Although jumper wires and protoboard They have greatly facilitated the work of electronic DIY makers and lovers, allowing them to create circuits and easily disassemble them without the need for soldering. The truth is that when a project needs to be finished for permanent use, soldering is always used. In addition, it is also necessary to replace components of a pcb, for repairs, etc. Here you can see a complete guide so you can choosing the best soldering iron and soldering station market.
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Table of Contents
- 1 The best soldering irons and soldering stations
- 2 The best reballing stations
- 3 best desoldering irons
- 4 Consumables
- 4.1 Lead free tin spools
- 4.2 desoldering reels
- 4.3 Flux
- 4.4 soldering tips
- 4.5 cleaner
- 4.6 Magnifying loupes for soldering small components
- 4.7 Stencils or BGA templates and more
- 4.7.1 Delaman kit of 130 universal pieces for realling with different BGAs
- 4.7.2 Set of 33 universal BGA plates for reballing
- 4.7.3 Set of support, templates and balls for reballing
- 4.7.4 Automatic fixing support for HT-90X stencils for Hilitand brand reballing
- 4.7.5 Salutuya bags for BGA of different sizes 0.3 to 0.76 mm (standard)
- 5 How to choose these electronics tools
- 6 How to solder tin properly
- 7 welder maintenance
The best soldering irons and soldering stations
If you're looking for a good soldering station or some good soldering iron, then you should follow these recommendations to make the purchase right:
Ocked Ed Soldering Iron Kit
A briefcase complete with a large electronics starter kit. Includes a 60W power soldering iron, with ceramic resistance technology, high heating speed, on/off switch, support for the soldering iron, different tips, desoldering iron, and roll of solder included.
WaxRhyed Soldering Kit
An alternative to the previous one. It also comes with a complete case (16 in 1), with a 60W soldering iron and with adjustable temperature between 200ºC and 450ºC. Includes soldering iron, tweezers, desoldering pump, 5 different tips, and a case to store everything.
80W professional soldering iron
Un tin soldering iron for professional usel, with temperature adjustment between 250ºC and 480ºC. In addition, it includes an LCD screen with the temperature at all times. On the other hand, it also has a stop function, a temperature memory function, and a power of 80W for rapid heating.
Salki SEK 200W professional gun
Although this professional soldering gun is intended for multiple uses, such as jewelry projects, it can also be used for electronic soldering. Has a 200W big power, interchangeable tips and consumables included in the case.
Weller WE 1010
This tin soldering iron is one of the best accessories for your professional workshop. A 70W power welding system, with temperature adjustable between 100ºC and 450ºC, and with the included support so you can leave it resting while you do other things, without risk of burns or accidents.
Nahkzny soldering station
If you are looking for a soldering station, you can also buy this 60W one, with an adjustable temperature between 200ºC and 480ºC, stable for always provide the same temperature, rapid heat-up, 5 soldering tips, tip cleaner, stand, desoldering iron, and tin roll holder.
Tauara soldering station
This other soldering station is almost identical to the previous one, with 60W of power, adjustable temperature between 90ºC and 480ºC, set of tips, LED screen, standby function, and support. Only it also adds something practical, such as two clips to hold the components and leave your hands free.
2-in-1 Z Zelus Soldering Station
This other soldering station is between the more complete and professional. It includes a soldering iron with 70W of power, a 750W hot air gun, support, LED display to display the temperature, possibility of adjustment, tweezers, various tips, and cleaner.
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The best reballing stations
In case you are thinking of something more advanced, like a reballing station, then you can opt for these other teams:
There are two reballing stations to be able to repair boards with welded integrated circuits, such as those of mobile devices, motherboards of laptops and desktop PCs, etc. It has an IR6500 support, LCD screen, compatible with BGA chips, capable of lead-free soldering, storing various temperature curves, with a built-in USB port for PC control, etc.
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best desoldering irons
Of course, you also have some recommendable tools to make the opposite process, desoldering those electronic components that you need to replace, such as these:
FixPoint Solder Cleaner
A simple but functional cleaner. Capable of cleaning the welds you want to remove, and created with quality materials to make it durable, such as aluminum. Its teflon tip is 3.2mm.
YIHUA 929D-V Solder Cleaner
This other solder cleaner is also among the best. Use a suction cup or vacuum suction system to remove solder that you no longer need. It is compact and allows access to small places, even through holes.
Another simple and cheap antistatic desoldering iron. Vacuum hot solder to remove it from electronic and electrical components. It cleans easily and is of high quality.
Some chips, components, or heatsinks are very well attached. And to remove them, you should use one of these hot air blowers. Of course, they also serve as a soldering iron, since the air is capable of melting the solder metal to join parts. Includes mouthpieces and carrying case. Thanks to its 1600W of power it can reach 600ºC of temperature.
Duokon 8858 Welder/Blower
It is of great quality, includes support and power adapter, 3 interchangeable nozzles, is very easy to use, and can reach temperatures between 100 and 480ºC in the hot air it expels.
Toolour Hot Air Soldering Station
This hot air soldering station can go from 100ºC to 500ºC, heating up very quickly. It includes support, temperature adjustment, tweezers, desoldering iron, various nozzles, and can be used for both SMD component work, such as SOIC, QFP, PLCC, BGA, etc.
And they couldn't miss some recommendations at a good price of consumables for soldering jobs, such as soldering iron tips, cleaners, flux, soldering iron, and more:
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Lead free tin spools
A quality lead-free solder wire, with a composition of 99% tin, 0.3% silver, and 0.7% copper, to improve its conductivity. In addition, it has a resin core for welding and you can get it in different thicknesses: 0.6 mm, 0.8 mm and 1 mm.
A quality solder wire with 97.3% tin, 2% rosin, 073% copper, and 0.3% silver. All with a thread diameter of 1 mm. Its composition has been improved to increase performance and reduce smoke production during welding.
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EDI-TRONIC desoldering braided copper wire
A braided copper wire to be able to remove the tin from the solders and make it adhere to it. It has a high absorption and is sold in reels of 1.5 meters in length and thicknesses of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3 mm.
copper braid for desoldering
3 units of 1.5 meters each, with a copper braid for desoldering. Available in a width of 2.5 mm, oxygen free, and with great precision and high absorption. It is also antistatic and heat resistant.
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East fluxTasoVision, or solder paste, is one of the best you can find, it's affordable, and it's sold in a 50ml bottle. It can be used for all kinds of electronic projects. Even for SMD, though it's a bit dense for reballing.
Another product, this time in a 15 ml container, with a brush for easy application. A special flux for circuits, based on water, and with an acid number of 35 mg/ml.
Another lead-free flux, with 5cc, syringe for easy application, and with two interchangeable tips to work more or less large surfaces.
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10 x 900M-TI pure copper lead-free soldering iron tips. Super fine tip replaceable refills to get into the smallest places, and compatible with soldering stations like 936, 937, 938, 969, 8586, 852D, etc.
Set of 10 different types of tips, 900M, resistant metal, and special for portable tin soldering iron. It does not contain lead, and includes a solder sleeve to adapt them.
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DroneAcc Cleaner with metal sponge and base
Ysister 50 Pads (sponge, swells when wet) to clean soldering iron tips
Silverline 10 wet cleaning pads
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Magnifying loupes for soldering small components
Fixpoint Magnifying Glass with Clips, Adjustable Stand and LED Light
Newacalos magnifying glass with four clamps, adjustable stand, and LED light
Silverline Luca with two adjustable clips, and stand (without light)
Stencils or BGA templates and more
Delaman kit of 130 universal pieces for realling with different BGAs
Set of 33 universal BGA plates for reballing
Set of support, templates and balls for reballing
Automatic fixing support for HT-90X stencils for Hilitand brand reballing
Salutuya bags for BGA of different sizes 0.3 to 0.76 mm (standard)
How to choose these electronics tools
When choosing a good soldering iron, you should take into account a series of characteristics that will determine if it is a good purchase or not:
- Power: To use it as a hobby you can buy a lower power one, such as 30W. However, for professional use it should not be less than 60W. This will also affect the maximum temperature it will reach and the speed with which it will heat up.
- Temperature adjustment: Many of the cheaper ones or for non-professional use do not have it. But the most advanced ones do allow it. This is positive, to modify the temperature and adapt it to the work you do.
- Interchangeable tips: It is the best option, since when they are damaged, they can be easily changed for others. Or, better yet, when another type of tip is needed, it can be quickly changed.
- Mounting: the handle must be ergonomic, have a good grip, and insulate well from the heat to avoid burns. The grips are usually made of silicone or TPU with engravings to improve grip.
- Briefcase or case: If you plan to carry your tin soldering iron from one place to another, you should think about looking for one that is compact and that you can easily carry in its box.
- dissipation system: Some include dissipation systems to help cool the tip so it can be stored more quickly.
- Wireless or wired: the wireless ones are very practical, providing freedom of movement, without ties. However, the ones that provide the best performance and power are the cable ones. Cable ones are also usually more durable and reliable.
- Extras: some also include a heat pump for desoldering, support to leave it when it is hot, accessory for cleaning the tip, LCD screen to see the temperature, etc. All this can be additional points, although it is not the most important.
How to choose the tin to solder
As for the choose the best tin For soldering, the first thing you should know is that the current options are lead-free, since it is a fairly toxic metal. Now they use other alloys, and they usually have a core of Colofina (resin), which helps during welding to penetrate well in all corners when heated and flow, improves adherence, the fluidity of the tin itself, and improves welding.
- Manufacturer: There are notable brands, with better quality, such as JBC and Fixpoint.
- Format: you have it in coils, which is the most common, and also options in supports, more expensive but practical to use.
- Appearance: Look at the appearance of the tin wire, it should look bright and vivid.
- flux cored: the resin, flux or rosin, comes inside the wire. A hollow thread, with flux inside it to improve results.
- Diameter: there are from the finest to thicker, such as 1.5mm. Each one is valid for one application. For example, the thinner one will work for smaller items, while the larger ones might work for soldering wires and other larger components.
- Unleaded: Must not contain lead. Before they used to be 60% Sn and 38% Pb.
- Composition:: you can find them compounds with various proportions, which are usually composed of Sn and small amounts of Cu and/or Ag.
How to solder tin properly
Explaining the steps to good soldering is easy, however it takes practice. You should start with a broken PCB and try to solder components to get the necessary experience, and that the solders come out better and better. Go soldering smaller and more complicated components, and in the end you will get it. Among the steps to take for soldering are:
- Prepare all the pieces you need, as well as the tools, protection elements, etc.
- All surfaces must be very clean, including the soldering iron tip.
- Heat up the soldering iron until it is at the right temperature.
- One piece of advice is to tin the pieces or parts to be soldered separately (the tip of the soldering iron must also be tin plated). That is, use the soldering iron to heat the ends and put some tin. This will result in a more homogeneous union.
- Then, join both parts, ensuring that they are well held in the right place. Avoid that they are in contact with other elements with which it can interfere, etc.
- Now heat and tin the joint, bringing the tin wire closer to the joint area. Remember that the tin wire cannot touch the tip directly, but rather the tip must touch the area to be soldered to heat it and then touch that area with the tin to tin it.
It seems simple, but it is not so in practice, since the solder should be:
- Sparkly: if it has impurities or a dull color, it will be indicating that it is of poor quality, and that it was made at too low a temperature.
- Just the right size: it should be enough to bond the components together, but there should be no globs or excesses, even if they are not shorting out another circuit element.
- Resistant: It must be robust, without being able to easily break due to vibrations or thermal stresses.
In addition, you should use the tips of a pair of pliers or something similar to grab the terminal of the component to be soldered (if possible), between the solder area and the component, to try to dissipate some heat and that the high temperature does not damage the component.
Common problems and mistakes when welding
Between the most common mistakes that are usually committed during soldering of tin include:
- Not fixing the elements well and causing them to move, preventing you from welding properly.
- The tip of the soldering iron touches the tin.
- Do not tin before use.
- Not using the right tip.
- Position the soldering iron tip too vertically. (It must be more horizontal to increase the surface that is in contact)
- Do not wait a few seconds for the tin to solidify properly.
- Not cleaning the work area to be welded. (alcohol and a lint-free cotton can be used and if what is left is traces of previous soldering, then use the desoldering iron)
- Using sandpaper to clean the soldering iron tip, damaging the surface and making it unusable.
It is important keep the welder in good condition. In this way it will always be available to do a good job, and we will extend its useful life. To keep it in good condition, it is as simple as:
- Store the soldering iron in a correct place, always waiting for it to cool down completely.
- Avoid winding the cable or pulling it.
- Clean the tip of the soldering iron or soldering iron correctly:
- Use the sponges or cleaners mentioned above (damp sponge, or copper braid) to rub the hot tip over them and remove any debris or impurities it may have.
- If it is still not clean enough, you can use a cleaning liquid such as flux. The tip must be hot, it dips and moves. In this way the rust is removed.
- If it still looks bad, it's time to change the tip.