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Choosing the Right Soldering Iron (Avoid using soldering guns!)

25-35 Watt Irons

Great for delicate PCB work where less heat is good, though not recommended for hand wired electronics because it can require more time to heat up the bigger solder joints which may damage the component before the solder can melt.

35-40 Watt Irons

Ideal for most guitar and amp electronics, especially the hand wired components.  The higher wattage requires less time to melt the solder joint, so you reduce the risk of overheating the components.

Variable Heat Irons

These are the best because you can adjust the heat to handle almost any job.  You can reduce the heat enough to work on delicate PCB’s, or increase it enough to solder Humbucker covers or any large surface that absorbs heat and makes it difficult to solder. 

Chisel Tips – These come in all sizes. They have a flat head which helps to better disperse heat across bigger surfaces.  A small chisel tip is good for most hand wired components that have solderable lugs.  Medium to large sized tips are great where high heat is needed, such as soldering Humbucker covers to a base plate, or soldering directly to a chassis.

Pencil Tips – These are pointed and designed to focus heat directly to one central point.  

Pencil tips aka; Fine Conical Tips are ideal for my PCB’s or any smaller solder connections.

Always Tin your Tip and keep it clean!

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Now go read T-Diddy's helpful section on the actual Soldering here:

Soldering Techniques

November 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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