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Through-Hole & Surface Mount Technology

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Through-Hole & Surface Mount Technology

July 1, 2024

Comprehensive Comparison for Circuit Board Designing

When it comes to circuit board designing, choosing the right components can make a significant impact on the overall performance and functionality of the device. Two types of electronic components that are commonly used in circuit board designing are through-hole components and surface mount components. In brief article, we will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of components with a focus on the benefits and drawbacks for circuit board designing.

Considering that these two technologies are available for assembly at JLCPCB

Through-Hole Components

Through-hole components are named after the holes that are drilled into a printed circuit board (PCB) to accommodate the leads of the component establishing the connection of the components to the circuit copper traces. These components have lead wires that pass through the holes in the PCB, and they are then soldered on the opposite side.

Through-Hole component

Advantages of Through-Hole Components


Durability: Through-hole components have a higher level of durability as they are more resistant to vibration and shock due to their leads connection that takes large surface on the board. This makes them ideal for applications that require ruggedness, such as in the military and aerospace industries.

Reliability: Through-hole components are easier to troubleshoot and replace when they fail. This is because their leads are easily accessible and can be soldered by hand without the need for special equipment and the minimum electronics assembly knowledge will make you able to easily solder most of the possible components.

Easier to work with: Through-hole components are easier to handle and place on the PCB, especially for beginners. They also provide a stronger mechanical connection, which means they can withstand higher levels of stress and strain.

Disadvantages of Through-Hole Components

Time-consuming: Through-hole components require more time to install as they need to be manually inserted into the PCB holes and soldered.

Larger size: Through-hole components are larger in size than their surface mount counterparts. This can be an issue for miniaturization in designs where size and space are a concern.

Cost: Through-hole components are generally more expensive than surface mount components. This is because they require more material and are more labor-intensive to install.

Surface Mount Components

Surface mount components (SMD) are designed to be mounted directly onto the surface of the PCB without the need for holes. This makes them more compact and enables them to be placed closer together, allowing for higher circuit densities.

Advantages of Surface Mount Components

Size: Surface mount components are smaller in size, making them ideal for applications where space is limited.

Speed: Surface mount components can be installed faster than through-hole components as they can be soldered using automated machines.

Cost-effective: Surface mount components are generally cheaper than through-hole components, as they require fewer materials and less labor to install.

Surface Mounted Components

Disadvantages of Surface Mount Components

Durability: Surface mount components are more susceptible to vibration and shock, making them less suitable for rugged applications.

Difficult to troubleshoot: Surface mount components are difficult to troubleshoot and replace, as their small size and close proximity to each other make them hard to access.

Solder joint reliability: Solder joint reliability is a potential issue with surface mount components, especially if the PCB is subject to thermal cycling or other forms of stress.


Both through-hole and surface mount components have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to circuit board designing. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the application, such as the level of durability, size, cost, and ease of installation. Therefore, it is essential to consider all the factors before selecting the components for the design. By doing so, the designer can ensure that the circuit board meets the necessary requirements and functions optimally.