Resistor lead forming tool

by dnewman, published

Resistor lead forming tool by dnewman Jul 2, 2012

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77589Views 24448Downloads Found in Hand Tools


If you like your resistor and diode leads to be bent uniformly and consistently, then this tool is for you. It also provides a useful task for the wee little ones in the house who want to assist you with your electronics projects.


There are three mix-and-match styles to the supplied STL files: metric vs. imperial, narrow vs. wide, and long vs. short. The significance of these three styles are,

metric: lead spacings in increments of 2 millimeters
imperial: lead spacings in increments of 0.05 inches

narrow: for small resistors whose bodies are no longer than 6.75 mm (0.25 inches)
wide: for medium resistors whose bodies are no longer than 10.50 mm (0.40 inches)

long: a long tool with lead spacings up to 40 mm (1.5 inches)
short: a shorter tool with lead spacings up to 30 mm (1.0 inch)

The two OpenSCAD source files are nearly identical with the only difference being that one has settings for metric units whilst the other imperial. As the files are fully parameterized: it is easy to change the increments, dimensions, spacings, widths, etc. of the tools by editing the OpenSCAD files and then re-rendering the tools.

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I always needed one of these and never considered printing it... Thanks!

I have been prototyping PCBs for over 40 years and wish I had thought of this - Very useful. Thank you !! And thank you for sharing.

Brilliant. I really wanted one of these, but the price was absurd. Glad to see that there's an easy solution!

Been looking for exactly this.
I don't much feel like paying $30 (each) for the commercial versions, not waiting a month for the chinese ones.
was about to start designing my own - but - you have done all the hard work - thanks!

Love it! Works great.

this will be amazing for using with Breadboard style prototyping. thank you.

I like the idea, but in my experience, the distance of the holes for a given component size is given, so do you really need different lead lenghts? wouldnt it be more useful the other way round, one tool with different component sizes and one lead length?

Feb 26, 2015 - Modified Feb 26, 2015
Dranoweb - in reply to GoingForGold

I can tell you now - every board is different.
I have assembled kits from a variety of manufacturers - each manufacturer has it's own standards, and there isn't an ISO standard to board design, everyone does it different.

especially uni students lol - but we won't talk about that.

PCB layout designers are free to use whatever lead spacing they want, regardless of the component size. (And yes, you can even make the lead spacing narrower than the component's length which is where you end up with resistors mounted standing up on end.) One classic example is when you straddle a resistor over several traces in which case you may end up with lead spacing wider than otherwise normal. That's done to avoid use of a via. Another common case is when you make your own PCBs: it's a lot easier to drill a series of holes which are all lined up nicely. As such, you may make the lead spacing the same for several resistors and, say, diodes even if the spacings are wider than normal for some of the components.

Great idea. Can't wait to use it!

Very nice!

Siempre he querido tener uno y nunca compre.


Very nice, printing the narrow imperial short, which sounds somehow like a dwarf darth vader.

Excellent; neet that you made up the variety of sizes. Will be printing these soon.

As of late, it seems that Thingiverse has been favoring the publication of ready-to-print items rather than the more general "tools" by which you can generate your own, customized copies (e.g., OpenSCAD source files). With that in mind, I went ahead and made the eight variations.

If there's some additional useful sizes, let me know and I'll add them.

dnewman, you should update this guy to use the Customizer engine now.

I am glad my laziness for putting off designing these paid off :-P

Great job!

Thanks much. It used to be that when I went to trade shows, some of the vendors gave these out. Haven't seen them in years (as give away items). And, worse yet, I couldn't find mine! [And I was also a bit shocked a year or so back to find out how much a manual wire wrap tool costs. Another thing I could occasionally pick up for free at trade shows.)

There are two kinds of wire wrap tools: The joke kind, a single-ended silver thing with a little easily-lost stripper tool in a separate cavity which costs a million bucks. And the two-ended kind with built-in stripper and remover which only costs a few.