO Rev3, and I really think you’ll be happy that you did. But come on, we need some exceptions to a rule, right? Okay, well let me cover two cases where you might want a different Arduino board.

2. Arduino MEGA

Let’s say that you’ve already got this predefined project that you have in mind, and you already know that you need tons of inputs or tons of outputs to make it work. If that’s the case, you may wanna check out the Arduino MEGA 2560 Rev3.

best arduino board for my project
Arduino Mega

Its got 54 input-output pins, that’s almost three times that of the UNO. Now the Arduino MEGA works almost exactly like the Arduino UNO, so I would still recommend it need some just getting started. But only if you’re positive you need more input-output channels, than what already comes with an Arduino UNO.

Best Arduino Board with Small Size

Now maybe you like the idea of the UNO, but you’re looking for a slightly different form factor. Maybe you need something that’s really small.

3. Arduino Nano

The Arduino Nano is a tiny and complete Arduino board which can be connected to the breadboard, powered by an ATmega328P. It can do almost everything an Arduino Uno can do but all the circuitries are compact and packed closer reducing the form factor. It doesn’t have a DC power jack, and it works with a Mini USB cable instead of a standard one. This is one of the best Arduino Board for your Project where space is an issue.

which arduino board should i buy
Arduino Nano

4. Arduino Pro Mini

This teeny tiny board was developed for applications and projects where space is premium and installations are made permanent. Small, available in 3.3 V and 5 V versions, powered by ATmega328

best Arduino Board for my project
Arduino Pro Mini

Best Arduino Board for IOT Projects

5. Arduino MKR Series

However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these wireless boards if you’re just getting started with Arduino. There is this very small, yet very real level of complexity that makes these just ever slightly less user-friendly, than your stock Arduino UNO.

But there is a family of Arduino Boards – Arduino MKR Family, that are specifically designed for IOT projects, with different types of Wireless communication, complete libraries and community support. These are some of the best Arduino Board for your IOT Project.

Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 – with WiFi Connectivity

Arduino MKR Vidor 4000 – On Board FPGA

Arduino MKR NB 1500 – Narrow Band IoT NB classes and LTE CAT M1 networks

Arduino MKR WAN 1300 – LORA Connectivity

Arduino MKR GSM 1400 – GSM Connectivity

Arduino MKR1000 – WiFi Connectivity

Arduino Clones

What Are Arduino Compatible Boards?

Now one confusing thing about buying an Arduino UNO, is that you’ll find that there’s many companies sell Arduino UNO clones. So if you didn’t know, the company that came up with Arduino made their hardware design open source for people to use.

Best Arduino Clone
Arduino Clones

It’s called open source hardware. Kind of like open source software, except they are sharing the electrical design files instead of the actual code. So what this means is that there are tons of other companies that have taken the exact same design of the Arduino UNO and simply cloned it. Then they add a fancy name often with the suffix duino, and they say something like ‘hey it’s Arduino compatible’. And in fact, in most cases, these clones are fully Arduino compatible.

Smaller Arduino Like / Arduino Clone Boards

Well, you could check out a company called TinyCircuits, they make super small Arduino boards. But here’s the good news, whatever Arduino boards you buy as long as it says compatible with Arduino, chances are that you’re gonna be just fine using it. That’s kind of what’s great about Arduino. The code you write on one board can be transferred to tons of different boards, usually with no changes or very minor changes to the code. So if you already have an Arduino board, and you’re wondering if you got the right one you’re probably fine.

Arduino Like / Clone Board for IOT Projects

Now let’s say you’ve got a project in mind that connects wirelessly to the Internet. If that’s the case, I would recommend getting a board that uses the ESP8266. Two great options would be the Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266, or the SparkFun ESP8266 Thing Development Board. These boards are not technically Arduino, but they can be programmed with Arduino code and in the Arduino IDE.

They come with good code libraries for making connecting to the Internet relatively simple, and if you buy from an established seller, they’ll have a good working example for you to start with. Interestingly enough, these WiFi-enabled boards are less expensive than an Arduino UNO.

Should I Buy Arduino Clone?

So they’ve got these reputable companies that do this, they sell clones of Arduino UNO. Now the boards have different logos on them, and sometimes they’ll have slightly different features, but for all intents and purposes, they work great with the Arduino software and other Arduino shields. So should you buy an Arduino from the Arduino company, or should you buy a clone? Does it matter?

Well the Arduino you buy from usually cost a little bit more, and the selling point of the clones is that they kind of cost less. Now I’m not a sentimental guy by any stretch, but for your first Arduino board I’d actually recommend buying your board from, or a certified distributor of Arduino. I say this because I think the Arduino company does good stuff, like support the Arduino IDE. So, in my opinion, it’s supporting a good cause. But hey, it’s your call.

Arduino Accessories

So let’s switch gears now, and talk about the must-have accessories if you’re getting into Arduino. Now before we jump into this, I don’t recommend going out and buying everything you think you need to set up an electronics shop, if you’re just getting started into Arduino and electronics. It makes more sense to kind of gradually getting stuff built up. But if all you bought was an Arduino board and no sensors or output devices to play with, it can be not quite as exciting.

USB Cable for Arduino

Okay, so the first thing you’re gonna need is a USB cable to connect your Arduino to your computer. Assuming you take my advice and you get an Arduino UNO, you’ll need an AB-type USB cable. This is the kind of cable that you use to hook a printer up to your computer. And since it’s needed I guess it’s not really an accessory, but hey it made the list. Now if you bought a different style of Arduino board, you may wanna make sure you have a micro USB cable hanging around, as that’s a common type of connector for other boards.

Arduino Kit

The next must-have accessory is an Arduino kit. And the reason I say this is because the prices have gotten so affordable on these kits, that it really just doesn’t hurt to have one laying around. Oftentimes the buying of the individual components cost more anyway, so it can save you some time and a little bit of cash.

Best Arduino Kit
Arduino Kit

Now there’s a ton of different kits out there. One way to pick a kit is to ask yourself, what kind of project do you have in mind? Maybe you can find a kit that already has some of the items that you need in the project anyway. I know trying to find specific components that you know will work with Arduino, can sometimes be just a little bit intimidating. Especially if you’re just getting started. But if you buy those pieces as part of an Arduino kit, you can be pretty sure they’re gonna work just fine with Arduino.

Note: Now you’ll wanna make sure the kit comes with a solderless breadboard. You use a solderless breadboard to make temporary electrical connections with different components. You’ll also wanna make sure that it comes with jumper wires, which are wires for making these temporary electrical connections. You’ll wanna ensure it comes with a handful of resistors, and some LEDs. And these are mostly for building simple circuits to kind of play around with. Chances are all those things I just mentioned are gonna be part of a good Arduino kit.

Arduino Shields

Now an alternative to buying a kit with a bunch of different components is to buy an Arduino shield that has a bunch of components built into it. This is probably the best option for people who are maybe already into electronics, kind of familiar with simple circuits, and would rather focus on learning how to program the Arduino.

best Arduino Board shield
Arduino Shield

There are companies that make similar kind of shields. You can check out DrDuino, they make a really cool shield also.

Getting Started with Arduino

Well, I hope you’re excited to get started with Arduino. It can really be a ton of fun, and extremely satisfying to have programmed and built something yourself. If you wanna jumpstart your Arduino programming skills, then you should check out YouTube channel Here. We offer many free step by step training courses to get you started programming Arduino.

New to Robotics?

We have a beginners guide on “Getting Started with Robotics” which will give you a kick start in this field. Check out our free video tutorial below for a brief introduction.

Robotics for Beginners and Kids

Top Arduino Projects You can Try this Summer Vacation

Top Robotics Projects You can Try this Summer Vacation

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If you enjoyed this video, click the red button to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and you’ll get updates of the new lessons that we release. Well hey, it’s back over to you now. What’s your favorite Arduino board? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments. Have a great day, and I’ll see you in the next lesson. Bye.

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