Tech Tips: Soldering Tips for Beginners

Top 15 Soldering Tips from Jameco Customers

1. Use a good soldering iron, preferably a cordless one, or a temperature-controlled soldering station
2. Use the correct type of vise or third hand
3. Use the thinnest solder appropriate for your project
4. 60/40 solder is recommended for beginners
5. Use the right-size tip for your project
6. Allow the soldering iron to reach the right temperature
7. Hold the soldering iron by the right end – the cool end
8. Apply the iron to the joint first and then the solder to the lead and allow it to spread, and watch out for dripping solder
9. Don't put too much solder on – "the bigger the blob, the better the job" is not true here
10. Tin your wires by placing a small amount of solder to the iron and then wiping it off first, then solder the connection
11. Clean the tip often with iron wool, a wet sponge and tip cleaner
12. Don't apply pressure on the soldering iron
13. Don't move the joint while its cooling and don't blow on it to cool it off
14. Practice on scrap before starting your project
15. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Soldering Tips

Top 10 Soldering Safety Tips from Jameco Customers

1. Don't burn yourself
2. Don't burn anything else
3. When you do burn yourself – because you will – be sure to have first aid supplies near by:
First Aid Kit
Bandages
Cold Packs
Aloe Vera
Fire Extinguishers
4. Wear pants to protect your legs, safety glasses and don't wear polyester clothing
5. Work in a clean area free of oils, grease and anything that is flammable
6. Don't eat greasy foods while you solder
7. Solder slowly and stay focused
8. Always return the soldering iron to the stand after each use and grab the cool end when you use it
9. Remember: It takes a long time for the soldering iron to cool off
10. Always unplug the soldering iron when you're done

Do you have some more good tips not on the lists? Post them on our community forum.