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.

Desoldering with a solder sucker

A solder pump Desolder using a solder pump

Load the solder sucker by pushing down its plunger.

Heat the solder joint until you can see it is melting.

Place the tip of the solder sucker above the heated solder joint. Then push the sucker button to suck away the liquid solder.

Push down the plunger again to remove solder from inside the pump. Sometimes you will need to use a solder wick to be able to remove the last bits of solder if the pump don’t catch it.

Desolder using a solder wick

Solder wick Desolder using a solder wick

You can choose to use the wick from the roll or cut off a section and use it by itself. Cutting off a section is useful to avoid that heat gets transferred away from where you want it.

If you cut off a section, it can be smart to hold the section with tweezers. It can get really hot ;)

Start by putting the solder wick on the solder joint you want to desolder.

Put your soldering iron on top of the wick. After a few seconds you should see the solder getting wicked into the solder wick.

If the current section of the wick gets full of solder, cut it off and repeat the process until all the solder is gone.

Desoldering without any desoldering tools

If you don’t have a wick or a pump, you can still get by. This is not recommended, but might work if you’re desperate.

To remove an excess solder bridge between two pads you heat the solder joint then poke around with the tip of the iron until the bridge is gone.

To remove a component from a PCB you fasten your tweezers on the component lead you want to remove, heat the solder joint and then pull and jerk the lead out of the hole when the solder melt.

My favorite technique used to be the soldering pump. But I have found that when you are dealing with smaller pads and pins, a solder wick is sometimes much easier to use.

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2 thoughts on “How To Desolder a Solder Joint”

  1. desperate is right, i was starting to wonder why anyone would mess with desoldering after most of my fingers ended up with that nice golden color to them, be careful, or end up with chicken fingers

  2. It’s a nice lesson. What about electrical desoldering pumps? I’ve never used one, but I often see prefessionals using on YouTube videos. When they’re in action, they look efforless.


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