How to Repair a Broken Soldering Iron Tip

What You'll Need
Philips Screw driver
Plato Tip Tin TT-95 Tip Tinner/Cleaner
Sandpaper, 220-grit

When your soldering iron tip gets broken, chances are that too much pressure was applied to it. By following below instruction step-by-step, you can easily check if repair is possible. This will spare you from having to unnecessarily replace of the soldering tip.

Step 1 – Get the Work Area Ready

Bring the materials to a working table. Keep away any wires or conductive materials away from the workspace. Take extra precaution by re-checking that the soldering iron is already un-plugged from the power outlet.

Step 2 – Check the Broken Part

Remove the soldering tip by using the Philips screw driver to remove the set screw at the upper portion of the heating element. Check if the broken portion is still beyond the neckline of the soldering tip.  If the broken part is located on the neckline itself, the soldering tip must be replaced with new one already.

Step 3 – Rework the Solder Tip

Put on the gloves. Take the soldering tip and sand carefully the affected portion to shape back to the pointed shape. This will minimize exposure of copper beyond the surface of the soldering tip. Tilt the tip and align its shape along the pointed portion to return back to its original shape. The more exposed surface, the higher the tendency to unnecessarily expose the copper core of the solder tip which will easily be eaten up by lead during soldering activity. Re-assemble the soldering iron by fixing the soldering tip back again to the heater assembly using set screws once the desired shape is done.

Step 4 – Recondition the Solder Tip

Plug the soldering iron to the power outlet and wait for this to heat up. When the soldering iron has heated under normal soldering condition, open the Plato Tip Tin TT-95 (Tinner and Cleaner) and dip the soldering tip. Roll the soldering iron tip to treat the exposed copper surfaces on the tip tinner. This will recondition the soldering tip and be provided with coating to ensure that the inner copper core is isolated when soldering lead is applied during normal use.

Step 5 – Caring for Your Soldering Gun

Don’t force the tip into the soldered materials. Heat is not enhanced when tip is forced; this will only cause broken tip along the way. Another thing is to use ample amount of solder since too small solder will also cause wear out of the tinned surface of the tip and hasten the exposure of inner copper core and shorten its life span. Never use too much abrasive to remove solder from the iron tip such as dry sponge, solder wicks, and others since this will thin up the solder tip. Always use wet sponge instead to eliminate unnecessary friction while cleaning. Recondition the solder tip using the same material above – Plato Tip Tin TT-95 which is actually a combination of tinner and cleaner. It will ensure the solder tip is maintained after each use and be able to maximize its normal life span.