Tips and Tricks for using Soldering Iron

If you just admitted in engineering college and want to make a project but you don’t have the idea about soldering iron then don’t worry we are here to help.

Which soldering iron is best for you?

There are many types of soldering irons and heat guns present in the market. But from all of them which soldering iron you should chose, Temperature controlled or not, high wattage or less wattage, small pencil type or normal size. In my opinion buy a soldering iron which suits your budget. A normal soldering iron of 40-50 watts is enough for a person who just started work on circuit designing. There are some tips for using it which I want to share here. If you follow these tips you will never regret about buying cheap soldering iron.

Buy a Good Quality soldering wire:

Yes there are many qualities of 'soldering wires' as well. If you have good quality soldering wire then you can easily able to solder your IC and other components. A good quality soldering wire saves you from using excessive wires because they easily stick with the PCBs.

Use soldering paste in right way:

Many people think why they are using the soldering paste and end up just dipping their soldering irons in the paste. Soldering pastes help to stick the soldering wires with the components instantly but   dipping your soldering irons in the soldering pastes in not a good idea. Instead put the soldering paste on the component you want to connect and then solder it.

Keep soldering iron clean:

Don’t think about keeping clean from dirt but keeping cleaning from soldering wire. Most of the time soldering wire sticks on the tip of soldering iron. When the soldering iron is fully heat up clean at that time through a soldering cleaner or just use some cloth. Be careful! Don’t burn your hand while cleaning.

A little hack for your cheap soldering iron:

Mostly, you cannot tell whether your soldering iron is turned on or off. Sometimes you wait for long time and in the end you come to know that your soldering iron was not properly plugged in. I will give you a small technique through which you can easily avoid this problem.

You will need four components for this purpose:

  • 1x 150K Resistor (or little above resistor)
  • 1xLED
  • Soldering Iron
  • Insulation tape

Peel the wire of soldering iron near the plug, after peeling you will find two wires. Peel them both as well but make sure that you maintain some distance for both uncovered places. Look carefully in the photo below:

Wire of Soldering Iron
Figure: Wire of Soldering Iron

Now solder one leg of resistor with LED or just connect them strongly. Make a piece like I shown below. I used a simple 1/4 watt resistor. Try to use 2 watt resistor.

Combining LED and resistor
Figure: Combining LED and resistor

Now connect the both terminals at the naked places and your LED is ready to tell you the condition of your soldering iron.

Soldering Iron with a LED
Figure: Soldering Iron with a LED
Soldering Iron with a LED
Figure: Soldering Iron with a LED

Note: As you are working on live wires be careful while doing this. Tape both terminals of LED  separately and carefully.

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Ismail

Electrical engineering is my profession, my hobby and my passion. I completed bachelors of electrical engineering in 2015. Currently I am working with a utility company which provides electricity to its consumers. Power Electronics, Embedded Systems and Energy Metering are my fields of specialization. In free time I listen music and watch movies.

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