How to solder with a sharp tip soldering iron

The process of tinning a soldering iron tip: how to tin new and copper coatings, correct work with solder

Soldering materials when working with radio electronics is commonplace. It’s easy to learn how to solder, and your skill will only improve with experience. But the tool requires high-quality maintenance for it to work flawlessly. The craftsman needs to be able to tin the soldering iron tip correctly so that the solder sticks to it without damaging the tip.

The traditional material is copper. It has good thermal conductivity, which is why copper has been used in production since the invention of the soldering iron. But the material has an inherent disadvantage - high wear. This metal is characterized by burnout and the ability to dissolve in solder. Over time, manufacturers began to work on the shortcomings, which gave rise to coatings coated with nickel or silver.

Nickel is wear-resistant and highly durable. As a result, the consumer receives a tip with a long service life. But there is a drawback - weak adhesion , due to which the nickel tip is not able to hold solder well. Soldering can only be done by feeding the material directly to the area that is preheated with a tip.

Silver has good adhesion, but low thermal conductivity. The material is able to dissolve in solder and has a high cost. During operation, the copper base is very quickly exposed, and the expensive tip must soon be thrown away.

Radio amateurs still actively use copper tips, avoiding advanced coatings. We have to put up with the peculiarity of copper - rapid oxidation at high temperatures. As a result, adhesion decreases, and craftsmen need to quickly clean the tip, erasing a thin layer of metal and clearing it of impurities.

Modern coated tips also need to be prepared for work, only the technique is slightly different. Solder accumulates on their surface, which should be removed periodically. This is done in such a way as not to damage the expensive coating, otherwise, instead of a sprayed tip, you can get an ordinary copper rod.

Preparing the copper tip

Solder fits well on a slightly heated tip, but with one condition - it must be clean. This is only possible at low temperatures, since a split tip is difficult to manipulate. The task at the beginning of work is to clean the tool. After heating, the oxidized layer should be periodically ground off to improve adhesion.

You can remove the rod from a cold soldering iron and thoroughly clean it. This will prevent you from accidentally damaging the heater. The entire tip is treated completely, since copper inside the heater is also oxidized due to high temperature. This impairs heat transfer and energy is wasted.

Before tinning a soldering iron with a copper tip, it should be cleaned of dirt. The work is done with a file and sandpaper. The material is sharpened to a clean layer so that the copper looks like new. First, a rough cleaning is carried out with a file, and then the surface is polished with sandpaper until it is smooth.

Experienced craftsmen bind the tip, which somewhat reduces the rate of oxidation. The process involves uniformly strengthening the surface of the copper rod with gentle blows of a hammer on an anvil.

Tinning of a copper tip is carried out in 2 ways - with rosin and rubbing with tin. The first option is characterized by high smoke generation, so it is not recommended for residential premises due to the health hazard. The procedure is recommended to be carried out on the balcony.

The cleaned tip is placed in a container with rosin, where a little solder is first placed, which instantly covers the tip and prevents it from oxidizing. Afterwards the sting is wiped with natural cloth. Do this carefully so as not to get burned.

They try to rub solder into the copper.

Tin rubbing is a virtually smokeless method. The cleaned tip is heated and dipped in rosin. Afterwards, the warm surface is rubbed with tin. The procedure is repeated several times, the protective layer is rubbed with cloth.

Initial treatment of the base with spraying

A tip coated with ceramic or nickel does not need to be tinned, as manufacturers advise, but this is nothing more than an advertising ploy. Such coatings are also prone to oxidation, but the process is slower. It will not be possible to tin the soldering iron tip of a modern soldering station using a proven method - this will destroy the coating.

These tips are cleaned with a small piece of cotton cloth. To do this, add solder to the rosin and dip a heated tip into the mixture, which is first rubbed with a rag. The molten solder envelops the tip and forms a protective layer.

Tinning during soldering

Preparation for work is carried out in a calm environment. After some time, the adhesion of the tip decreases as the copper begins to burn. This usually starts within 5-10 minutes. There are several ways to properly tin a soldering iron while working.

Wood block

A board made of coniferous wood should always be at hand by the master. This wood contains natural rosin. Flux is poured onto the block and a little solder is placed. As soon as the sting loses adhesion, it is rubbed against wood. Thus, you can not only clean, but also tin the soldering iron.

The method is fast. Factory soldering stations have a container with a metal sponge. At home, they use a regular metal sponge.

Experienced craftsmen lubricate the lower part of the sponge with flux. Shallow immersion of the tip will allow for simple cleaning. But if you dip the base in solder, and then immerse it deeply in the sponge, reaching the flux layer, then cleaning will be combined with tinning.

It is difficult to damage the tool even with strong pressure. The method is suitable for any type of device.

Proven method and prevention

The previous methods were invented relatively recently. Our ancestors carried out tinning a little differently, using a file with a fine notch. You will need a workbench to do the work, which is sometimes replaced with a board, as well as rosin and refractory solder.

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  1. Clean one side of the base.
  2. Dip the instrument deeply into rosin and rub it on the wood with the clean side.
  3. Contact with wood is carried out at the place where solder has been previously laid. The procedure is repeated several times.
  4. They are engaged in the second side.
  5. Tin the remaining surface of the rod.

The procedure will take at least 10 minutes. This time pays off in that you can work with the tool longer without additional cleaning.

Preventive measures against oxidation:

  1. The temperature regulator in the soldering station should be set to the lowest possible value.
  2. Maximum power is set only in case of emergency.
  3. Experienced craftsmen equip the soldering iron stand with a switch with a voltage limiter: the heat is maintained when the tool is not in use, and the coating does not oxidize.
  4. After each soldering, the coating is restored.

Conscious craftsmen always have a tool at the ready. It is advisable to tin the soldering iron tip after work and additionally before it, after long-term storage. Preventative measures during soldering will help get rid of weak adhesion of solder to a tip made of any material.


How to tin a soldering iron tip?

Oxidation is one of the main problems when soldering, as it significantly worsens the connection of metal parts and prevents the solder from taking up properly.

The soldering iron tip often suffers from such problems, so everyone who does soldering needs to know how to tin the soldering iron tip so that it does not deteriorate and continues to work under normal conditions.

If there is an oxidizing film on it, which appears when metal particles come into contact with oxygen, then difficult-to-solder materials will not be able to be joined. Problems also arise with simple operations for the same reason.

If you don’t know how to tin the tip of a soldering iron, then the work will most likely not be successful. No matter what techniques are used, in the absence of the basics it will not be possible to achieve the desired result. It is necessary to engage in this process both before starting work and if there are breaks during it.

How to tin the sting correctly?

Features of the soldering iron tip

The tip is the main working part of the tool, which is in contact with all parts, solder, workpieces, etc. It heats up itself and also melts all consumables at the required temperature.

Despite the fact that this part is made of durable metals that have a high melting point and good resistance to chemical attack, you need to know how to properly tin the soldering iron tip, since an oxidizing film begins to form on top of it. It is not visible without special devices, but the effect of the presence of this film becomes noticeable, since the molten solder does not remain on the tip, but simply spreads over it and falls down.

It is impossible to take the right amount of material and carefully place it in the required place. Tip preparation is necessary not only for old, used devices. You need to know how to tin the new soldering iron, since this oxide can also form on it.

The size of the tip and its shape influence which model needs to be selected for certain operations. The thicker the tip, the greater the power of the soldering iron and the higher the temperature it reaches when heating. The shape of the tip affects the ease of performing certain operations.


The tip needs to be looked after so that it lasts as long as possible, since if it fails, the soldering iron will be useless. To do this, you need to constantly clean it of solder residues after finishing work.”


In addition to tinning the soldering iron, you also need to know how to sharpen the soldering iron tip. After all, only after proper sharpening can you work. This applies mainly to new models, but if, from repeated use, the tip has become overgrown with old solder residues, then this operation also needs to be carried out here.

Sharpening the tip of a new soldering iron

Sharpening involves creating the desired tip shape. The standard option is sharpening at an angle of 30-40 degrees on each side. The result should be a wedge-shaped shape. It is desirable that the sharp part of the sting be about 1 mm thick.


How to tin a soldering iron tip so that it solders correctly?

Many domestic soldering irons are made with a copper tip. For example, soldering irons like EPSN. The copper tip must be properly treated before this soldering iron can be used. The tip must be given a shape convenient for soldering.

Some people process it with a simple file, and especially creative individuals prefer to forge it. As a result, the soldering iron tip becomes more durable and dissolves much less in the solder during the soldering process. But sooner or later everyone wonders how to tin a soldering iron with a copper tip.

Features of soldering irons

It is best to buy soldering irons whose tip is secured with a special screw. Such a sting can always be easily removed and processed again. Of course, if it gets stuck during use, then this process will not be so easy. Therefore, when using soldering irons with removable tips, it is necessary to remove them from time to time and clean the attachment point so that it does not stick.

After the tip is given the desired shape, it must be tinned. The phrase “how to tin a soldering iron tip” should mean that you will have to cover the working area of ​​the tip with a thin layer of solder. It's not too difficult to do this. It is enough to plug in the soldering iron, wait until it heats up to the temperature at which the rosin begins to melt, and then dip the tip into it.

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After the soldering iron has been heated to its operating temperature, you need to cover the part of it that is used for soldering on all sides with solder. It is better to take small pieces or solder made in the form of wire for this. A soldering iron with a power of 25 watts will not be able to melt a large piece of solder.

Soldering iron tip shape

The shape of the sting may vary. The choice depends on the habits of the person who uses the soldering iron, and, of course, on the type of work performed with it. Some people prefer a cone-shaped soldering iron tip, while others prefer a soldering iron tip cut at 45 degrees.

The fact is that with a sharply sharpened soldering iron tip it will be possible to solder even transistors hidden in SOT-23 cases, SMD parts or capacitors with resistors of size 1206. To solder such parts from boards in large quantities, a construction or soldering hair dryer is usually used. If it is not available, a regular soldering iron with a power of about 25 Watts, whose tip is processed in the shape of the letter P, will be useful. It is necessary to remember that this is done before tinning the soldering iron tip.

This is done in order to avoid overheating the leads of the part, which happens when soldering with a soldering iron with a regular tip. And with the help of such a U-shaped tip, the leads are soldered together immediately, and the part is easily released from the soldering site.

When performing work on mass desoldering of radio components, it is better to use a more powerful soldering iron, using a power regulator. It's not that difficult to make it yourself. In this case, a soldering iron with a power of up to 65 watts is suitable.

There are quite frequent cases when, during soldering, rosin suddenly begins to smoke. This means the soldering iron is overheated. You have to unplug it and wait until it cools down. At the same time, if the soldering iron cools down below normal, it begins to solder poorly. Using a power regulator, such problems can be easily avoided, and the work becomes much easier, and from the necessary preliminary work there will be nothing left except tinning the soldering iron tip.

Soldering iron sharpening

  • The soldering iron tip is sharpened with a file at an angle of 30-40 degrees.
  • The edge is left 1 mm wide and slightly blunt.
  • On a new soldering iron, you only need to sand the tip with fine sandpaper to remove the patina. Patina is a greenish copper oxide.
  • If store-bought sharpening is not satisfactory, then you need to remove the tip and forge it yourself, giving it the shape of a concave blade. This method has one more advantage - the metal will become less susceptible to corrosion.
  • To give the sting a finished look, all that remains is to process it with a finely cut file.

How to tin the soldering iron tip of a soldering station?

Tinning a tip means covering it with a thin layer of solder. To do this you need:

  • Turn on the soldering iron and wait until the copper rod turns a reddish-orange hue. You shouldn't wait any longer, as the rod may get burned.
  • Immerse the entire tip in rosin and melt a small piece of solder.
  • Cover the entire surface of the tip with solder. It will coat better if you first rub it on a wooden surface.

How to tin a non-burnable tip?

On sale you can find soldering irons in which the working part is coated with a special non-flammable compound. This layer is very thin and under no circumstances should it be cleaned, as is the case with a conventional soldering iron.

The question arises: “How to tin a soldering iron tip if it cannot be cleaned in the usual way?” You must use a special sponge. The one that housewives usually use to wash dishes, or a piece of cloth previously soaked in water, will also work.

When using such soldering irons, you should remember that any mechanical stress significantly reduces their service life.

To tin the tip of such a soldering iron, you need to dip a piece of solder into molten rosin, rub the tip on a damp cloth, removing oxides from it, and then move the heated soldering iron over the solder. After tinning, all you have to do is wipe the tip with a rag, and the soldering iron is ready for use.

When working with any type of soldering iron, you should try not to overheat it above 300 degrees C, otherwise you will have to tin the tip again. And of course, anyone who uses a soldering iron should know how to properly tin a soldering iron tip.


How to solder correctly with a soldering iron: what is required for soldering using rosin - Machine

In the modern world, saturated with electronics and electrical appliances, you need to know how to use a soldering iron. This skill will save a lot of time and money on repairing broken appliances. Despite the apparent complexity of this process, it is actually very easy to learn how to solder correctly with a soldering iron.

Soldering technology is to use a metal that has a lower melting point to connect more refractory metals.

Soldering irons

Soldering irons have several types, differing from each other in the heating method. According to this criterion, they are divided into electric, hot-air, induction, and hammer. The most popular in everyday life are electric soldering irons with a spiral or ceramic heater.

For each type of work you need to use a soldering iron of a certain power. For example, for soldering electronics, you will need a low-power soldering iron up to 40 W, and for parts with walls up to 1 mm you will need a more powerful device up to 100 W.

To solder together parts with a thickness of more than 2 mm, you will already need an electric hammer soldering iron with a power of 200-550 W. Such a device is unsuitable for everyday use, as it is intended for large-scale work and has a huge price.

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Solder is essentially an alloy of metals with a low melting point. Solder usually contains tin, but due to its high price, a cheaper material, lead, is added to it.

Also, solder often contains auxiliary substances that are used to improve soldering strength or reduce the melting point.

Soft solders marked from POS-18 to POS-90 are very popular. The number in this abbreviation means the percentage of tin in the solder.

Hard solders are rarely used at home. They contain copper and zinc, which allows the solder not to melt until the temperature reaches 450˚C.

You need to know that solders with different compositions are suitable for different types of metals. For steel, POS-41 is better suited, for copper almost any solder is suitable, and for stainless steel - tin solder with cadmium.

It is best to determine what metal will be used for soldering before purchasing solder and, based on this information, purchase the appropriate solder.


Flux is an auxiliary substance that is used to free parts from oxidation products during soldering. Fluxes also contribute to the spreading of metal during soldering.

There are a huge number of soldering fluxes on sale. There are both neutral and metal-active fluxes to varying degrees.

The most popular base for flux is rosin. It is fusible and begins to boil already when heated to 250 ˚C.

  • To learn how to solder with a soldering iron with rosin, you must know that after soldering you must completely remove the remaining rosin from the metal, otherwise oxidation of the metal will occur at this point.
  • Also, due to its hydrolyzing properties, rosin increases conductivity at the soldering site, which disrupts the operation of electronic devices.
  • It is also best to select the flux for the type of metal with which you plan to work - this will ensure high quality work.


Solder pastes or tinol are a mixture of solder and flux. The paste is used for soldering in complex, hard-to-reach places. Tinol is also convenient to use for beginners without experience with a soldering iron.

Tool preparation

Don’t be afraid if the new soldering iron starts to smoke when you first turn it on. This occurs due to the burnout of the oil that preserves the instrument during long-term storage.

Before using a soldering iron, you should prepare its working part - the tip. It can be forged a little or sharpened to the required shape. If the working part of the soldering iron is coated with nickel, then such preparation is strictly prohibited.

The stores have a wide range of tips or tips for soldering irons, differing in sharpening. For large parts, a round tip with an angular sharpening is suitable, and for small parts, a sharp conical one.

If the soldering iron has a tip made of copper, then before work you need to tin it during the first heating. Tinning can be done by rubbing molten solder over a heated tip with a wooden block or by any other method.

The main thing is that upon first use the working part of the soldering iron is covered with a thin layer of solder. Otherwise, the soldering quality will be poor and the working part of the tool will be damaged.

Preparing parts

The preparation of parts does not depend on the metal from which they are made or the method of soldering them. Preparation always follows the same scheme - first the part is cleaned of contaminants and degreased.

For this purpose, use gasoline, acetone or other solvents. Rust must also be removed mechanically.


The temperature of the soldering iron is the main parameter when working with it. When working with an insufficiently heated tool, the solder does not melt, but forms a lump.

To determine at what temperature you should solder, you need to know the melting temperature of the metal of the part and the solder. The temperature of the soldered parts should be 40-80 C˚ higher than the melting temperature of the solder, and the temperature of the tool tip should be 20-40 C˚ higher than the soldering temperature.

If the soldering iron does not have a temperature control function, then this parameter can be assessed using rosin. When touched by a soldering iron, it should boil, without instant combustion. Overheating will be indicated by the appearance on the solder, after touching it with a soldering iron, of a dark film consisting of oxidation products.

Soldering technique

  1. Basically, soldering occurs in two ways: by applying solder to the parts using a soldering iron or by applying solder directly to the parts.
  2. When using any of the methods, you must first clean and degrease the parts, secure them, heat the tool and treat the soldering area with flux.

If you are using a soldering iron to apply solder, melt a small amount of solder at the tip and transfer it to the soldering pad. Next you should move along the junction of the parts.

  • If solder is applied directly to the junction, then the parts are first heated with a soldering iron, and then solder is supplied there later.
  • If you plan to solder circuits, then it is better to find high-quality photo instructions on how to solder electronic circuits.

To evaluate the quality of work, you need to evaluate the color and shine of the junction. A high-quality solder has a pronounced shine; if the solder is burned through, it has a matte color and a fragile structure. The spongy structure of the solder indicates a defect.

For the first tests, it is best to use simple and inexpensive materials. The easiest way is to understand how to solder with tin and rosin correctly.

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