Tip tinner is a good thing to have in your arsenal of soldering supplies. Composed of a mild acid, it helps remove baked on residue (for when you melt your desk top) and helps prevent oxidation (the nasty black stuff) that accumulates on your soldering tip when not in use. Comes in a sealed 20 gram disk. This tinner is Lead Free.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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6 of 6 found this helpful:
I love this stuff! My soldering iron is clean as when it was new. I've found I get the best results by pushing the hot iron (750 degrees F) into the cleaner, then wiping the iron on a damp sponge. I had poor results when I tried to clean the iron with brass wool - it seemed to really need to be wiped off (on a sponge) rather than scraped off (on brass wool).
Now that I know how to clean my soldering iron, soldering is a pleasure!
It does an excellent job of cleaning the (hot) tip, especially when you follow it with a damp sponge. However, you need to be careful to get the container sealed when you're done with it, or it will "dry out". The good news is that even if it has dried out, it will still work, though it's more difficult to get the tip into it.
I'm very happy with the tutorials and the equipment that I got from Sparkfun. As an electronics novice, I spent a lot of time watching videos and reading articles from your site before purchasing the equipment I needed to solder and wire a prototype. Armed with the knowledge you imparted, I have had no issues at all doing the work. Thanks, guys.
I got tip tinner recently because the screwdriver tip for my soldering iron got completely oxidized. Usually I'd tinned the tip of my iron with solder as it heated up, but the solder wasn't sticking anymore due to the oxidation. I wanted to see if I could rescue it, so I also got a solder tip polishing bar ( https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14233 ) and this tip tinner to be able to quickly tin the tip after scraping off the oxidation. The polishing bar worked surprisingly well. I was able to plunge the tip into this tip tinner as it heated up and my screwdriver tip is up and running again. It also seems easier to tin the tip by plunging it into the tinner than trying to hold solder wire to it as the iron heats up... :)