Member #496262

Member Since: December 6, 2013

Country: United States

  • 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?

No public wish lists :(