Soldering Iron Tips

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,520
I mean, literally, the tips.

There is a lot of controversy about just what sort of tips is "right". I can't really say that, but I can tell you what I use and have had success with.

I prefer tips with a flat rather than purely conical tips. I have many, 11 including some very fine conical ones, and I use six or seven of them from time to time but of those I use four regularly, depending in the job.

I use a Hakko FX-951 station and T15 tips (a side note, I have an FX-88 which uses a separate heating element and tips that slide on it, the difference is enormous. The integrated heater elements are so much better.)

The four I use are these:

IMG_8364.jpeg

Left to right, for very small SMT work, the C1 "bevel" tip which had an 60° angle on a round shaft:


1617629518186.png
For small THT and larger SMT work the D08 (.8mm) "chisel" tip (also called "screwdriver") which looks conical in the photo but isn't:

1617629801197.png
For THT and other heat tolerant large sized things the D16 (1.6mm) chisel:

1617629644187.png
And, for large floods, big heatsinky stuff (think batteries etc.), bulk desoldering, etc, the D52 (5.2mm) chisel:

1617630037391.png
These are what I use, and what I would recommend if asked. I think a chisel tip of the right size, or the bevel at the really tiny sizes works better. I get better heat transfer, heat the component for less time, and find I can keep the iron in place more easily.

How about you?
 

rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
335
I have the same shapes (and sizes) of tips and agree the conical shapes are not really great - in my case they are the T18 series for my FX888 (non-D). The bevel really helps with SMD (I have the 0.5 dia) and, for larger soldering areas, the large chiseled one greatly helps increase the solder mass.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,520
I will add to the thread that I exclusively use the bronze scrubber type tip cleaners.
447-719.01

I am convinced that sponges are counterproductive. The might cause thermal shock problems with the tip plating but the certainly do cool the tip rapidly and require maintenance (adding water) while not doing a better job. I think the scrubber actually does a better job.

I also occasionally use Hakko tip dinner, though you can get other brands. They do a great job.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,141
To each his own. I use a 1/32" 700F conical tip almost 100% of my soldering for through hole and SMD; for 40+ years. That tip gives me more precise control over where I place the heat.
 

rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
335
I alternatively use the sponge and the metal scrubber - I found out the sponge takes out melted excess solder faster than the scrubber. On the other hand, the scrubber is more effective to take out the crud that accumulates from the rosin.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,520
I alternatively use the sponge and the metal scrubber - I found out the sponge takes out melted excess solder faster than the scrubber. On the other hand, the scrubber is more effective to take out the crud that accumulates from the rosin.
My method is to poke the tip into the scrubber, not rub it, I find it removes everything in two or three quick pokes.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,520
To each his own. I use a 1/32" 700F conical tip almost 100% of my soldering for through hole and SMD; for 40+ years. That tip gives me more precise control over where I place the heat.
I think it is easier for a neophyte to use a flat spot to make good contact and not overheat the component. That's my own experience from teaching people to solder. I can use a conical tip and get good results if that's what I have, but I do prefer a chisel.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,141
the scrubber is more effective to take out the crud that accumulates from the rosin.
I use the flux in cored solder to remove oxidation from the tip. For the rare occasions where that isn't sufficient, I use an X-acto blade to gently scrape it off.

For normal tip cleaning, I use the sponge that came with my soldering station. I'm still on the original one, but it's looking pretty sad and will need to be replaced at some point.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,153
I got this set of tips and installed the smallest one first. I'm still using it exclusively. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever use the others.
1617634388090.png
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,850
I will add to the thread that I exclusively use the bronze scrubber type tip cleaners.
447-719.01

I am convinced that sponges are counterproductive. The might cause thermal shock problems with the tip plating but the certainly do cool the tip rapidly and require maintenance (adding water) while not doing a better job. I think the scrubber actually does a better job.

I also occasionally use Hakko tip dinner, though you can get other brands. They do a great job.
I keep a spool of large diameter rosin-core solder on my work area, and I use box-cardboard (regular shipping boxes unfolded) on the work surface. I have the rosin-core spool with a 6" portion extended and I simply dip the tip, load it and then shake it with a quick flip downwards to knock excess onto the cardboard in a 'splash spot' I designate for that or before I put it back in the cradle.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,639
Something allied to soldering that I found indispensable , when mocking up one-off prototypes using strip board is a box-cutter knife.
I have used magnifiers and other aids to detect any hair like whisper of solder or any inadvertent bridge between strips.
Run the box cutter down the bare board between tracks and it finds that invisible bridge, every time!
Max.
 
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