Introduction to Soldering - Part Three


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<< Introduction to Soldering - Part Two: Equipment Needed

Introduction to Soldering - Part Four: Selecting the Right Tip >>

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BEGIN SOLDERING: What is Desoldering?

Desoldering can be considered as the opposite to soldering. It is the process of applying heat to the solder joint to melt it, allowing the user to removing solder and components that have already been mounted onto circuit boards, and is commonly used for repair, troubleshooting, replacement or salvaging the electronic item. The most common act of desoldering is simple removal of excess solder while soldering. 

Typical desoldering tools include:

  • Solder wick (Desoldering Wire)
  • Heat guns (hot air guns)
  • Desoldering pump
  • Removal fluxes
  • Heated soldering tweezers
  • Various picks and tweezers for tasks such as pulling at, holding, removing, and scraping components.
  • Vacuum and pressure pumps with specialized heater tips and nozzles
  • Rework stations

Desoldering pumps and solder wicks are great tools especially for those new to soldering and desoldering due to their affordability. While both are simple and easy to use, a solder wick may require a little getting used to. 

How to use a Desoldering Pump

  1. Apply heat to the solder to melt it.
  2. Press down on the plunger of the desoldering pump.
  3. Position the nozzle of the pump on the molten solder. 
  4. Release the plunger while the nozzle is over the molten solder. The pressure will suck up the solder, freeing the component from the circuit board. 
  5. Repeat the process to remove additional solder. 
  6. To remove solder from the desoldering pump, simply press and release the plunger continuously until all solder has been pushed out. 

How to use a Solder Wick

A solder wick is essentially a coil of braided copper wire. There are different types of wick, such as Regular (Rosin flux treated copper wire), Unflux (untreated copper wire) and No-Clean (Halogen-free low-residue flux coated desoldering wire). No matter the type, the process is the same. 

  1. Unroll a portion of the wick and hold the end of the wick against the solder that is to be removed.
  2. Place the hot soldering tip on top of the solder wick, near the solder joint. 
  3. The heat will cause the solder to melt, and the wick will 'draw' away the molten solder.
  4. Repeat the process to remove additional solder.
  5. It is recommended to use a wick and soldering tip that has a similar width as the solder joint you are removing. 

When the end of the wick is fully saturated with solder, you may cut it away and use a fresh portion of the wick. If the solder has melted but does not seem to be absorbed by the wick, you may add a small amount of solder onto the joint - having more solder on the joint will allow the wick to remove it properly.
Furthermore, cutting the wick at a 45 Degree angle may allow it to reach narrow areas easily.

For more assistance with Desoldering and the types of tools you require, please drop us a message with details of your experience level as well as the types of projects you are working on, and our team will suggest the product with the best fit!

 << Introduction to Soldering - Part One: Soldering Station VS Soldering Iron
<< Introduction to Soldering - Part Two: Equipment Needed

Introduction to Soldering - Part Four: Selecting the Right Tip >>