10 Differences Between resistor and resistance

Resistor vs Resistance

Resistor vs Resistance

Resistor and resistance are fundamental concepts in electrical engineering. In this article, we will discuss the difference between a resistor and resistance, their examples, uses, and provide a comprehensive table comparing their various aspects.

What is a Resistor?

A resistor is an electronic component that restricts the flow of electric current. It is designed to have a specific resistance value to control the amount of current passing through a circuit. The resistance is measured in Ohms (Ω). Resistors are typically cylindrical in shape with color-coded bands indicating their tolerance and resistance value.

Examples of Resistors:

  • Carbon Composition Resistor
  • Wirewound Resistor
  • Film Resistor
  • Variable Resistor (Potentiometer)
  • Thermistor

Uses of Resistors:

  • Current limiting
  • Voltage division
  • Signal conditioning
  • Pulse shaping
  • Temperature sensing

What is Resistance?

Resistance, on the other hand, is a property of any conductor or electronic component that opposes the flow of electric current. It is the measure of how difficult it is for electrons to move through a material. Resistance is influenced by factors like the dimensions of the conductor, its temperature, and the composition of the material.

Examples of Resistance:

  • A wire in a circuit
  • A light bulb filament
  • A heating element in an appliance
  • An electronic component

Uses of Resistance:

  • Power generation
  • Electrical heating
  • Regulating current flow
  • Circuit protection
  • Signal attenuation

Differences Between Resistor and Resistance:

Difference Area Resistor Resistance
Definition An electronic component that limits the flow of electric current. A property of any conductor or electronic component that opposes the flow of electric current.
Measurement Unit Ohms (Ω) Ohms (Ω)
Shape Cylindrical N/A
Color Code Used to indicate tolerance and resistance value. N/A
Examples Carbon Composition Resistor, Wirewound Resistor, Film Resistor Wire in a circuit, Light bulb filament, Heating element
Uses Current limiting, Voltage division, Signal conditioning Power generation, Electrical heating, Circuit protection
Opposition to Current Flow A resistor actively resists the current flow. Resistance is a passive property that opposes current flow.
Application Embedded in circuits as discrete components. Exists in any conducting material or component.
Design / Manufacturing Manufactured as a separate component. Depends on the material and dimensions of the conductor.
Control A resistor’s resistance value can be controlled during manufacturing. Resistance is an inherent property of the material and cannot be easily controlled.


In summary, a resistor is a specific electronic component designed to limit current flow, while resistance is a property that opposes current flow in any conductor or electronic component. Resistors are discrete components used for specific purposes, while resistance exists in various conducting materials and components. Understanding these differences is crucial for designing and analyzing electrical circuits.

People Also Ask:

  • Q: What is the purpose of a resistor?
  • A: A resistor is used to control the flow of electric current, limit voltage, and divide voltage in electronic circuits.

  • Q: What factors affect resistance?
  • A: Resistance is influenced by factors such as the length, cross-sectional area, temperature, and material of the conductor.

  • Q: Are resistance and impedance the same?
  • A: No, impedance refers to the total opposition to the flow of alternating current, including both resistance and reactance.

  • Q: Can resistance be negative?
  • A: No, resistance is always positive as it represents the opposition to current flow.

  • Q: How are resistors identified?
  • A: Resistors are identified by color-coded bands that indicate their tolerance and resistance value.

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