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How to Extend the Life of Your Soldering Iron

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Published by HAIRUI May 06,2020

A soldering iron is an invaluable tool in hand soldering tasks. But even the best soldering stations will eventually fail if not used properly. We have already provided useful tips for your tip, but here are nine tips to help you keep the soldering iron itself working in the next few years.

 

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Tip #1: Microprocessor controlled soldering iron will protect the iron and work

Today microprocessor-controlled soldering stations automatically control the temperature of the iron. In normal use, a constant power soldering iron may produce sudden temperature fluctuations during thermal operation. The microprocessor control station eliminates temperature spikes that may stress the heating element.


Tip #2: Avoid overheating

One of the main components of the soldering iron is the heating element (or heating coil). While most elements will provide long-term service, they will eventually fail. One way to avoid premature failure is to run the iron only at the heat required for the job.

Keep your operating temperature within the range suitable for solder, but not higher. For typical (non-lead-free) solders, this temperature is approximately 300 °C.


Tip #3: Turn off the soldering iron when not in use

Closing the soldering iron when not in use will save the wear and extend the life of the iron components. When you know that it won't be used for a while, you can keep your iron last longer by remembering to turn it off.

The soldering station currently on the market has an automatic sleep function. These irons help preserve the soldering iron and provide a safer working environment by automatically powering down when not in use.

 

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Tip #4: Check the temperature when changing the solder type

Lead-free solders require higher temperatures to work properly than standard solder types. But when you switch back to standard solder, be sure to adjust the temperature. Otherwise, you run at a temperature higher than the required temperature, which, as we discussed, will eventually shorten the life of the heating element.


Tip #5: Keep the power cord unaffected by damage

Make sure the soldering iron's power cord is properly stored away from the work area. Using a power cord that comes into contact with the hot soldering iron not only damages the iron, it also poses a hazard. This can easily be avoided with proper organization and workplace settings.

We should mention that other items should also be kept away from the business side of the hot soldering iron. This includes long hair, skin, falling caps, falling glasses and clothes. In fact, if it is not soldered or used on a circuit board, it should be kept away from the soldering iron.

When we talk about the work area, make sure you have proper ventilation. You do not want to inhale the fumes generated during the welding process. Also avoid eating when soldering, as your hands will be contaminated with flux and solder paste.


Tip #6: Keep it clean

In order to properly solder the operation, everyone knows that they need to keep the tip clean and properly protected with solder during storage. But don't ignore the fact that the rest of the iron also needs to be kept clean. The material collected in the hot part of the iron but not the tip part still affects the performance of the soldering iron.

Some soldering irons have a deeper discoloration on their metal shafts or barrels after the first few initial uses. This should be considered normal.


Tip #7: Do not abuse the soldering iron

Things get very hot when the solder is not working properly (pun). When this happens, it is natural to apply more force to the soldering iron, which is usually done by beginners. However, this should be avoided as it will create unnecessary strain on the soldering iron.

Gravity can damage heating elements, sensor arrays, cartridge mounts, and other key components of modern soldering stations. If the force is applied at an angle or across the length of the iron, the problem is complicated.

If you need to apply force to your work to get the job done, consider using a tool that is more suitable for blunt applications.


Tip #8: Keep gentle when changing tips or ink cartridges

Tips and cartridges can provide a long life if they are properly maintained. But in the end, they need to be placed, and for some iron types, they can be difficult to remove. Make sure you understand how the tip attaches to the iron.

Many tips are actually screwed into the base, which means pulling them out hard can damage the iron. If the tip is stuck in place, avoid placing pliers or other tools directly on the shaft. These can damage the shaft and the heating element itself.

If you need a support shaft, wrap it with a protective layer before applying light retention. Before attempting to hold it, make sure the iron is off and kept cool.


Tip #9: Know when to replace the soldering iron

No matter how carefully you use the soldering iron, if it has many uses, it will eventually need to be replaced. The good news is that iron can last for a long time if it is properly taken care of and stored. But once Iron begins to show its age, the correct course of action is to replace it.

Damaged or worn irons can be thermally unstable, causing unpredictable behavior. An overheated iron can damage the components, so check the iron and replace the damaged iron before use.

With proper maintenance, the soldering iron can provide a long service life. Advanced welding stations extend the life of the welding head and provide more efficient welding performance. We offer a wide range of welding, desoldering and rework tools using HAIRUI® technology.

Contact us today to find out how we can make your hand soldering work a success.

 

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