Most useful tools you have for soldering?

Thread Starter

rambomhtri

Joined Nov 9, 2015
304
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?


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

Thanks!
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,570
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.
 

Dr.killjoy

Joined Apr 28, 2013
1,196
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?


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

Thanks!
Do you know any information on that PCB holder in the pic ???
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
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?


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

Thanks!
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.
 

Thread Starter

rambomhtri

Joined Nov 9, 2015
304
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.
 

uberman

Joined Dec 28, 2015
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.
 

paulktreg

Joined Jun 2, 2008
772
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.
 

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,541
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.
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.
 

uberman

Joined Dec 28, 2015
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-Flux-Low-Solids-No-Clean/dp/B008OC0E5M/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=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-Iso-Tip-Cordless-Soldering/dp/B002A2C3QU/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1451448516&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.
 

KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,224
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?


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

Thanks!
A soldering iron would be high on the list. :)
 

KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,224
Oops! I almost forgot this, a flip down magnifier, these are super handy and cheap, less than ten bucks.

SE MH 1047L Illuminated Multi-Power LED Head Magnifier

http://www.amazon.com/SE-MH1047L-Illuminated-Multi-Power-Magnifier/dp/B003UCODIA/ref=pd_sim_200_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41clz7xpHNL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=09SQB24WWMWPYNZW5VBF

Good luck!
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
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,601
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!
 
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