How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

Contributors: Joel_E_B
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Soldering Accessories

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.
Solder Wick #2 25ft. - TechSpray

  • 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.
Solder Tip Tinner and Cleaner

  • 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.
Solder Vacuum

  • 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.

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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.
Third Hand

  • Flush Cutters - Cutters allow you to trim the legs of components you solder to the PCB.
Flush Cutters - Hakko

SparkFun Safety Glasses