Molecular Model Kit

Hey! I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a molecular model kit. Prentice Hall any good? Is it worthwhile to get one for designed for gen chem and orgo or just save the purchase for orgo time?

Thanks in advance!

really doesn’t matter all that much imo. I’d go with a cheap one.

If you don’t mind using computer kits, jmol is a cool 3d program. It has a small learning curve, but you once you figure it out you can build molecules faster than others with the plastic kits.

I used it through Orgo I and II. You can also search for molecules by IUPAC name. I did this during class quite a bit.


I have kits from molymod and from megamolecules was fine for the most part (and cheaper), but i do love my molymod kit. I didn’t use an online program but then I have a lot of trouble visualizing things so having physical things to hold and mess with helped me out. you’ll find that every kit has its drawbacks, since there are exceptions and odd circumstances that you will not be able to build with a physical kit.

i think it’s not helpful at all for gen chem, except POSSIBLY for vespr, but as radardenny says, jmol would be fine for that; and to underscore what he wrote, you wouldn’t have the same drawbacks with jmol.

I strongly disliked the Prentice Hall molymod style kit - it does not allow you to see the mechanics of the “ring flip” for cyclohexane going from chair to boat configuration.

I DID like the Molecular Visions/ Darling Models molecular model kit. This is the one my professor recommended, and it allowed me to better visualize the more complex molecules (like cyclohexane). It also made you “feel” the strain with certain configurations.

I never used models in general chemistry, but that was a LONG time ago, too. But the models are essential for organic chemistry. I had an o-chem classmate who tried to get by without models (attempting to save money) - big mistake. Some of the concepts that she really struggled with were suddenly crystal clear when I showed her models of what they were talking about.

Good luck! (BTW, it is possible to actually enjoy organic chemistry - it’s a big logic puzzle. Put in the hours, learn the rules/reasons, systematically apply them, and enjoy the process of figuring it all out.)


I wouldn’t spend too much money on a kit. I never needed one but some folks loved them.

+1 on Bailey’s comment. You may want to wait to see if you actually need it before purchasing. I rarely saw people needing to use one. If you can visualize things well in your head then you can save some money.

Also they won’t let you have a kit during the MCAT.

Whereas, for me, the model kit was absolutely necessary for me to figuring out chirality for weeks before I could keep it straight without the model (l hand? Rt hand??)

That was mainly what I used it for.

You might check with your school. Some organic chemistry depts/lab carry kit that students can check out/borrow.

Thanks, everyone! I will hold off on buying a kit for now, but when the time comes for Organic Chemistry I will probably end up buying/using one. Now I know the pros and cons and that all brands are probably pretty equal.