Essential soldering tools
A device for applying a point source of heat to melt solder for soldering two materials together. Soldering irons are typically electrically powered. Soldering irons may have interchangeable tips for different types of work. Pyramid tips with a triangular flat face are useful for soldering sheet metal. Fine round tips are useful for electronics work. You also have a choice of either a soldering iron with variable temperature or one with no temperature control.
This is an alloy of tin and lead that melts at a fairly low temperature and is used for making permanent electrical connections between parts and wires. The most commonly used type of solder is rosin core.
The rosin is flux, which cleans as you solder. The other type of solder is acid core and unless you are experienced at soldering, you should stick to rosin core solder. Acid core solder can be tricky, and better avoided for the beginner.
Other useful tools
- soldering iron tips - comes in different sizes and shapes (pointed or flat tips)
- solder wick or solder sucker for cleaning up solder
- small hand tools eg clamps for clipping component leads, bending and shaping etc
- soldering iron stand - a heat resistant cradle for your iron to sit in, so you don't have to lie it down on the bench while it is hot. This will prevent it from burning things in your work area
- magnifying glass to inspect the connection
- a wet sponge to clean soldering iron tips
- fume extractors to suck out the poisonous solder fumes and filter it
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