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Description: We don't want to hype this solder TOO much, but this could possibly be the best solder in the world. There, we've said it. This is a special blend made specifically for us and we love it. It all started as a quest to find the best solder to use in our production process and ended up being the best we've tried. The best part is that it's lead free and has a water-soluble flux core.

This package contains 1/4lb of solder and has a diameter of 0.020" (0.5mm).

Mix: 96.35% Sn (Tin), 3.0% Ag (Silver), 0.5% Cu (Copper), 0.15% Sb (Antimony).

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Comments 18 comments

  • The Sn/Ag/Cu content seems pretty typical, what’s up with the antimony? I’ve seen that once or twice. Are there any toxicity concerns with it in the solder? CDC indicates that it’s dangerous even in low levels.
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=58
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/TF.asp?id=331&tid=58
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=330&tid=58

    • Yeah, I read through these. Scary stuff. I’ve got some of this solder and I’m probably not going to use it now.
      I sent them an email asking for the MSDS sheets (post them?), however, I bet this, like many things on their site, is sourced from some shady place in asia that is not required to provide safety information.

      Edit: They emailed me and posted it. Props.

  • “according to the ATSDR and EPA, antimony is ranked below zinc, bismuth, copper, and silver (all of which are constituents of lead-free alloys), as well as lead, in terms of its potential threat to human health.”

    “Antimony trioxide, used as a fire retardant, is toxic at .5 mg per cubic meter of air. However, antimony trioxide is not formed during soldering or reclamation processes.”

    Quoted from A Study of Antimony in Solder

  • Does the antimony make it much easier to work with? I’d never heard of it, but the links pstemari posted two years ago make it look like pretty unpleasant stuff. If I wanted dangerous solder, wouldn’t it be better just to stay with regular 60/40 leaded solder or the stuff you guys include in all the beginner kits? I’ve been using that well for nine months and find it very easy to work with, and I don’t care about being RoHS compliant since I’m only making things for me, but I do have a one year old daughter, so I’d like to use something safer. Am I better off getting the ChipQuik solder that has the same Tin/SIlver/Copper ratio as this stuff but without the antimony?

  • This is the best lead-free solder that I have ever used, at any price. (You can pay less and struggle more if you wish.) It is also 0.02", which is much easier to use than the more common 0.03" diameters as it is easier to apply small amounts when necessary. I use a 15 Watt fixed wattage iron and it melts just fine (Hakko Dash 15W). Lower silver content solders require higher wattages and can produce more damage and scorch. The washable flux comes off easily, but does tend to blacken on the iron. It wipes off cleanly. The very low antimony content does not concern me - I don’t eat the stuff.

  • I have done soldering since childhood but have only recently started to experiment with lead-free. It has been frustrating. I’ve been using a Sn/Cu mix from Radio Shack, and had some issues with the higher melting point, and a tendency to carbonize my tips. I got this in the hopes that it would be easier to use. I am not sure what I’m doing wrong, but it is much worse. The flux in this stuff is extremely acrid (much nastier to breathe at the same temperature) as the Radio Shack mix. It flows poorly and wets poorly, forming very high, peaked “beads” on my PCB solder pads. The frozen joints look much worse than the Radio Shack lead-free: they look like cold joints. Worst of all, the flux carbonizes on my iron tip instantly – just one bit, and it has crusty black stains on it and its heat conductivity quickly plummets until after just a few joints it is unusable. That’s starting after a thorough cleaning, and the black gunk is extremely difficult to get off – wet sponge won’t do it, dry sponge won’t do it. I’m really disappointed. I’m experimenting with a temperature-controlled iron at temperatures in the range of about 700-800 F. The Radio Shack lead-free seems to work really well at about 740, allowing me to complete a connection in under ten seconds. This… doesn’t. I’m cranking it up, and lifting pads, with the same iron. Am I supposed to need to douse everything with more flux? I haven’t had to, working on these kits with other lead-free solders.

    I am planning to get myself a new Hakko soldering station after Christmas, and I’ll see if those tips work better, but so far – really disappointed and can’t recommend. What is supposedly “better” about this solder?

  • I started out soldering with cheap RadioCrack Pb-free solder, which I hated, then switched to 60/40 rosin-core, and from there to Ag-bearing, which I loved. I was skeptical about trying Pb-free again, but this solder is pretty damn good! I cranked the temp up to 800 °F on my Hakko, and it was relatively easy to work with. It doesn’t seem to suck through holes as much as the leaded stuff (capillary action), and sometimes doesn’t immediately wet the iron tip. With a little practice, however, your joints will turn out fine. The flux-residue cleans off nicely with distilled water and cotton swabs (no propan-2-ol, as others suggest, is necessary), for a beautifully shiny finished project. I would recommend this solder to others. For anyone who is unsure, try it out in the smaller quantity: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10240

  • Got way more expensive than the last time I got it.. :(

  • How about a solder which is easy to clean but also uses a high resistance flux, so that thorough cleaning is not absolutely critical. It’s just not feasible at times. Add to those specs “no clean” and you’re making miracles happen :)

  • Yeah this solder works great, with flux. Definitely clean your pcb “thoroughly” after. Using hot water scrub with short/stiff acid brush (to clean solder residue) then same with Isopropyl == 99% using a different acid brush (to clean flux). Wash hands before eating any food as solder and or flux can transfer into mouth causing irritable nausea syndrome convincing your wife that her cooking is as good as her aunts left foot. Take out the trash when your finished. (Timmy face) Ventilation should be required, as simple as soldering next to a window fan blowing out.

  • yep, great stuff. I have been getting excellent results and I’m no pro

  • Just wanted to check in and say that I can definitely vouch for this solder. I use it with the water-wash flux pen, which is a must if you’re going to use this solder. I solder it at about 350 Celsius and plenty of the flux. Just gotta clean off your soldering iron frequently, or the flux burns up and leaves some black carbony stuff on the iron. It’s easy to clean off, though, so no worries.

  • Coming from someone who’s worked both with electronics and stained glass, I can honestly say that a eutectic leaded solder is the best to work with. While I haven’t tried this specific solder, I have tried about every other lead-free solder and I always go back to leaded - it flows better, wets better and melts more uniformly. So despite a small environmental concern, I will continue to use and appreciate good leaded solder. Plus, I have no plans on throwing out my projects anytime soon and I always vacuum reclaim used solder.

    • I use a fluxless 96% tin / 4% silver solder and it wets the same as 60/40 Tin/Lead. I prefer not to use flux as it can leave a mess (and clean parts usually solder just fine without it).

      • From my training in the Navy as a 2M (Miniature/Microminiature) Tech I can tell you that 60/40 is not what he is talking about. He is talking about 63/37. With Eutetic Solder when it drops 1 degree it goes from liquid to solid. With 60/40 it has what we call a “plastic” stage where it is malleable and can turn into a problem.

  • I’ve used this type of solder before from a local supplier and I can confirm that it is indeed the best solder in the world!! Can’t wait to get some, the local guys stopped selling it about 4 years ago.

  • A word of caution about water soluble flux. If not cleaned off with water (preferably hot) it will leave residue on your PCB that can eat away at the copper and cause trace and component faults. It is even more noticeable on fine pitch SMT components. When I used it in the past we always ran boards through a dishwasher but you can’t have non sealed parts on the boards like pots etc.

  • It’s nice to finally see a smaller size of this stuff, more affordable for us starving students. Thanks for the great offering guys! Also, the cool SparkFun logo adds to the street-cred, making it that much more desirable.


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