How Do I Use a Soldering Iron? Explore with EIM Technology
Updated: Nov 9
It's fascinating to see the magic that a soldering iron does through its way of building a connection.
Being from an electronic background or from a non-electronic background the joy of using a soldering iron seems mesmerizing. Often the first time using a soldering iron has been exciting but the result of the solder connection turns out to be a messy one. Sometimes multiple short circuits have been made, sometimes too much solder is left at a place, or the solder has the black stain left or the worse I would say would damage the PCB board due to overheating. But the question remains How Do I Use a Soldering Iron?
But there is a solution to every problem! By following some cautions and instructions the soldering blunder can be easily eliminated. Let us learn in this article. All you need is a soldering iron, solder wire, a steady soldering iron stand, minor accessories to clean the soldering iron tip, and a power supply (ideal solder iron, a rechargeable cordless soldering iron when it comes to a cordless soldering iron like SparkTip)
Guide to HOW TO USE A SOLDERING IRON
When it comes to learning to solder there are certain things to be informed about what you can do before soldering, how to get to know if the soldering is done right, and how you can check the soldering results.
Let us now have a look at the How Do I Use a Soldering Iron / How to Solder:
Choose the right solder iron – When it comes to choosing the right soldering iron below are a few top questions to be asked. One is the Watts range of the soldering iron as it decides how fast your soldering iron will heat up. The ideal watt range for a good soldering iron is 40–60 watts. Second, what is the temperature control it offers? How efficient it is when it comes to heating. The right temperature for a perfect soldering is important. Third, is it a fixed or variable temperature soldering iron? The variable soldering iron is always better as it gives you the advantage of temperature control as required. Fourth could be a traditional soldering iron with a wired power-up arrangement which makes it difficult to use. I have faced many challenges while using it. Sometimes it falls out of stand due to the wire getting stuck somewhere in between. Sometimes got burnt bruises because of immobility.
Right Soldering tip - Selecting the right kind of soldering iron Tip is crucial. The 3 most common for electronics work: are chisel, conical, and bevel tips. The right tip can lead to perfect soldering if all are correct as they are based on the type of board or component size to be soldered.
Tin and clean your iron tip - Cleaning the tip frequently while using helps to no stained soldering. The wet sponge had been used to clean the soldering tip for a very long time but it leads to temperature fluctuations and stresses the tip. A good option could be Soldering Iron Tip Cleaner Brass Tip Cleaner. It has brass wool which removes "debris" better, smaller thermal shock and you don't have to pour water whenever you start soldering.
Use flux to prevent fire scale and help the solder to flow - Solder flux is a substance that helps clean and forms a strong bond between parts of the electronics or wires. It achieves this by removing impurities from the surface and preventing them from interfering with the bond between it and the solder. The flux can be in liquid, paste, or powder form, and you can apply it before and during the soldering process.
Avoiding overheating - Overheating of solder iron due to prolonged heating that is continuous use can be avoided by using a soldering iron with sleep mode and quick heat time. Here the solder is more or less in the right place but isn't actually bonded to one or more of the metal surfaces in the joint.
Say no to Cold Solder Joints - A cold joint occurs whenever the solder doesn't completely melt when soldering, forming an improper joint as a result. To avoid Cold Solder joints, ensure efficiency and perfection in soldering. Most of the time, bad soldering occurs due to low-quality soldering tools. Choosing the right soldering iron, setting up the right temperature, mess free environment, and a clean surface are important. The points we discussed above can stop the formation of cold solder joints. Cold solder joints can be detected by visually checking the board.
Avoiding Disturbed Joints: A Disturbed joint has been subjected to movement as the solder was solidifying. The surface of the joint may appear frosted, crystalline, or rough. Try to stabilize the surface or lessen the unnecessary movement.
Knowing the right amount of solder: Over-soldering or staved joints are two common causes of cold soldering. So, you need to arrange adequate solder during the operation. Try to apply a minimal amount of solder mixture. It reduces the opportunity of creating cold solder.
Excess solder mistake- Knowing when to pull out the soldering iron is important. If not taken care of, it can lead to excess solder. Excess solder may look like a small ball of solder at a place or say ball-like pin. Often excess solder can lead to a solder bridge. In actuality, the solder covering the solder pad (the solder pad is the copper patch to a dedicated pin or component ends) is enough.
Too little solder mistake - Less solder can lead to an open circuit or discontinuity in the circuit. Sometimes less solder and the direct contact between the component lead can lead to its damage. Especially in ICs or SMD components. One should know to consider the right amount of solder and remove excess solder if required.
Lifted pads: A lifted pad is a solder pad that has become detached from the surface of the PCB possibly due to excessive force on an existing joint or excess heat. This results in a damaged PCB and it could not be good to use anymore. There is nothing much we can do to fix this problem. But we can take care of the heat and the pressure that we apply to the surface while soldering.
Checking the solder joints: To verify the task is something that can never be skipped anywhere. To ensure the proper working of the circuit the solder connections are double-checked. The solder connection testing has two parts:
Testing the Continuity: The other testing method involves switching the multimeter into continuity mode, interconnecting two terminals, and listening for a beep. If there is a beep, then continuity has been confirmed. Connecting to the two ends of a suspected cold solder joint may not return a beep, meaning that the joint must be redone. If there is a beep, then the joint will be normally functional.
Testing The Resistance: The first involves setting the multimeter to a resistance of 1000 ohms. You then interconnect the two terminals and look for a reading of 0 ohms to ensure it is working. Now you can connect each terminal to the opposing joints. If the reading shows 0 ohms, then the connection is viable.
Use proper ventilation/fans / PPE: Using a Fan that extracts the harmful fumes generator while soldering is also equally important. It is called solder fume extractor fans.
Desoldering Pump: Mistakes and errors happen everywhere. There is no exception when it comes to soldering. Common mistakes could be placing the wrong component, say instead of placing a 1000 ohm resistor 10000 ohm resistor was placed in the PCB. Now, it is to be removed which can be done using a desoldering pump. Place it to the point from where the solder is to be removed and punch in the pump button. It pushes out the solder from the place it was placed.
Practice, practice, and practice! – The perfect answer to how do you solder is to keep practicing soldering. Eventually, taking precautions, and practicing soldering is what will make it perfect.
Check SparkTip: Best Cordless Soldering Iron by EIM Technology - Answer to "How Do I Use a Soldering Iron" made easy
A good solder iron available that stands on all the standards that make an ideal solder iron is SparkTip EIM Technology’s SparkTip Soldering Iron Explained. The top features that make it the best solder iron are its portable, USB rechargeable, and smart temperature control giving a clean soldering result. Moreover, EIM has created an illustrative soldering tutorial guide which makes learning soldering skills easier and interesting. SparkTip is an answer to the question How Do I Use a Soldering Iron? for many beginners as it offers such easy-to-use features and functionality.
Check SparkTip: Cordless Soldering Iron SparkTip: Cordless & USB Rechargeable Soldering Iron Unboxing, Introduction, Working Explained.
Buy SparkTip: Cordless Soldering Iron https://shop.eimtechnology.com/products/sparktip-soldering-iron-kit
To sum up, the article, choosing the right good quality soldering is an important step towards mastering the soldering skill. In accordance with that, taking the precautionary steps discussed by us and lots of practice will surely lead to the answer to “How do I use a soldering iron?” Check our blogs: https://www.eimtechnology.com/blogs Related blog topic: https://www.eimtechnology.com/post/best-soldering-iron-with-diy-projects-kit-by-eim-technology EIM Technology shop (Store): https://shop.eimtechnology.com/ EIM Technology Support (Technical Features of the Products): https://support.eimtechnology.com/ EIM Technology Learning Center: https://doc.eimtechnology.com/