Most useful tools you have for soldering?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by rambomhtri, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Hi, I am enjoying fixing things with my soldering iron. I want to know which ones are the tools you guys consider the most useful when fixing things and soldering. Besides the soldering iron itself, and the sponge/wool, what else do you use and find critical or very helpful when soldering?

    For example, is it really important to have one of these?
    [​IMG]

    I want you to make a list of important tools, sorted by "most useful tools first".

    Thanks!
     
  2. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,526
    2,369
    Magnifier Lamp.
    Max.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  3. sailorjoe

    Member

    Jun 4, 2013
    361
    63
    Desoldering devices, like spring loaded suction tube, and wire braid. Get's me out of a lot of, uh, mistakes.
     
    MrSoftware and rambomhtri like this.
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,685
    900
    A table.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  5. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    What kind of table do you use?
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    1,425
    363
    In no particular order: flux, braid, a curved pick, a variety of work holders, a squeeze bottle of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol and Kimwipes, cotton tipped swabs, a horsehair acid brush trimmed short, small smooth-jaw needlenose pliers, a hemostat and all the stuff mentioned in prior posts.
     
    Wendy and rambomhtri like this.
  7. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
    156
    Do you know any information on that PCB holder in the pic ???
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  8. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    4,415
    783
    Various fluxes are sometimes useful, but there's a whole list of do's and dont's if you use more aggressive fluxes than what's in the solder wire.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  9. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Lol, no, it's just a random pic.
     
  10. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    So none of you consider a really important tool a third hand?

    I've faced many situation where a third hand with 3 arms would helped me a lot. Like you gotta solder a wire that is composed by 4 wires, each of those must be in a different hole. You hold the whole IC with a vise, the one hand has the soldering iron, the other the wire, and then you need 2 or 3 extra hands to put each wire in its hole.
     
  11. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,526
    2,369
    PanaVise with a custom made 8lb lead weighted base.
    Max.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  12. uberman

    New Member

    Dec 28, 2015
    4
    4
    My portable cordless Wahl soldering iron is dead, but it was nice. I still have an anemic soldering iron and a more powerful gun. I recently got a point and shoot lazer thermometer for some reflow work on computer parts. I have a heat gun too for working with heat shrink tubing as well as other uses. My other components were mentioned by others here.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  13. paulktreg

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    611
    120
    I find a fiber glass and/or wire brush very useful for cleaning up flux and stuff when repairing printed circuit boards. I use this pencil type brush from Radio Spares that can use fiber glass bristle or wire brush inserts.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  14. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    817
    226
    What he said, plus a small Palmgren vise, stainless steel tweezers, wooden tooth picks, a 7-30X Bausch &Lomb microscope, an extra soldering station (for working on SMD devices) and a Weller heat gun (helps to preheat boards with lead-free solder, plus it is the only way to remove some SMD devices). I prefer a staight dental pick instead of a curved one.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  15. uberman

    New Member

    Dec 28, 2015
    4
    4
    Since I was not able to edit my last post here, I've added this:

    Flux -liquid and paste, and a bit harder to find but, A flux pen, just an example but see link

    http://www.amazon.com/SRA-Soldering...1451447221&sr=1-1&keywords=Soldering+Flux+Pen

    A sharpie pen to mark spots for repairs, a box of toothpicks, 30 to 50 watt soldering iron (toss out after 10 or more uses, or get Tinner to redo the tip), a soldering gun with trigger and light for greater heat, a toothbrush for cleaning parts, some small scissors with small cutting tips, electrical tape, shrink tubing, a heat gun with temps of 700 or 800 degrees, better would be 200-1100 degree range, heat gun tips to concentrate or disperse heat (square or telescoping is good), some soldering picks, and a multi-meter.

    I used to have a really cool cordless iron by WAHL until it died, I used it a lot (ISO-TIP 7904 Power Pro Iso-Tip Cordless Soldering Iron Kit). this is really cool.

    Linked for the lazy:

    http://www.amazon.com/ISO-TIP-Power...&sr=1-7&keywords=cordless+soldering+iron+WAHL

    I looked up soldering picks and heat gun tips on Amazon and that should give you some ideas.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  16. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    2,040
    287
    A soldering iron would be high on the list. :)
     
    rambomhtri and ErnieM like this.
  17. uberman

    New Member

    Dec 28, 2015
    4
    4
    rambomhtri likes this.
  18. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    2,040
    287
    I recently invested in a pair of Optivision binocular vision visors, once I started doing surface mount soldering. Why didn't this stuff exist back when I could see! When I was young and fiesty, everything I worked with was vacuum tubes and point to point wiring. Now I'm old and decrepit and working on microscopic stuff. LOL
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  19. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    817
    226
    That's why I work under a microscope!
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  20. MrSoftware

    Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    498
    122
    So many useful tools.. but lately my desoldering station has saved me oodles of time. It's the electric gun with a separate vacuum pump, pull the trigger and it sucks up all the solder. It's a real time saver when desoldering, whether you're disassembling something to scavenge parts, or just undoing an oops!
     
    rambomhtri and JohnInTX like this.
Loading...