# Desoldering Method

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#### axro

##### New Member
What, in your opinion is the best desoldering method? Wick or Bulb?

#### Nigel Goodwin

##### Super Moderator
Depends mainly on the specific application - however, I only VERY rarely use solderwick, and mostly use a solder sucker - not a bulb, they are pretty useless.

#### MikeMl

##### Well-Known Member
Depends on what you are trying to save, the PC board itself, or the component that you are removing from the PC board for use in another project. It further depends if the components are through-hole, or surface mounted.

#### axro

##### New Member
It will be for taking components out of old things for use in other projects. Almost all being Through-hole.

#### tcmtech

##### Banned
See my thread in **** chat called tips and tricks!

The method I use I have found to be better than either wicks or suckers when it comes to removing old components off of boards.

#### Torben

##### Well-Known Member
I agree with Nigel--desoldering bulbs suck, and not in the way you want them to. I find that when releasing pressure on the bulb, the tip tends to jerk a bit which moves it away from the solder blob it's supposed to be sucking up.

I often use a combination of a spring-loaded solder sucker and desoldering braid. I use the sucker to get the bulk of the solder off, and then if necessary I will go back over the joint (after letting it cool a bit) with the braid for final cleanup. Seems to work OK for me.

I haven't tried a rework station, although if anyone has one lying around that they want to get rid of, send it my way!

Cheers,

Torben

#### Dean Huster

##### Well-Known Member
On the other hand, I've gotten desoldering bulbs to work great -- enough that I've used them to desolder one entire circuit board after another, harvesting parts. They're better for older, hand-soldered analog boards and worthless for multilayer digital boards. I modified my bulb by cutting a hole in the end opposite the sucking nib and inserting a pill bottle there, making sure the hole and the bottle have a tight fit. As the bulb over-accumulates solder, I just hold it bottle-end down, shake up and down a few times, remove the bottle full of solder and dump it into my solder recycle can. I have a long allen wrench just the right size I use to periodically ream out the bore of the bulb nib.

I've used solder suckers, but you have to have the right brand and keep it maintained with silicone grease to keep things slick and sucky. They're a much bigger pain to clean.

I've used the melt and shake or the melt and tap-on-a-solid-surface method. Again, better for hand-soldered boards and worthless on multilayered ones.

Then there's the compressed air method. That one's the most dangerous to personnel and is not recommended.

I've used high-end Pace repair and rework systems. HIgh bucks to maintain and work really well. Still, for multilayer boards, especially when working on pins tied to the ground plane, you almost always have to have a second iron on the front side to help with the heat as you use the Pace sucker on the back side.

Solder braid has it's place, but don't get sucked into the "any old shield braid" is OK for the job, because it isn't. Get the stuff made for the purpose. It's good for cleaning up solder bridges, more and more common with SMT boards.

The sucking bulb mounted on the end of an iron (I believe Ungar pioneered that one in the 1960s) is probably the most worthless system there is.

Ungar also had tip kits that had shapes to match common PCB patterns: 7-pin miniature tube socket, 9-pin miniature tube socket, octal tube socket, DIP IC and a straight bar. It took a heckuva large-wattage element to handle some of those. They all stunk!

Dean

#### dknguyen

##### Well-Known Member
For electronics Wick 1st. Then bulb. The bulb is better for desoldering large contacts though with lots of area and lots of solder.

Spring loaded suckers suck- The spring recoil on those things will jerk the tip away from where you need it to be.

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#### Speakerguy

##### Active Member
The only spring-loaded sucker worth a damn IMO is the Soldapult DS-017. Note that it is also sold under other names (I have the OK International version of it - same thing, different name on the side). The vacuum pump iron desoldering tools get clogged too often IMO. Yes it is probably my technique, but it's still a pain.

But honestly, my hot tweezers are the first to get used when desoldering stuff. They're great for any two terminal devices or dual row (SOIC, TSSOP, etc) devices. I use primarily SMT stuff, so they're extra handly. I can depopulate an entire board full of resistors and caps in practically zero time flat. A little wick to clean off the pads, some alcohol on a brush to remove flux residue and the board is as good as new.
I still need a hot air station though, because QFP's and similar are difficult to do with the tweezers.

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#### Torben

##### Well-Known Member
So it would seem like in so many other instances, the answer is 'try a few methods and see what works best for you'.

Good luck!

Torben

#### nz_electric_specialists

##### New Member
i would actually say just use a desoldering pump, quik and easy.

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#### BrownOut

##### Banned
Blowtorch. I'm not kidding. It'll fall right out and less chance of damage to the transformer. I've used a torch on \$700 board mount high voltage supplies, and it worked like a charm.
Holy s**t Batman! I was thinking about that as a backup plan. Hmmm.. I do have an oxy-acetylene torch....

##### New Member
I'm pretty new to soldering (and desoldering) but I find that the desolder pumps usually do the job quite well despite my inexpert use of them. Though I do occasionally find (with the one I have) that it's difficult to get a decent seal, so it doesn't always suck as well as you might hope.

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#### Speakerguy

##### Active Member
I used a MAPP gas torch, but propane or oxy-acetylene would have been fine. The board is toast, but it you are just salvaging the flyback it is probably the best way to go. The whole removal operation will take about 3 seconds for the flyback to fall out. It happens lickety-split.

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#### BrownOut

##### Banned
I used a MAPP gas torch, but propane or oxy-acetylene would have been fine. The board is toast, but it you are just salvaging the flyback it is probably the best way to go. The whole removal operation will take about 3 seconds for the flyback to fall out. It happens lickety-split.
Should be fun!

#### vsmGuy

##### New Member
Guys, spare all the trouble for yourself and get a SMD reflow station. Works like a charm, and you need it more with every passing day!

#### Speakerguy

##### Active Member
Do you mean a hot air rework? I agree, they are awesome. I think once I have one, I will pretty much be set with iron + tweezers + hot air.

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