This low cost programmable capacitor is something everyone should have in their parts box as it’s basically guaranteed you’ll have a use for it at some point. In a pinch, you can get by with using trimmer capacitors but these have the disadvantage that you don’t know the exact capacitance it’s set to. Just that it is somewhere in the given range. Another disadvantage is that to be really flexible and have a big range of capacitance you would have to stock out your parts bin with a large number of trimmer pots.
This 5 decade variable capacitor gives you the huge range of 100 pF to 9.999uF to work with. You can fine tune it to within 100 pF which will be more than enough for most hobbyist use. The capacitors used have a tolerance of 5% on their capacitance. The uses of programmable capacitors are too numerous to possibly list. From working with op-amps to tuning a filter, having one of these capacitors at hand will make your life easier and let you work faster.