A soldering iron is a hand-held tool for soldering, i.e. for making a permanent connection between 2 metal items utilizing a different metal (solder) that has a lower melting point than the components being joined. Soldering is the most commonly utilized method of mounting electronic parts on PCBs.
Choosing a soldering iron for your electronic devices workshop is a very essential step in arranging such a location. Many amateur electronic engineers and enthusiasts ask themselves the concern: Which soldering iron is the most proper for me and my business and how to choose the best one? There are numerous options on the market and whether you require a basic or induction iron or something more professional like a soldering station depends upon your specific application.
Types of soldering irons
The first choice to make is between an easy iron (likewise called soldering pencil) and an induction iron (soldering gun). There are other types of soldering irons, such as a hot air soldering iron, a gas soldering iron, or a soldering iron that is heated up by a burner flame, but they have specific applications generally outside the electronics field, so we will not dwell on them in detail.
You should keep in mind that induction irons heat up much faster than easy heating irons, but if you need a more precise tool, select a heating one. They feature much smaller and pointed soldering tips, ideal for soldering small parts, which is why these tips (or beaks) are in some cases called “needles”.
There are a variety of essential parameters of a soldering iron for electronic devices that need to be taken into consideration when selecting a tool: power, operating temperature level variety, size of soldering suggestion, etc. The choice depends on the function of the soldering iron– you need to consider it prior to making your last choice.
The soldering iron needs to have sufficient power to warm the working parts to the melting point of the solder used. The solder wire utilized for electronics melts at approximately 180 to 230 ° C depending upon the composition and the percentages of its different active ingredients. Solder consisting of lead usually has a melting point in the range 180-190 ° C. Lead-free solders are defined by higher melting points between 210 ° C and 230 ° C. To melt the solder, the iron needs to be able to reach at least these temperature levels and be able to warm up the parts to be soldered to the same worths.
To warm up the parts and the solder to these temperatures as quickly and efficiently as possible, the pointer of the soldering iron has to reach a much higher temperature level. The required value is normally in the 260 ° C– 350 ° C and depends on the size of the tip and the thermal qualities of the soldered parts.
Not all soldering irons have a built-in thermostat and can keep a consistent idea temperature. There are tasks where this is unimportant and reaching a greater temperature level is not an issue. Nevertheless, when you solder sensitive electronic parts, this is of great importance. A soldering iron without temperature level control, which reaches a much higher operating temperature level than required, can harm the soldered parts and render their soldering pointless.
If your task includes soldering and preparation (so-called tinning) of cable televisions and wires of large cross-section, you will need a high-power soldering iron. The iron must be able to heat up a big quantity of metal in a short time. It is therefore recommended to select either a heating iron of a minimum of 100 W, or a powerful induction iron with a transformer.
The very best option for soldering of smaller sized wires and electronic components is an accuracy soldering pencil with a fine, sharp pointer and power between 30 W and 90 W. As discussed previously, suitable temperature control is required to ensure operation at a stable temperature level and to prevent getting too hot that could harm the sensitive electronic elements.
If you do not require to solder delicate aspects or if you want to invest in a more costly soldering iron with good temperature control, we advise that you choose a higher power model. The more powerful soldering iron warms up quicker, keeps steady temperature, and total enhances the convenience of use.