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Old 01-16-2015, 08:39 PM #1
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Red face What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

What kind of solder wire should i use? lead free, 50/50, 63/37.

Should i just buy a simple soldering iron? i have looked on Lowes and they have several kits but most are lead free and i'm not sure what to buy?


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Old 01-16-2015, 08:54 PM #2
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

For beginners I would recommend leaded.

If you can't find anything locally to fit your needs try online, you'll have a better selection there.

Before I recommend a soldering iron I need to know what you'll be using it for and how much you would like to spend.
I would recommend against a soldering iron that doesn't have temperature regulation, they can be hit and miss.

Last edited by ARG; 01-16-2015 at 09:16 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:06 PM #3
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

Lead free is harder to work with, the 63/37 is best or the 60/40, don't use anything else if you have no experience soldering yet.

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Old 01-16-2015, 10:18 PM #4
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

I'm building a 445nm 1.6W Kryton Groove. I don't know everything i will be soldering.(It's my first time trying to build a laser).
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:53 PM #5
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

You probably should have made a slightly different choice for a first build that would be easier since you have no experience soldering or assembling a laser. Since you will probably have to solder directly to diode pins I suggest a 30W iron if your on a small budget or if you have money then get a nice soldering station with a temperature control and a variety of tips. Be quick when soldering to the diode pins. To much heat can sometimes kill it.

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Old 01-17-2015, 02:37 AM #6
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

I would strongly recommend against a non-regulated iron. Maybe it's just bad luck, but I've had two unregulated ones start melting. Temperature regulated irons are not that much more.

Remember to get the right width of solder - a lot of beginners overlook this. If your solder is too big you cannot control the flow as well and you'll end up with this.

I would also recommend getting a smaller size of tip than most irons come with. The solder pads on some drivers are pretty small.

Lastly, if this is your first time soldering I recommend that you buy a beginners soldering kit to get comfortable soldering so you don't end up killing the diode or driver with too much heat or solder.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:56 PM #7
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

IMO I'v been using a generic one off ebay..cost me about $15, and it does the job. If you have a bigger budget its probably best to get a temperature regulated one like ARG mentioned.
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Old 01-18-2015, 03:46 PM #8
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

I have a decent SMD station, but truth be told, 99% of the time I go back to this cheapo ebay soldering iron:
Variable Temperature Soldering Station, soldering iron, 40W with extra free tip

It's the only cheap soldering iron I've had that has held up for over a year, hasn't melted itself, and can run for long lengths of time. For $30 it has actually proven itself to be a fairly reliable iron.

Also, am I the only one who doesn't use solder anymore? I pretty much always solder with paste and a toothpick. You can apply it before hand, and then solder with one less thing to hold.
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Old 01-18-2015, 03:51 PM #9
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

Solder paste.. is amazing
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:00 PM #10
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Default Re: What kind of solder wire/iron to use?

Thanks everybody for replying, i'm going to go with 30w-40W with 63/37
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