How to Solder - Through-hole Soldering
Now that you know the ins and outs of a soldering iron, it’s time to discuss the other tools that will aid you on your soldering adventure.
- Solder Wick - is the eraser to soldering’s pencil. When dealing with issues such as jumpers or the removal of parts (desoldering), solder wick comes in very handy. Solder wick – aka desoldering braid – is comprised of thin copper wire braided together. Solder is soaked (wicked) up by the copper allowing you to “erase” extra globs of solder.
- Tip Tinner - is a chemical paste used to clean the tip of your soldering iron. It is composed of a mild acid that helps remove baked on residue (like when you accidentally melt your tip on a component) and helps prevent oxidation (the nasty black stuff) that accumulates on your soldering tip when not in use.
- Flux Pen - Flux is a chemical agent that aids in the flowing of lead-free solder. Flux pens allow you to dab stubborn components with liquid flux to create better looking solder joints.
- Solder Vacuum (Solder Sucker) - is a great tool for removing solder left behind in through-holes when delsodering components. We’ll go over how to use this tool a little later in the tutorial.
Other Suggested Tools
These tools aren’t necessary, but they sure do make soldering easier at times.
Third Hand (Third Arm) - Third hands are great for holding PCBs, wires, and components in place while you solder.
Flush Cutters - Cutters allow you to trim the legs of components you solder to the PCB.
Safety glasses - just in case any clipped leads go flying.