What solder material do you use?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by BrainFog, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. BrainFog

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    I am just wondering what solder material everyone uses and why?

    In the past I have used tin/lead 60/40 But after mistakenly ordering Lead free solder I realised that I couldn't really tell that big a difference. Maybe just my poor soldering skills.

    There seem to be so many different kinds out there including ones containing silver and sometimes other alloys.

    Also what are everyone's views on flux cores?
  2. billbehen

    Active Member

    May 10, 2006
    Lead-free is supposed to be safer for the factory worker. 60/40 rosin core is standard, do not use acid core for electronics, it eats up components & boards.
  3. seecumulus


    Jul 13, 2011
    Back in the days when I worked in a professional laboratory and with high skilled professional assembly workers - I remember the rework personnel
    having and using often, a very thin ( .05 mm or less ) spool of Solder.
    That was Nice Solder !

    Does anyone know if you can purchase this very thin Solder at the
    Electronic Warhouse / Mail Order companies ?
  4. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I have a little bit left on a half pound roll of GC brand rosin core 63/37 @ .032" diameter and I like it very well for circuit boards. A bit fatter would still work for PC boards and be better for attaching wires to pots and such as that.
  5. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    I have a half-pound spool of Kester 63-37 Sn-Pb solder of 0.031 inch diameter with the 44 flux. I've had this spool for quite a while and used similar solder in the 70's and 80's. I have bigger diameter solders including silver solders out in my shop, but this 0.031" solder is what I use for electronic stuff.
  6. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    I prefer 62Sn/36Pb/2Ag in 0.020" size with 2.2% flux. I've used everthing else and ended up with this as a favorite.

    Lead free does reduce the lead hazards to assemblers who hold it in their teeth, lick their fingers and go out on smoke breaks and to lunch without washing their hands but what kills them, besides the smoking, is the unvented flux fumes.

    Rosin flux is mostly abietic and primaric acid but the fluxes for lead free solders contain adipic, glutaric, carboxylic, dicarboxylic, stearic and oleic acids which are worse for your lungs. The health hazard can all be controlled or mitigated but the stronger fluxes and higher temperatures required for lead free soldering erode the tip plating on your iron at a ferocious rate compared to leaded soldering.