The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Soldering Irons
There are a number of basics of soldering irons that need to be learned like the types of solder, safety tips, soldering stations and desoldering.
12:01 17 September 2021
There are a number of basics of soldering irons that need to be learned including the types of solder, safety tips, soldering stations and desoldering.
Soldering techniques are used to attach electronic components in any device which uses a circuit board, and refers to the process of having at least two electronic parts joined together by having the solder around the connection melted.
Solder is the name of a metal alloy, which upon cooling results in a strong electrical bond forming between the different parts. Although a permanent connection is possible to form with soldering, desoldering can also reverse this process.
Soldering irons are hand tools that are able to plug into a standard 120v AC output and be able to be heated up in order to melt the solder around electrical connection. A soldering iron is a crucial soldering tool and is available in a number of different forms such as a gun or pen. Beginners are recommended to make use of a pen soldering iron within the range of 15W to 30W.
The great majority of soldering irons come with tips that are interchangeable and able to be used for a variety of soldering applications. Caution is advised with the use of any form of soldering iron as they become extremely hot.
A soldering station is the name given to an extremely advanced form of a soldering pen and which is particularly well suited to those who will be soldering on a regular basis as it offers a good deal more control and flexibility. One of the primary advantages of a soldering station is that it enables users to precisely adjust the soldering iron’s temperature, making it perfect for a wide array of different projects.
Soldering stations can also result in the creation of a much safer workplace due to the inclusion of alert settings, password protection and advanced temperature sensors.
Tips for soldering irons
The interchangeable soldering tip at the end of a soldering iron comes in many variations of size and shape, each of which has a particular purpose and offers advantages over other versions. The conical and chisel tips are the most common forms of tips used in electronic projects.
A conical tip is used for precision electronics due to the fineness of its tip, with its pointed end capable of delivering heat to much smaller areas while not having any affect on its surroundings.
A chisel tip on the other hand is best used for the soldering of wires or similarly bigger components due the broadness of its flat tip.
Desoldering allows soldering to be easily removed if necessary, which can be useful in the event that a component needs to be removed or a correction made to an electronic circuit. A soldier wick, also called a desoldering braid, will be required to desolder.
Every maker needs to know how to solder with the use of the correct soldering techniques. Everyone can learn how to solder, and it is a vital skill to learn for those wanting to build electronics.