SMD components packaging

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 3, 2007
I want to start working with SMD components, and I want to get (for now) some basic resistors that I use more often.

I am buying the components from Digi-Key, and I have a few options between the packages, but I have no clue how they look like, and what's best to get?
The options are:

Cut Tape (CT)
Tape & Reel (TR)

I tried to find on Google some images for the different types of packages, but the images show parts, not how they are packaged!


Joined Oct 15, 2009
the datasheets for the parts will show how they are commonly packaged.
Bulk=a bag of them
Cut tape= a small portion cut from tape and reel and still mounted on the tape (no reel)..useful for very short runs on semi manual pick/place machines that feature a feeding method for those. Typically really only for manual vacuum pickup placement.
Digi-reel=like a cut tape but includes the reel. short runs on pick/place machines with feeders.
tape&reel= self-explanitory.. lots of parts on a standard reel.

Unless you have a pick and place machine or a manual vacuum pickup tool/reel holder then bulk or cut tape is what you want. But you can use any of the others you just need to peel off the tape and pull the parts out.
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Joined Sep 7, 2009
If you've got anything interesting to swap, the first post in the Flea Market has a starter selection of 50 each of some useful values (on tape).


Joined Oct 26, 2011
Go with the cut tape--this stuff is so small that they disappear in bulk packaging.
Also do not go smaller than the 0805 size resistors/capacitors to start--they are small but a good deal easier to work with than the smaller 0603 size or the microscopic 0402 size.
For transistors, do not go smaller than SO-23 size.
For op amps and logic, do not go less than 0.050" lead pitch.
If hand soldering, get some fine solder 0.020" dia 63/37 alloy
Do not consider the high temp tin/silver/copper solder alloy--difficult to use