Must Have Soldering Tools: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to soldering tools, what most homeowners need is a soldering iron and a couple of soldering wires. If you want to engage in basic soldering, these two essentials will get the job done. That said, there are additional soldering tools that could make your life easier. We look at each of them in detail below.

Considerations to make before choosing a soldering tool

Before we jump in on the tools, let’s look at the considerations potential buyers should make before firing up their PayPal accounts/taking out their wallets.

Potential Application: Do you frequently find yourself working on small jobs and repairs? If you answered yes, then it’s safe to say that a soldering iron would be one of the most viable soldering tools for your toolkit. For those who need to change something inside circuits or commit soldering mistakes, a soldering wick or sucker would make an ideal fit. Also, homeowners who like to keep an eye on the fine pitch elements would get a good ROI from a microscope, while additional tools like safety goggles should support most soldering applications. See what type of job/work you need to do, so you’re able to make wise investments.

Smart Features: Regardless of the soldering tool you choose, it’s important to ensure that there’s a smart feature or two in it. For example, the best soldering irons have temperature controlled features that automatically set the tip of the iron to the right temperature throughout use. Likewise, a microscope that’s used to see the small solder joints should have powerful features like USBs, iOS & Android compatibility, and more. In a nutshell, buyers should pick a product with smart features integrated.

Size & Portability: Of course, it makes sense to look at the size and weight of soldering tools. Anything that’s too heavy to carry would just be a hassle. Ensure that whatever soldering tool you pick is portable, lightweight, and high quality. Depending o what vendor you use for the purchase, the tool may or may not come with a bag to keep it in.

Soldering Iron

Soldering iron is essential for fixing electronics and several other items. Whether you wish to make and solder individual circuits or repair a few appliances, a high-quality soldering iron makes things easy, allowing you to solder in an hour or two by just reading relevant blogs or viewing a few tutorials on YouTube. Ideally, this is one of those soldering tools that you should buy in high wattage (at least 30), as low watts of power find it challenging to hold the temperature and takes a bit to heat up.

Best picks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
UY CHAN TS100 Digital Mini Portable Soldering Iron
X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron
Teenitor Solder Sucker Desoldering Vacuum Pump
Engineer SS-02 Solder Sucker
NTE Electronics SW02-10 No-Clean Solder Wick
MG Chemicals #3 No Clean Super Wick Desoldering Braid
KwikSafety (Charlotte, NC) PIT VIPER ANSII Industrial
RAM-PRO Flip-Up Front Welding Goggles
TSAAGAN Built in WiFi USB Microscope
Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand

UY CHAN TS100 Digital Mini Portable Soldering Iron

This is lightweight, temperature-controlled soldering iron boasting a variety of smart features, including standby and sleep modes. The iron comes with 12V power and takes just 30 seconds to heat up. The soldering iron’s temperature appears on the OLED screen, with the option to adjust it from 100 degrees Celsius to 400 degrees Celsius. Another unique thing about TS100 from UY CHAN is that it’s quite portable, so you won’t need to buy a separate bag backpack to carry it around.’

X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron

This is a soldering station that features a 75-watt soldering iron, along with a handy stand and ergonomic grip. Users also get multiple accessories including a tip tinner, brass sponge, roll holder, and flux to keep things clean. There’s also a temperature display that keeps buyers in the loop about Fahrenheit and Celsius. It lets the buyers know that the iron is now hot enough to begin soldering. Moreover, it boasts a ten-minute function of sleeping. Hence, if the iron is set into the holder after use, it goes to sleep after ten minutes.

Soldering sucker

People sometimes commit mistakes while soldering or have to replace something inside a circuit. Both scenarios require desoldering, which is what a soldering sucker is used for. Also known as a soldering pump, the soldering sucker is essentially a vacuum mechanical pump that pulls the solder away from its joint. The user only needs to heat the solder joint for making it fluid, and then use the solder sucker to suck it off. It pays off for homeowners who need to remove a large quantity of solder at once.

Best picks

Teenitor Solder Sucker Desoldering Vacuum Pump

This is a nifty solder sucker with a decent ability to suction. The user can just hang onto it and use their thumb for sucking and resetting. Its basic design allows for one-handed use as the soldering tool makes it easy to suck the solder away from circuit boards. With just a push of a button, the user can heat it up, after which it’s going to start desoldering immediately. If you need a desoldering sucker that fits nicely into your soldering tools toolkit, getting the Teenitor Solder Sucker would be one of the smartest decisions you could make.

Engineer SS-02 Solder Sucker

This soldering pump is intelligently designed to suck melted solders up with a single-handed ‘plunger action.’ It also features a shaft that’s self-cleaning and enables good productivity of frequent jobs without the risk of clogging. Moreover, users get a head-resistant and elastic nozzle that can be held alongside the soldering iron to enable powerful sucking with minimal residue. Additionally, there’s a bonus silicone nozzle included in the package, with an external dia of 4mm and an internal dia of 2mm.

Soldering wick

Another handy soldering tool is the soldering wick. It’s designed with copper threads that do a great job of absorbing solders from the joints. It’s best applicable for eliminating small quantities of solder, for instance, those bridges that form in between pins on chips. Or there might be some solder remaining on a bigger joint that the solder pump wasn’t able to remove.

Best picks

NTE Electronics SW02-10 No-Clean Solder Wick

This is one of the leading products out there. It is capable of removing 4x greater solders that what conventional wicks are capable of. In addition, it carries the ability to remove solder much quicker than Type-R wicks. Moreover, the residue it leaves is non-conductive and halide-free, meaning the user doesn’t need to do any cleaning. Plus, it has a fine braid copper design for pulling in excess solder with industry-leading soldering action. The NTE Electronics SW02-10 is available with anti-static as well as typical bobbins.

MG Chemicals #3 No Clean Super Wick Desoldering Braid

This is a top quality no-clean super wick that has non-corrosive and non-conductive flux residue. It also comes with bobbins that are static-free and the flux residue present ‘on board’ won’t have to be cleaned. The high SIR-fulfils the compliance of both the test method III of IPC and the TR-TSY-00078. Hence, this is a must-have desoldering tool for soldering experts and homeowners alike.

Safety googles

One pair of safety goggles is something we really recommend during soldering. Though not many people use them, there could be dire consequences of receiving a hot solder in your eye, such as a visit to the emergency room inside the hospital. Hence, it makes sense to use them for protecting the inside of the eye, such as the white part and the main cornea.

Best picks

KwikSafety (Charlotte, NC) PIT VIPER ANSII Industrial

These safety goggles are not only useful during soldering, but also work for Infrared or Plasma Jet Welding. Other applications include woodworks, saws, sandblasting, and several projects, and even as an accessory for a holiday costume. The company’s PIT VIPER goggles were designed with the user in mind. Their snug-fit lip provides maximum comfort during all types of works, and a frame of a good size enables them to wear mid-sized glasses. Additionally, the goggle comes with a heavy fitted elastic band that the user can adjust per their needs. Moreover, anti-scratch properties ensure good visibility and long-term vision.

RAM-PRO Flip-Up Front Welding Goggles

These goggles snug around the user’s head with ease and also feature a fitting band that’s adjustable, sealing their eyes with industry-leading protection as they cut, solder, and weld. There re 2 front shaded and 2 clear lenses with a #5 shade rating on the glasses. Also, its ‘dark filter’ shades can be used in three positions for convenience (down, halfway, and up). Moreover, the goggles have two ventilation holes that prevent them from getting snowy, foggy, or iced. Use it while sandblasting, metal cutting, soldering or performing another type of household/industrial job.

Microscope

A microscope, especially the one boasting a USB, is invaluable in debugging instances where fine pitch elements are involved. The high-quality model will allow you to see the tiniest of solder joints hidden in between pins that shouldn’t have been there. USB microscopes are also quite handy for individuals who have a problem with their eyesight.

Best picks

TSAAGAN Built-in WiFi USB Microscope

This microscope has “eight” integrated LED lights and flexible illumination. There’s also a 2 megapixels’ camera, and a 50x to 1000x magnification ratio that gives user a picture-perfect view of the micro world. Additionally, you get an inspection WiFi camera that works with both iOS and Android software. The best part is that the USB microscope can be used in a broad range of applications other than soldering. For instance, it can be used to examine coins, stamps, computer parts, and more. Also, it works with a wide range of devices, including Windows and Mac computers.

Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand

This microscope offers 250 times magnification and 2.0 megapixels. It uses a sensor and a webcam chipset to support most OS leveraging the typical webcam software. There’s also brightness control and LED halo lighting. Additionally, users get an arm stand that’s flexible and features observation padding with ‘graduated marks’ for suitable measurement.

Conclusion

Most of these soldering tools can be purchased from a local hardware shop, but it’s also possible to do a price comparison and shopping online. Whatever route you take, ensure you have a few of these soldering tools to do justice to your soldering projects.