Do not buy Lead Free soldering wire

This is little tip for everyone, don’t buy Lead free soldering wire. I know it sounds great idea, non toxic environment friendly and cheaper. BUT! It won’t melt, won’t stick, will crack, cold solder, and ruins ur components. I bought cheepo solder wire says 63-37 (63tin/37pb), but it turns out to be lead free.

Honestly I don’t see the point. for us hand solderings it is completely useless

Now I see why some cell phone has dead board and cold solder.

Again stay away from lead free.

I’ve been using lead-free solder for a long time and I haven’t really had that much of an issue with it. Sometimes it doesn’t stick super well, but then I just throw a little flux on it and it is usually fine. I feel better soldering for a few hours and not breathing little particles of lead, idk, just my opinion.

Good for you that you can manage it. :smile:

I’m so used to 60/40 that when I tried pb free, I burned my hands, and ruined couple wires. it doesn’t even tin the damn wire properly, with flux it worked better. yet it is not as good as 60/40.

I also heard, the long term issue with lead free. tin crystal grows and shorts circuit.

It will be depends on the quality of lead-free wires of course, but generally they suck! I rather turn the noisy fan with lead smoke.

So here’s the breakdown, at least in my experience and understanding. Technically it takes a lot of heat for lead to actually burn and produce any fumes, much more heat than a soldering iron can produce, however the fumes from all solder are bad for you and are known to cause asthma, and generally not cancer. Use whatever solder you have a preference with. If you use lead free or any high melt solder, buy some quick alloy to feed into those joints during removal and it will make life easier. Lead free or leaded are both bad to breathe in, so buy a fume extractor for $20 or set a fan up in a well ventilated area. 63-37 is probably the easiest to work with for most people, just because it melts easy and is either solid or liquid with almost no in between.


Oh that sucks lol yeah I have always soldered with lead free so maybe I don’t know how easy it can be

My father was an electrical and mechanical engineer. Spent his entire “short” 55 year life soldering and CAD work. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at 51 and after surgery, chemotherapy and radiology, he died from it spreading to liver and brain. Doctors thinks it stems from the contact andinhalation of lead in solder from the 70’s - 2000’s. From what I can remember he’s always done it at a window or garage with a fan sucking the fumes out. I’m hesitant about lead solder but they do have better results.

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I’m sorry to hear that. It’s definitely possible, also solders back then had different chemicals in their flux core than modern ones, so maybe that caused it. Nonetheless, that is a terrible tragedy and I’m sure he was a great man. The last thing I want to say, since this is such a serious issue that’s easy to overlook is all of these chemicals can be found in solder fumes: Chlorophenol Formaldehyde Glutaraldehyde Benzene Phenol Ethanolamine Hydrochloric acid Acetaldehyde Styrene Toluene Isopropanol Acetone

Bottom line is, know what you’re doing and never solder without proper ventilation. If you have to wave the fumes out of your face, you’ve already breathed in the “threshold level” of chemicals for the day. Here’s an article from Weller for those interested


There are solid lead-free tin, and flux-filled tin, even flux-filled multi-core tin which is most practical. But 60/40 is still the best for consumer :slight_smile:

60/40 and a fume sucker. IF you can’t find one right for your application, you can DIY one pretty easy with a shop vac and some clever woodworking.

lead free is garbage. Flux fumes are the real killer here in my opinion. pure 60/40 ingut in a solder pot doesn’t fume that way.

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yea same here…

most of the soldiers on my board are with lead-free matchstick solder :joy:. I’ve now upgraded to 60/40 Leaded solder, much easier and quicker solders

also get a decent iron. I hear this all the time: “not everyone can afford a good soldering station, dude.”

horse shit. This is the iron i use:

480 degrees C, granular tuning down to the fucking degree and its only $50. Not only that, the same store has the tips and the replacement wands all day long for just as cheap. Looks like they’re out of stock at the moment but that’s no biggie. They’ll be back very very soon. I shop there a lot.

OR you could walk into radio shack and pay $20 for a 15 watt iron (if you can get past all the fucking phones and back into the tiny corner where they still have an iron and maybe a drawer with some LEDs in it) and hate yourself, or go to the hobby shop and pay almost $40 for a 30 watt handheld that doesn’t even tell you how hot it is and doesn’t get as hot anyway.


i’ve got a cheap weller 100w iron, never had a single problem. Mine was $30. soldered everything from boards to 10awg wire

Weller makes good stuff, my dad still has his irons from when i was a kid.

Also you have a 100W iron so the most important consideration has been considered. Heat. Some of these crap irons that are marked up are less than 30 watts which is barely usable for anything. I’ve seen 25 and even 15 watt irons on the shelf for $35 before. ITs retarded. People can get trapped like that.

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oh shit i think i’m about to impulse buy an upgrade… somebody stop me…

HOT TWEEZERS for my station oh damn. Cap mods anyone? its on now!


Good luck but preach on brother. I have been telling people for years, “you need a bigger iron”. Those little pencil tips just don’t cut it on fat cables. So many bullet connector out there are barely hanging on, riddled with cold joints.

the horror of dangling bullet connectors! Just get a blow torch, heat the bullet, fill with solder and put the wire in…

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yes sir! i fix a lot of that shit in other people’s boards. people would be shocked how little solder it actually takes to make a very strong forever lasting weld in a bullet because they forget about flux and heat. The shit has to flow and bond.

you need a hot fucking iron and the 15845-TL series stations are solid at a rock bottom price for what it delivers.

I can see myself spending a shitload on a full hot air station one day but for now, i’ve got three of these things and i love them. And for $50 i mean damn. I seriously want a bad ass reflow station though.


I have three of those rebranded combo units. Two of them live in the bone yard/intern parts haven. I finally broke down and bought individual units. The cheapo hot air units need to be allowed to cool off before turning them off, if you turn the fan off before the element has cooled they tend to fail. Now that I follow that procedure I have not had one burn out on me.

that makes total sense.

Also i might be making a reflow oven soon. I was looking at that kit you mentioned a not too long ago.

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Sorry if this has been said 100 times but you guys have discovered ts100 soldering irons right?

that link is just the first one I found on eBay, I don’t know if that is a trusted seller or not.

but the soldering irons are amazing, 65 watt, with pid temp control, filed interface, g sensing. they can be set to heat up when you shake them and turn off after inactivity. There are mod firmware. they run from a wide range of power sources, I have a lead with clips so I can run it off the car battery, and a lead with connector for my lipol pack. You can also power them from a usb C power supply through a adapter board.
Anyway, guessing you have already all.come across them but if not, highly recommended