How to Use Lead Based Solder How to Use Lead Based Solder

Lead solder is a soldering compound that contains at least 0.2 percent lead. It has long been the standard for soldering electronic equipment, as well as non-load bearing plumbing pieces. It is increasingly being replaced with lead-free solder alternatives, though experienced users agree that lead-based solder is still the most effective choice. Read on to learn how to effectively use this kind of solder.


The basic process of soldering fuses two metal parts together using a filler metal (solder) that has a relatively low melting point. Lead based solder is characterized by having a melting point below about 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Soldering by hand uses one of several tools such as a hot air pencil or small soldering gun. This technique is commonly used for small and delicate electronic components such as circuit boards, so a steady hand is a must.

Tool Temperature

Successfully using lead based solder with hand soldering tools requires selecting the tool with the correct heat temperature. A tool with a rating of 100 watts will get much hotter than one with a rating of 25 watts, and it is important that you check the manufacturer's specifications for your lead based solder for the recommended tool temperature. Too much heat can damage components, and too little heat can create a joint that is too weak. The typical rating falls between 30 and 60 watts on average.  


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