How to Solder – Hand Soldering Tutorial
How to Solder Electronic Components – Hand Soldering Tips & Tutorial
How to Solder Electronic Components with Hand – Hand soldering is done during PCB rework / repair in a production unit when a PCB gets rejected or fails the quality pass test.
Hand soldering is also done for repairing and servicing printed circuit boards by service centers.
The main focus of this Tutorial is to make you learn how to solder properly like a professional using the best hand soldering methods and techniques. People who are beginners to soldering and want to learn the basics of soldering will find this article useful and helpful. Hand soldering is also useful when designing PCB prototype.
Soldering Tools and Materials Needed for Hand Soldering
1. Soldering iron or soldering station
You need a good quality soldering iron or temperature controlled soldering station that run on electricity. If you are dealing with ESD-sensitive PCB and SMD electronic components, then you need an ESD-safe soldering station.
If you are doing lead-free soldering, you will probably need a temperature controlled soldering iron or soldering station with higher wattage because the melting point of lead-free solder wire is higher than tin-lead wire. Goot RX-802AS is the Best Soldering Station for Lead-Free Soldering.
Goot and Hakko are worldwide leaders in manufacturing and supply of soldering tools and equipments including soldering irons, soldering and desoldering stations, hot air SMD rework systems and all other PCB assembly tools and equipments.
Video: Best Soldering Station in India
2. Solder wire
For a good solder joint, you need good quality of solder wire. Solder wires are available in tin-lead and Pb-Free compositions in different diameters. Until few years back, 63/37 tin-lead solder was most common form of solder. But with the introduction of RoHS, the electronic companies are going green and lead-free or Pb-Free solder have gained popularity. Tin-Silver-Copper is the most common and widely used combination of lead-free wire. Alpha Cookson is a worldwide leader in manufacturing and supply of soldering materials.
Video: Types of Solder Wire – Tin / Lead & Lead Free
3. Other material needed for Hand Soldering
Apart from soldering tools and wire, you may also need few other consumables like flux, paste, desoldering braid etc. Goot and Techspray are worldwide leaders in manufacturer and supply of PCB rework material.
4. Soldering Tool Kit
A soldering tool kit has everything needed for soldering. A professional soldering tool kit includes – Soldering Iron, Solder Wire, Desoldering Pump, Solder Assist, Desoldering Wick, Tip Cleaner, Tool Bag. If you have a professional Tool Kit like Goot TL-20, you soldering job becomes much easier.
Video – Best Electronic Tool Kit
Getting Ready for Soldering
Once you are ready with all the tools and soldering material, you are ready to start. Start by making sure that the PCB and the leads of the electronic components are clean and free from any contamination such as dust or grease. PCB or electronic components which are not clean may have deposited oxides that can lead to bad solder joint. Apply a good quality liquid flux (Alpha Cookson) on the area of the PCB to be soldered and on to the leads of the components. Flux will help to remove any deposited oxides from the surface of the metals thus leading to better joints. You can use a flux pen to dispense flux.
How to Solder – Step By Step
- Make sure the soldering iron is hot. Do not touch it.
- Hold the soldering iron properly in one hand and the wire in the other hand. Maintain proper angle between the two. Try to use a solder wire reel stand that holds the reed of the wire so that you can pull the wire properly.
- Place the solder wire at the point where the lead of the electronic components meets the copper track on the PCB.
- Apply heat at the point where solder wire touches the lead of the component.
- Once done, remove the soldering iron.
- Cut extra leads of the electronic components.
PS: A good solder joint should look shiny. Dull joint suggests something is wrong. If you are doing lead-free soldering, the joint will look dull in any case.
Video: How to Use Soldering Station to Solder
PCB Assembly Process Flow Chart (PCBA Process)
This tutorial was meant for hand soldering of thru-hole electronic components only. SMT (Surface Mount Technology) method is different. The quality of soldering tools used, wire, flux and soldering technique determines the quality of a solder joint. A good joint is the heart of a printed circuit board assembly. The better the quality of solder joints, the better will be the life and performance of the PCB and equipment.