We’ve searched the planet for the best microcontroller programmer and we believe the Pickit2 is the best value around. Not only do you get Microchip standing behind it (so it’s more likely to work with new PICs as they come out), you also get a bunch of great functionality thrown in. Sure, it can program PICs, and fast too, and debug a fair range of them. However it also comes with a bunch of fantastic features. Once the PIC is programmed, you can then turn the Pickit2 into a USB-UART Serial converter, or even a 3 channel logic analyser to see what’s happening in your circuit. If you’re getting into embedded electronics, this is a great tool to get you going.