Do you have a dull soldering iron tip that just wont do what you want it to anymore? Without proper maintenance soldering tips will not last as long as they could, and the cost of frequently replacing tips is expensive compared to using all of these methods. Not sure which method to pick? Well that’s what we are here to help with. Let’s start with the basics.
Solder Quality Matters
Choosing solder may sometimes seem like it’s not a big deal but, actually, it does matter what type of solder you use. Solder quality ranges from adequate to high, and when you want to protect your tips, always go for the highest quality solder you can comfortably afford. The reason why is because low-quality solder contains impurities that can build up on the tip, making it more difficult to work with over time.
Alternatively, quality solder always melts effortlessly when it reaches an optimized temperature. For instance, a 60/40 lead/tin solder, should melt easily at a temperature of 460 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, a low-quality solder may only partially melt at this temperature. Read manufacturer details about solder to get more information about its performance.
Maintaining Optimal Temperature
Keeping the temperature of your tips as consistent and as close to optimal as possible will help extend their life.
When using many soldering irons, the temperature of the tip will naturally decrease when in use. To compensate for this, many solderers turn up the heat more than is needed. Using excessive temperatures, however, reduces the life of your tips and can lead to sub-optimal results.
Soldering station irons that have a temperature sensor can help regulate temperature for you without damaging your tips. These irons can sense when the temperature has dipped or risen out of the intended range and automatically adjust it. Some soldering irons have more accurate temperature regulation than others. Recovery time, which is the time it takes the tip to return to the desired temperature, also differs between soldering iron models.
The temperature you set the iron to also impacts tip life. Avoid using temperatures that are higher than you need them to be to help protect your tips. This principle also applies when you aren’t actively using your iron. Make sure to reduce the temperature to an “idle” setting or turn off the unit when not using it for extended periods. Some irons will automatically decrease their temperature when not in use.
Weller soldering irons offer excellent temperature stability. The WEP70 iron of The Weller WE 1010, for example, has a temperature stability of plus or minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (± 6 degrees Celsius). It also has a standby mode and auto setback feature that reduces the temperature of the iron when it’s idle.
Keep Tips Clean
Regular cleaning of your tips can help extend their life. Clean tips also give you peak performance. Before each use, you can remove corrosion, grease, and oxidation with alcohol and a clean cloth. Avoid cleaning tips with a damp or wet sponge. Constant wetness can lead to tip metal fatigue or failure.
Metal wool (made of brass or stainless steel) is another reliable and safe way to clean soldering tips. Soldering iron tip cleaners make cleaning easier.
The way you store your soldering iron tips can also impact how well they perform and how long they last. Following some simple procedures when storing your tips can help protect them.
When storing a tip for a shorter period, such as between soldering joints in one soldering session, store it in the iron in a secure iron holder. Ensure it does not stay at the operating temperature, as this will decrease the life of the tip. You can store many Weller irons at an idle setting, which keeps them at a lower temperature but still ready to be used.
If storing your tips for an extended period, you should clean and tin them before putting them away, which will help prevent them from oxidation. After letting them cool, you may also want to store them in a sealed container, such as a bag or case, to further protect them from oxidation, humidity and contamination.
When storing a tip in the iron, loosen the nut or screw that holds it in place before putting the iron away. This practice will prevent the tip from becoming stuck, an issue known as seizing.
Expect Outstanding Results With Gordak Soldering Tips
We are specialized manufacturers from china, soldering iron stand, soldering iron tips,soldering iron heating element,soldering tweezers suppliers/factory, wholesale high-quality products of soldering accessories and manufacturing, we have the perfect after-sales service and technical support. If you follow the above advice about soldering iron tip care, you can extend the life of your tips, save money and improve the quality of your soldering work. Proper care of your soldering equipment starts with using the best equipment and accessories. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.