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Soldering Basics

What you need

A soldering iron (Not a soldering gun) Solder

So, how do I solder?

How do I know if I did something wrong?

You know you have done something wrong if there is a cold joint, lifted pad or burned components.

How do I fix my mistakes?

Excess Solder

You can remove excess solder by desoldering it. There are many ways to go about this. The two most common ways are by using desoldering braid or a desoldering pump.

  • Desoldering Braid:

Used by placing the braid on the solder to be removed, then applying the soldering iron to the top of the braid so it melts the solder. The solder is sucked into the braid and the braid is then removed by holding the iron to it and lifting. One must be careful not to remove the braid without heat applied to it. If done as such the braid may have been soldered to the pad and the pad may be lifted or even ripped off when trying to remove the braid. The proper way to lift desoldering braid is to place the iron on top of it and lift while it is still contacting.

  • Desoldering Pump:

Lifted Pad


Cold Joint

A solder joint that has a dull gray color. These form when you did something wrong while



The act of removing solder from an area.

Desoldering Braid

A braid made out of many thin strands of copper used to remove solder from an area.

Desoldering Pump

A large syringe shaped pump that is used to suck solder away from an area.


A corrosive material used to clean and prevent further oxidation on areas that are being soldered. Once flux is applied solder can "cling" better to the surface of the materials being joined. Flux may come in a paste, a pen and is also already in some solders.


A soft malleable metal that has a low melting point. Lead is a component used in most solders. It is also poisonous and can lead to serious health problems. Symbol: Pb

Lifted Pad

When the soldering pad is lifted off of the PCB.


Solder is a (usually lead based) metal that has a really low melting point. There are lead free solders but many people consider them a nuisance to work with and use lead based solders instead. Solder will usually have flux "built-in."


The act of joining components together with solder.

Soldering Gun

A "gun" that uses electrical current to heat up the tip. It is for this reason soldering guns

should never be used to solder electrical components.

Soldering Iron

Used to join components together with solder.

External Links

Soldering for Newbs by Brakken of TehSkeen