The Soldering Tools That Make Your Life Easier

The most important of the soldering tools is the soldering iron

The only soldering tools you really need to get started with soldering are a soldering iron and some solder. If you just want to get started, that’s what I recommend you get.

Even though you can do a lot with just a soldering iron, getting a few extra tools could make things easier.

In this article, I’ll show you what the basic soldering tools are.

How To Solder – A Simple Guide For Beginners and Hobbyists

Man soldering (illustration)

Everyone can learn how to solder. And it’s an important skill to know want to build electronics.

Basic soldering is easy. All you need is a soldering iron and some solder. When my dad taught me as a teenager, I remember picking it up quite fast.

In this soldering guide, you’ll learn first learn to solder two wires. Then you’ll learn to solder components on a circuit board. If you’re already familiar with this, consider jumping over to my guide on SMD soldering or reflow soldering.

Also, check out my article on the soldering tools you need to get started.

5 top mistakes beginners make when soldering

Adding Solder To Pad

Are you doing this?

Don’t worry, I’ve done all of these mistakes myself.

And sometimes it works.

But by learning the correct soldering technique, you reduce the chances of mistakes in your circuit caused by a bad solder joint.

1. Removing iron before applying solder

When I teach someone how to solder, I usually say that you should first heat the pin and the pad, then apply the solder.

But sometimes my explanation isn’t clear enough. I’ve seen students heating the pad and the pin, then removing the soldering iron before trying to apply the solder.

What is the RIGHT Soldering Temperature?

Cleaning Soldering Iron With SpongeThe right soldering temperature is something many don’t really think about.

But, have you ever used one of those soldering irons with a variable temperature setting?

If you have, you might be wondering the same thing as Jyri. Jyri wrote to me in an email about soldering and asked: “I always wondered – what is the right soldering temperature in various situations?”

Through-Hole Components or Not?

Through-Hole Components on a stripboard «It went through the circuit board, like a knife through warm butter.»

This could have been the intro to an incredibly capturing novel about through-hole components. But it’s not. I don’t think anyone has made a novel about such a narrow topic.

Oh, wait! I had to do an Amazon search after writing that. Turns out this one is something close. But something tells me it won’t start like my example-intro.

How To Use SMD Components?

SMD Components on a PCBSMD components are small and kind of scary if you have never used them before. And the first time you want to solder one – you will probably start to doubt if you’re actually able to do it.

Even though I have soldered many SMD components, I still get that “Oh man, that component looks tiny!”-feeling. But usually, it works out fine. As long as it’s not too small.

SMD is short for surface-mount device. I always get a bit confused about the terminology, but I think SMD describes a printed circuit board, with components that are mounted on the surface of the board. So an SMD component is actually a surface-mount device component.

3 Need-To-Know Soldering Techniques + Guerrilla Soldering

Throughout my electronics career I have used several different soldering techniques. In the beginning I only used my soldering iron. I was able to do almost everything with my iron. But there are situations where using a different technique is much simpler.

So let’s have a look at different soldering techniques. And at the end of the article, I’ll include a fun video with some techniques I call guerrilla soldering. I bet you’ll never see these in a class at the university, haha :)

Using Your Soldering Iron In Another Country

Have you ever considered bringing your soldering iron on vacation?

I am in Mexico at the moment and of course I have my soldering iron in my suitcase. But here the other day I got myself a surprise that I never considered could be a problem.

ERSA-30 Soldering Iron

I have an old ERSA-30 soldering iron that I inherited from my dad. It’s designed for the European 220V wall plug. Therefore I used an adapter to make it fit the Mexican wall plug. It’s not a converter, just a simple mechanical adapter that lets me plug my European plugs into the Mexican plugs.

I wanted to solder some stuff, so I plugged it in and waited…

Reflow Soldering Made Easy

Reflow soldering is a very effective method for soldering circuit boards with lots of surface mount components. But is this something you can do as a hobbyist?

Yes it is :)


To do reflow soldering, you should have the following tools:

  • Solder paste in a syringe
  • Flux
  • Tweezers

And one of the following:

  • A hot plate/skillet
  • A toaster oven
  • A “real” reflow oven

How To Choose Types of Solder to Use For Electronic Circuits?

Because it seems to be so many types of solder out there, choosing which solder to purchase can be confusing.

When I started out in electronics I had no clue, so I just used whatever solder I could find. But did you know that solder is not only used for soldering electronics?

Actually, solder is also used for plumbing.

And the solder used for plumbing should definitely not be used for electronics as it contains acid!


By Ilja at de.wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

How To Desolder a Solder Joint

To know how to desolder a solder joint is maybe just as important as knowing how to solder.

Sometimes you need to make a correction to your electronic circuit. Maybe you soldered a diode in the wrong direction or maybe two of your pads have accidentally been connected by some extra solder.

In these cases you need to know desoldering.

How To Do SMD Soldering Using a Soldering Iron

Placing smd components for reflow solderingYou don’t need fancy equipment to do SMD soldering at home. You can easily do it using a soldering iron.

SMD stands for Surface Mount Device and they are components that you solder on the surface of a circuit board.

Let me guide you through how to do SMD soldering with a soldering iron.