Why Are Arduinos So Expensive?

Living back in my country, I had to think twice before investing my money in an Arduino board. It was just too costly, so if you also think that Arduino is expensive, here I’ll show you the reasons behind it.

So, why are Arduinos so expensive? Because Arduino boards are not ordinary boards. They’re microcontrollers that can do wonders if used right. One can create a variety of projects ranging from simple LED blinking projects to complicated fingerprint-based machines.

Arduino has priced their boards the way they do because they got a lot to offer. In this article, you’ll know 9 reasons why Arduinos are so expensive.

What Is the Price Range of Arduino Boards?

Before talking about why Arduinos are expensive, let’s first take a look at the price range of Arduino boards.

The cheapest Arduino board available at the official Arduino store is the Arduino Leonardo which retails for approximately $20. It is closely followed by the Arduino UNO at $22.

The most expensive Arduino board is Arduino UNO Wi-Fi, with a price tag of about $45.

I wrote a full price comparison guide for Arduino that can be found here: chipwired.com/arduino-cost-guide/

The cheapest Arduino doesn’t really cost a lot, but when compared to its clones available in the market, it’s is way more expensive. Arduino UNO clones retail for around $5 to $10; hence, many people go for buying these clones instead of a genuine Arduino board.

Of course, using a clone might cause a lot of problems depending on the retailer you purchased it. One of the most common issues of clones is “not being recognized” by your computer, as I well explained and showed how to solve it in this article.

Here 9 Reasons Why Arduinos Are so Expensive

After looking at the price range of Arduino boards, let’s figure out why Arduino boards are so expensive as compared to their cheap Chinese clones, which are taking the market by storm.

If you look at the size of an Arduino board, you’d ask yourself, “why should I pay so much money for such a tiny electronic item?”.

The answer to this question is that this small electronic item has a lot to offer. Your investment in an Arduino board will never go to waste if you use it right.

Reason #1: Arduino is a High-Quality Board

Original Arduino boards are equipped with 100% genuine components that don’t smoke out very quickly as compared to Arduino clones.

The microprocessor chip, protection diode, voltage regulator, LEDs and other components, including the internal circuitry, everything is designed the way it’s supposed to be, and no one can create an exact copy of the original Arduino boards.

There are always loopholes present in the cheap clones, which often leads to permanent damage to these boards.

Reason #2: Arduino Boards Have a Long Life

Buying an original, high-quality board means that it will last for a long time if used right.

It won’t smoke out very quickly, and neither will the processor overheat when working on lengthy projects.

If you use the board correctly, without frying it, you’ll end up using the board for as long as ten years or even more.

Isn’t that great for a price tag as low as $23? You don’t even get to wear your $23 T-shirt for ten years!

Reason #3: You Get Less Programming Errors

People who use Arduino clones face a lot of programming errors because the Arduino IDE doesn’t recognize those fake Arduino board.

Since the IDE was designed for original boards, working with clones might cause you troubles.

So, If you wish to run your projects smoothly with unnecessary errors, then go for the original board.

Reason #4: You Can Make a Multitude of Projects

With an Arduino board costing as low as $23, you can build a multitude of projects ranging from simple LED blinking projects to complicated robotic cars, home automation projects, and what not!

For me, it has always been amazing the variety of projects one can do with a single Arduino board and for just a small price of $23!

If you wish to check out some cool Arduino projects, click here.

Reason #5: Arduino Offers a Wide Range of Boards

Did you know that there’s an Arduino board that can be sewn inside clothes? Well, now, you do!

The advantage of buying a genuine board from the official Arduino store is that you can check out their whole range of boards. Boards such as UNO, Nano, and MEGA have gained in popularity.

But, there are many other boards that one can use in various projects, and some even have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, which means you don’t need to attach an external Wi-Fi module (a shield) with them.

Visit the official Arduino store and check out their range of products.

Reason #6: Arduino Shields and Other Products

With a genuine Arduino board, you can use their actual shields and modules without any complications.

Original Arduino shields and modules are also available on their website, and they can be easily fixed with your genuine Arduino board.

If you buy a fake Arduino board, the chances are that the shields won’t run with those boards. Hence, it’s best to invest your money in buying a genuine product that can efficiently work with external modules as well.

Reason #7: There’s a Free Arduino IDE Software

You can download the Arduino IDE software off the internet for free. Another advantage that Arduino is offering to its buyers.

Arduino is providing their software for free, even though many programmers have developed this software by investing a lot of time and hard work, yet you’re getting the software at no cost.

So, even if you’re paying a bit more instead of buying a fake Arduino board, you’re getting free an open-source software to program your board the way you want it. That’s a great deal!

Reason #8: Arduino Programming is Easy to Learn

Another advantage that Arduino offers is that you can program the boards quickly through a series of C and C++ codes.

The program structure and language are simple to learn, and if you grasp the basics of Arduino programming (which I bet will be in no time), then I believe you can do cool projects with that tiny board.

Reason #9: Arduino has Ever-growing Resources

There are plenty of resources, tutorials, and libraries available on the internet, which you can access to create your dream projects. And most of them, for free!

Arduino is an open-source platform, and that ‘s why its resources are growing day by day.

There are many programmers all around the globe, who are continuously developing new libraries and tutorials for Arduino hobbyists and students to experiment and create new projects.

Having such an open-source library is by far the most significant advantage you get when you invest in buying an Arduino board.

In case you don’t know how to install an additional library, click here.

Why Should You Buy an Expensive Arduino Board?

You may still be thinking, why should I invest in Arduino boards when there are plenty of cheap options available? Well, the previous section discussed a lot of advantages that you can enjoy when buying an original Arduino board.

Moreover, buying an original product instead of its cheap clone offers many other advantages that I didn’t mention here. But I bet you’ll discover them once you start creating your projects and reading around for help.

Guess who the ones who run into problems over and over are?

Arduino clones aren’t worth the money, and if you buy a clone, you’ll instantly notice the difference between the fake and the real board.

Fake boards usually have untidy and poor-quality soldering, which is very noticeable.

When you buy fake Arduino boards, that means you’re supporting manufacturers who are rather cheaters because they couldn’t come up with their own microcontroller board; hence they tried ripping off a genuine line of boards.

You can build a lot of Arduino projects with a single board and keep on experimenting with new stuff with high quality and last longing genuine microcontroller like Arduino, costing you nothing more than a few dollars.

Always make the right choice because this is meant for joy!

For more learning resources on this topic:

  1. Battle of Arduino and Other IoT Boards (elektropeak.com).
  2. Arduino Clones vs. the Real Thing: Advantages of Genuine Arduino Boards (arrow.com).
  3. Arduino Products. Entry Level (arduino.cc).


Engineer and electronics enthusiast. Enjoys solving problems with electronics and programming.

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