Solder - Kester vs generic

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industrialarts

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Oct 1, 2020
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Hey

Just wanted some input here. I usually buy solder on eBay not usually name brand stuff. I don't have any problems with it EXCEPT sometimes the heating and cooling cycles seem weird, like it should be liquid and it isn't or it should be cooled and solid but isn't. I know this isn't really all that unusual but does anyone have any input on generic solder vs name brand in regards to ease of use. (LINKS to eBay)

Thanks
 

warpie

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Amen....been using that for decades in the "no clean" version for soldering new circuit boards. "44" core can be better when doing rework.

Why gamble with no-name solder??

Bri

I've been using the same but 0.025".

Do you clean the flux afterwards? Some people say that even the "no clean" needs cleaning.
 

amplexus

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I use MG 60/40 no clean, or AIM Glow core for wire and Chip Quik super low dross in the pot. They all perform exceptionally. If i need to work lead free for some reason I keep some MG silver bearing solder around.

The AIM glo core flux is a little More aggressive and sometimes wets better on old/corroded leads and wire i’ve found.
 

Khron

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I've used Stannol 60-40, Felder 60-40 (or was it 63-37?) and nowadays Chipquik 60-40. Very rarely bothered cleaning off the flux, and i'm not aware of any corrosion damage so far, so...
 

musipol

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Go with eutectic (63/37) solder. No plastic zone....more consistant joints. That’s my 2cents. For brands, I like Kester.
 

industrialarts

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Thanks for the info and the tip about the eutetic solder. I had heard about that years ago and forgot about it, I was reminded again whilst digging thru forums other forums after I posted. That may be the answer I am looking for.

Found this so may give it a shot
 

swpaskett

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+1 for Kester. I still have about 1/2 pound of the 5 pound spool of Kester 44 I bought surplus close to 50 years ago, and it was old then. I can't tell the diff between old and new, but on the line the aerospace qualified assemblers said they could tell how old a spool was by how well it soldered. Spools were dated and after 6 months were scrapped. Many went home with the techs and engineers, though. I doubt I wlll ever need to buy solder again :)
 

FIX

Paul Wolff
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What ever you get, if it's lead free, buy the largest diameter flux that you can. With the old way of touching the iron to the joint, then the solder, I find that placing the lead-free solder between the iron and the joint works better.
 

Whoops

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What ever you get, if it's lead free, buy the largest diameter flux that you can.

I would say, whatever you get never and never buy Lead Free solder, it's just crapp.
Always get 60/40 or 63/37 but never unleaded
 

Jarno

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Stannol, both HS10 (0.7 for TH, 0.5 for SMD, 1mm for big stuff) as well as HF32 (0.7 and 0.5)
 

Andy Peters

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I would say, whatever you get never and never buy Lead Free solder, it's just crapp.
Always get 60/40 or 63/37 but never unleaded
Oh, please ... just don't.

The world has moved on from lead-based solder. Somehow tens of thousands of manufacturers, from the big multinationals to my small employer, manage to ship products with boards built with lead-free solder.

If you can't work with lead-free solder, you're doing it wrong.
 

Whoops

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Hi Andy,
For DIY projects and for my DIY projects I actually don’t like the results of lead-free solder when compared to plain 60/40 solder.
The 60/40 is pretty easy to solder and desolder and gives a nice looking solder joint.

Commercial manufacturers use lead-free solder because they are obliged to by law.

If I’m not doing it well with lead-free solder that’s fine as I’m doing pretty well with 60/40 solder, many other diyers feel the same so it’s pretty well documented over here.

So the only personal advise I can give to anyone, based on my experience, is to not use lead-free solder and use only 60/40 or 63/37.

Best Regards
 
Last edited:

JohnRoberts

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I have both lead free and leaded solder on my bench. I used the lead free solder for final assembly on my tuners that I was selling into EU markets. The SMD circuit boards assembly by my contract manufacturer already used lead free components and solder.

I am not a fan of lead free solder but I try to obey laws (even when they seem to be over-reaching).

If you choose to use lead based solders, don't eat it.

JR
 

FIX

Paul Wolff
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I would say, whatever you get never and never buy Lead Free solder, it's just crapp.
Always get 60/40 or 63/37 but never unleaded
If you are a manufacturer and want to ship world wide, it's unavoidable. I hate it as much as you, and myself (API), GML and MANLEY all were in a battle with the EU organizers trying to get a waver because no one ever threw our stuff away. The engineer at GML showed them the silver migration and they dug their heels in. The original reason for the directive was because of all the computers and cell phones going into the dump. They ended up giving both of those industries a waver because of the migration. They forget that the original reason for going to lead solder was because of the silver based solder being brittle. It still haunts us today.
 

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