Here are some of the tools we often use when soldering
Heats our wires or PCBs so the solder will melt and stick to it.
Melts solder paste for surface mount soldering and shrinks heat shrink tubing.
Soldering iron tips
Soldering small components requires a smaller tip. Larger tips hold heat better but should not be used for small work.
Hold wires or parts in place while soldering.
This is the material we melt to connect our parts. It is made of different metals so it will have a low melting point. Ours is tin with a little copper but the old stuff had lead in it. Our also has a flux core. Just make sure you always wash your hands after soldering.
Flux helps us have better solder joints. Electronics solder has flux built right in. It breaks down oxides in the molten solder. It should be cleaned off of our PCBs using IPA when we are done soldering.
Removes dirty solder from the iron. Remember to tin the tip immediately after cleaning.
Removes dirty solder from the iron but usually removes less than the sponge does. This is better for the tip than the wet sponge but is less effective. Remember to tin the tip immediately after cleaning.
Removes smoke while soldering
Protects our eyes from flying solder, clippings from wire cutters, or accidents with tools. You only get one set of eyes so take care of them.
Silicone soldering mat
The mat provides a heat resistant surface and protects our table. Some mats have places to organize parts which is quite convenient.
Flush cutting wire cutters
Used to cut wires or leads on components
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Hold the iron when not in use. Iron should live in the stand. If you are not soldering something put the iron back on the stand.