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Best solder?


icemanxp300
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Hi, I was wondering what you guys like to use for solder. I have mainly been using Radio Shack 60/40 rosin core .032" and I like it. I did mistakenly by some .062" which is thicker than I like and does not work well for most of what I solder but it is usable here and there.

 

I purchased some cheap solder from china Kaisi 60/40 .6mm and it does not flow as well and takes longer to melt properly. It as well is usable, better in some spots than others but not ideal and takes longer to solder with. Not something I care to buy again.

 

I am looking for some cheaper alternatives then Radio Shack but I guess if you buy the big one 8 oz for $14.99 it isn't as bad as the smaller ones of 2.5oz for $6 is up there.

 

I also purchased some cheap wic from china I am not fond off either. It will work but many times requires fluxing it for any real results. The radio shack wic was much much better.

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Here is some good advice on solder. The solder info is at 10:20 I think. Other good info in there too. Recommended watching.

 

 

Thanks but not really the info I was looking for. This was more of a curious question. I was wondering what brands people prefer. I have watched lots of his videos in the past and I actually started to browse his forums a bit last night to see what brands people like to use.

Edited by icemanxp300
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Thanks but not really the info I was looking for. This was more of a curious question. I was wondering what brands people prefer. I have watched lots of his videos in the past and I actually started to browse his forums a bit last night to see what brands people like to use.

 

Okay, I suggest "Multicore" brand.

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.032 60/40 Rosin core solder from Radio Shack is awesome IMO and the only thing I ever use. I have been using it since I was a kid. I have read professionals say it was a great product.

 

A person can do a hell of a lot of soldering with 8oz. , so I don't let the price bother me.

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I'm still using Radio Shack brand. Last century I bought a 3-pack of 63/37 solder (which seems rare compared to 60/40) and I am still on the original roll. 500 feet last a fricking long time. I predict I won't get to use the 3rd roll in my lifetime unless there's an interesting big job like a DIY C64 from brand new blank PCB.

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I have used multicore, and MG, mg is a bit more expensive and its pretty much the same stuff, right now I have a 1lb roll of aimsolder, which is what we buy in bulk at work, when we moved a couple rolls got left behind and on the final day hit the trash can ... mind you brand new rolls but it wasnt worth making a special trip on the last day for a roll of solder we have boxes of, so I snagged them for home

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Well it looks like 3 of you in a row and the EEV guy like Multicore. Maybe I'll try some of that. I have been going through a lot of solder. I have read that kester is good though as well.

 

I will likely try to get some small roles or maybe request samples :) so I can compare the two.

 

Honestly, as long as you buy a reputable product, it's the specs that are what matter. Things like what composition, size, etc.

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I am looking for some cheaper alternatives then Radio Shack but I guess if you buy the big one 8 oz for $14.99 it isn't as bad as the smaller ones of 2.5oz for $6 is up there.

I always used Radio Shack's solder, too. I started researching alternatives when Radio Shack went away, and I learned that Radio Shack's solder was actually just rebranded Kester solder. So I bought some from Mouser, and I found that it did indeed seem to be exactly the same product. Others have already recommended Kester, so look for the same size and type that you were already buying from Radio Shack, and it should be the same as what you're used to.

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I always used Radio Shack's solder, too. I started researching alternatives when Radio Shack went away, and I learned that Radio Shack's solder was actually just rebranded Kester solder. So I bought some from Mouser, and I found that it did indeed seem to be exactly the same product. Others have already recommended Kester, so look for the same size and type that you were already buying from Radio Shack, and it should be the same as what you're used to.

 

That's cool. Yeah getting the solder I want is really hard and kind of needs to be ordered online as my local stores hardly ever have anything in stock. You call and ask and they are never correct. They say "oh yeah we got that". Mind you my closest shacks are 25-30 minutes away. I get there and nope they don't have that. Then amazingly every person there, "nope that wasn't me you talked to".

 

I figured I might try and find a cheaper alternative as I feel I am paying for the name. I have kind of given up on Radio Shack lately. It is hard to support a store that pretty much only sells phones now. The last 3 times I went I was forced into buying the smaller solder of 2.5 oz as not any of the 3 stores I personally visited had it.

 

I'm to the point now where I just have stock of what I need on hand and order online even if it means from China. Radio Shack was good as you could walk in and get what you needed, not anymore. Plus the prices are crazy. Years ago I wanted tactile switches they were 4 for $5. I bought 50 for $5 from China. When they mark-up like that it is no wonder they are a failed store. Internet killed them.

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At work I use Multicore 0.7mm unleaded Copper/Tin solder with a Type 105, medium activation, no clean Flux. For the students we use Multicore 60/40 Tin Lead, again with Type 105 Flux as they do not work with solder as much as me and it is easier for them to solder with.

 

The type of flux makes a big difference in how the solder performs, as in how well it flows at a particular temperature, this may be why the solder from China mentioned in the fist post does not flow very well. Oddly you would think a "High activation" flux would result in a high flow rate however in my experience the opposite seems to be true (I think the flux burns off quicker) thus for general purpose/hobby soldering a medium to low activation flux works better.

Edited by Stephen Moss
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This is the solder I bought. While it will flow it takes longer than the radio shack. It's like it has a higher melting point. It has more of a dry tin look than a nice shiny wet silver look like the radio shack solder gives. Maybe it flows slower because the flux core is only 1.2%. I'm sure the coating they give it is what causes it's look.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/0-6mm-50G-60-40-Rosin-Core-Flux-1-2-Tin-Lead-Roll-Soldering-Solder-Wire-/351390331437?hash=item51d07ef22d:g:zp0AAOSwPcJVRtQY

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What ever the case, it's best to just stay away from that lead free crap.

 

I have not used that for this type of soldering but as far as plumbing goes I have used silver solder which is a requirement for drinking water lines. While I have no problem using silver solder I do have a problem using lead free flux on it. That shit is so useless you might as well just be soldering dry joints.

 

I did a simple faucet swap a year or two ago on a house we bought and they did not have shut-offs installed. So I had to kill the main and put some new shut-offs and connectors in. Something that should have taken less than an hr took me like 3 hours because I couldn't get the solder to adhere for shit, had leaks and redid it multiple times.

 

Never again I'll use the normal flux with the silver solder.

 

On a circuit board I don't really see lead free being needed to much. I'm sure it has it's place but I'll avoid it for what I do lol.

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