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Some notes from a Google Group thread on choosing solder.

Q: John W 2012 Aug 17 -

I'm just about to run out of my ancient supply of solder, time to buy a new reel. Probably 500g.

Looked on Amazon, not much choice... looked on rs-online, wow, incredible mind-blowing amount of choice, even after restricting it to leaded solder only.

Thought it might be worth asking here what recommendations others here have, and why?

--- A: from Richard

My own selection is based on:

1) I always get no solder wire with no clean flux in it, preferably low residue flux.

2) For general through hole soldering I use 22swg or .7mm, which is good balance for feed rate for this type of joint. For SMT hand assembly I use 26swg .4mm, but this feeds a bit too fast for general through hole work. For solder tags, and tagged components (pots, transformers) 20 swg or 18swg is better , but rarely justified unless you do a lot of this type of work.

3) I use a 60/40 or 63/37 lead/tin alloy for general purpose work. For SMT I use a low melting point solder with silver in it, this is excellent solder though more expensive (3X), but usage is low ( consider splitting a reel with others).

4) I buy from known brands (Multicore, Alpha, Kester)

5) 500g reels are probably best value. Solder will keep well if clean and dry.

Look on ebay, Farnell, Rapid, RS based on the above. I would expect to pay under £20 for 500g of 22swg, and under £30 for 250g of low melting point. - show quoted text -

John W Re: [TVRepRapUG] Re: Solder

Thanks Richard, much obliged. I guess you're the only one who uses solder! ;)

I'm going to follow your advice, except I'm surprised at the inclusion of eBay. Am I wrong to be fearful of being conned by counterfeiters there? I do use eBay for other things, such as second hand items and spares/repair when after a cheap replacement part, but I'm rather wary about new items.

A: from buserror Re: [TVRepRapUG] Re: Solder

All of my solder comes from ebay (sureelectronics). You can buy a few different sizes, both Pb and not. I of course use the leaded one, and I never had any problems. I bought enough for a few years for about 10 quid. I mostly use the very thin one (0.5mm), or a notch up (1mm) for thru holes.


--- John W Re: [TVRepRapUG] Re: Solder

Thanks Michel. OK, I should keep a more open mind about ebay. Unfortunately, while I've had many good experiences on ebay with non-business sellers, I've been burned by large cheap n' cheerful powersellers, e.g. camera batteries that jam inside the camera, lens caps that don't fit the declared size...

Sureelectronics looks like it has some interesting stuff. At present no solder by them though. - show quoted text -

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