How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

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Contributors: Joel_E_B
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Introduction

Soldering is one of the most fundamental skills needed to dabble in the world of electronics. The two go together like peas and carrots. And, although it is possible to learn about and build electronics without needing to pick up a soldering iron, you'll soon discover that a whole new world is opened with this one simple skill. We here at SparkFun believe that soldering should be a skill in everyone's arsenal. In a world of increasing technological surroundings, we believe it is important that people everywhere be able to not only understand the technologies they use everyday but also be able to build, alter, and fix them as well. Soldering is one of many skills that will empower you to do just that.

soldering action shot

In this tutorial we will go over the basics of through-hole soldering -- also known as plated through-hole soldering (PTH), discuss the tools needed, go over techniques for proper soldering, and show you where you can go from there. We will also discuss rework as it pertains to through-hole soldering and give you some tips and tricks that will make fixing any piece of electronics a breeze. This guide will be for beginners and experts alike. Whether you've never touched an iron before or are looking for a little refresher, this tutorial has a little something for everyone.

Suggested Reading

As stated earlier, you can learn about and build electronics without touching a soldering iron. If you would like to learn more about electronics theory before learning to solder, we recommend starting with some of these tutorials:

What is a Circuit?

Every electrical project starts with a circuit. Don't know what a circuit is? We're here to help.

Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law

Learn about Ohm's Law, one of the most fundamental equations in all electrical engineering.

What is Electricity?

We can see electricity in action on our computers, lighting our houses, as lightning strikes in thunderstorms, but what is it? This is not an easy question, but this tutorial will shed some light on it!

If you would like to know more about building circuits without needing to pick up a soldering iron, check out our solderless breadboard tutorial:

How to Use a Breadboard

Welcome to the wonderful world of breadboards. Here we will learn what a breadboard is and how to use one to build your very first circuit.

Lastly, we will be building upon some previous tutorials, so it is suggested that you read about and understand these subjects before moving forward in this tutorial:

PCB Basics

What exactly IS a PCB?

Working with Wire

How to strip, crimp, and work with wire.

Polarity

An introduction to polarity in electronic components. Discover what polarity is, which parts have it, and how to identify it.

If you're all caught up on the above reading, let's dive right in!