Resistor lead diameter grumble

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 16, 2010
I received an order today from a well known supplier. Some of the 1/4w resistors have what I consider to be "standard" lead diameter, i.e., ≈ .021", but others have what I consider to be cheap lead diameter, i.e., ≈ .013". The thinner ones are also shorter. Functionally, I suppose it doesn't matter (except for solderless breadboard use), but it "bugs" me.

Would anyone else be bothered by this?


Joined Nov 30, 2010
I thought a country boy like you would know that without any hesitation :D

I only meant, "diameter", not what the google page says.
(I didn't even know about the google definition.)

Anyway, the mass of the connecting wire is a primary exit for heat.


Joined Feb 11, 2008
I would not stress over it. They are just saving metal costs on what are basically obsolete parts now apart from hobby use.

A 1/4W resistor would not be a good choice if you need to push the heat dissipation spec anyway, I would use 400mW metal film which are about the same package and mount size.


Joined Nov 3, 2012
Yes, it bugs me.

I also got some shorter-than-normal resistors which were a pain to use recently when they didn't reach as far as the original part.
I received some T0-220 regulators where the 7815's had a tab that was
about 1/2 the normal thickness. That was also a BIGGER pain 'cause the
original shoulder washer didn't work without a slight modification.

Oh Well...:)

Duane P Wetick

Joined Apr 23, 2009
This brings to mind a GE locomotive over-reaction when a locomotive would not start for world dignitaries all because of the failure of a 3 watt resistor. When I was shown the offending component, it was obvious (at least to me), the resistor maker decided to economize the leadouts due to the cost of copper and used a smaller wire size. Wire fatigue (or the other word) caused the problem so all locomotive resistors had to be 100% tested after this event. I think they went to fatter power resistor leadouts after this.

Cheers, DPW [Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]