Soldering tips are usually made by red copper. To avoid oxidization during high temperature soldering works, the tips need to be plated; some kinds of soldering tips are made by metal alloy materials that are not easy to be oxidized. Before using a brand new tip, it is very helpful to pretin it. The method is to clean the tip with soft sand paper, then dip it in rosin water, wetting it with solder and then polish it repeatly on a board to ensure every side is tinned well. If it’s been using for a very long time and it’s already oxidized, in this case, use a grater to clean the surface oxidation layer gently, then tin the tip as the method we mentioned above. PS: There are many tutorials about tin the soldering tip, Google it, you will find much detailed guide. The longer distance between heating element and the tip, the lower temperature, vice versa. We can also replace a soldering tip with different size & shape to adjust the temperature. The thinner tip, the higher temperature, vice versa. According to different soldering environment, it’s essential to adopt different size and different shape tips. Regarding the shape, there’re all round shape, screwdriver shape, chisel, conical shape, spade, U-shaped, square shape, etc. How to select the soldering tip? 1. Select according to the iron. The replacement tips of different soldering iron are very different. For instance, the HAKKO FX-951 soldering station uses with T12 series tips, while the Weller WSD81 uses with LT series tips. I think everybody knows this. 2. Select shape. Let’s take HAKKO 900M series tips as the example. For shape B, it’s all round type, every side is wettable; shape I, it’s thin, stores little heat so it’s suitable to solder heat sensitive components; shape K is ideal for slide soldering. 3. Select size. Tip size depends on your application. When soldering small components, you need to choose the narrow and thin tip because it’s small and stores little heat; if need to joint large area, the thicker soldering tip will be more efficient. Maintainence
- When soldering, choose as low temperature as possible
- Clean the tip with wet sponge or tip cleaner after soldering
- Feed the tin on the solder joint in stead of the tip
- Do not force the soldering iron, the solder cannot be melted faster
- Do not use highly active flux
- Turn off the soldering iron when don’t use.