My Favorite Electronics Distributor
For my Factory Software Blog projects, the winner is Mouser.
It’s easy for me to order from catalog distributors like Mouser and Digikey, and with their wide range of products, I can get almost everything I need from either one, which is convenient and saves on shipping.Â Both have excellent search engines that really help pinpoint the products I need.
Mouser’s result pages are prettier than Digikey’s, but that’s not all.Â Mouser shows volume pricing on the result page, allow you to sort by price, and allow you to continue to filter even with less than one page of results.Â Typically Mouser is a bit cheaper than Digikey (though not always).
The real reason I’ve done all my Factory Software Blog ordering from Mouser is that that I’ve been choosing a lot of Phoenix Contact Combicon PCB connectors for various interface PCB boards, and Mouser stocks a much wider variety of Combicon components than Digikey.Â Digikey won’t sell many Combicon parts in single quantities: you have to buy the whole pack (e.g. 10 parts or 50 parts).Â Â Ugh!
Newark also has a good range of parts but is often pricier than Mouser (although I’ve heard that prices can be negotiated).Â Allied Electronics has a better selection of industrial products (such as pneumatics).Â But the big problem with both: their search engines are terrible.
One reader puts in a good word for Premier Farnell’s new social forum site.Â It might be great, along with other such forums (e.g. TI E2E, ADI’s new one, CNCZone, Control Engineering’s LinkedIn and Facebook groups, etc), but I’m not interested in forums right now.Â Been there, done that.
The jumbo distributors like Arrow and Avnet do have the widest range of electronics, but aren’t as friendly to individuals.Â Neither are local automation distributors (although I’ve bought a couple items from them), but they typically do have better prices and service than the catalog distributors.Â So I use them a lot at work, but they’re too much of a hassle for my Factory Software Blog projects.