PSA: desoldering iron

corliss1

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I love my Pace desoldering station, but it's a pro tool - it's not a cheapy hand pump solution like some of the ones mentioned here. Yes, you do need to clean and maintain it, but if it died tonight I'd have another one on order within the hour.
 

loopfinding

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And do you have a link to the good solder wick?

People try to tell me they are all the same, but they are not. The stuff I buy at radio shack won't wick a damn thing. But the braid I get in the Monte Allums mod kits always works great. What's the difference? And where can I get the good stuff?

I think the rat shack ones the flux dries out (maybe long before sale?) and doesn’t do squat after a while. I avoid it or cheaper options.
 

loopfinding

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I almost never suck. Mechanical cutting with nippy cutters (or wiggling where applicable) if it does not disturb the pad + heating and pulling the excess with tweezers afterwards, or heating and pulling with tweezers only if that’s the case. A mix of the two if necessary. If it’s an IC or other multi-leg fiasco I incorporate a rework heat station/gun. Then I clean up with wick. Mostly when I use a sucker is if there’s excess on an empty tagboard hole after I’ve removed the component.

I don’t ever want to repair a trace again if I don’t have to. If the component is screwed, then it’s screwed. Pull it in such a manner that it doesn’t risk any damage to the board. Desoldering in the traditional sense unless you really need to save something and have no other means is overkill and too risky in a lot of scenarios, especially with older boards. People really butchered a lot of 80s and early 90s stuff unnecessarily.
 
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JuneauMike

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I almost never suck. Mechanical cutting with nippy cutters (or wiggling where applicable) if it does not disturb the pad + heating and pulling the excess with tweezers afterwards, or heating and pulling with tweezers only if that’s the case. A mix of the two if necessary. If it’s an IC or other multi-leg fiasco I incorporate a rework heat station/gun. Then I clean up with wick. Mostly when I use a sucker is if there’s excess on an empty tagboard hole after I’ve removed the component.

I don’t ever want to repair a trace again if I don’t have to. If the component is screwed, then it’s screwed. Pull it in such a manner that it doesn’t risk any damage to the board. Desoldering in the traditional sense unless you really need to save something and have no other means is overkill and too risky in a lot of scenarios, especially with older boards. People really butchered a lot of 80s and early 90s stuff unnecessarily.
A rework station is quite a luxury and potentially its own hazard for DIY folks like myself who don't do a whole lot of soldering or desoldering. I can definitely see the benefit of one if you are doing a lot of SMD. But there are more economical ways to remove the occasional single resistor or box cap.
 

loopfinding

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A rework station is quite a luxury and potentially its own hazard for DIY folks like myself who don't do a whole lot of soldering or desoldering. I can definitely see the benefit of one if you are doing a lot of SMD. But there are more economical ways to remove the occasional single resistor or box cap.

You can get a cheap gun on amazon. It isn’t too critical (vs having a nice iron), because airflow and temp is all willy nilly with hot air anyway. Just pull when you see the solder soften. Has saved my ass with some THT ICs. But for regular THT resistors or caps I just use tweezers, iron, and clean the pad after.
 
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