Are there any performance differences in lead-free solder and normal solder?

Well I might start making some BEAM bots but I am having some trouble deciding what solder i need to use for good safety and good performance. Thanks for you time. -redcorvette1

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There is a huge difference between the two and it involves much more than different melting temperatures. Lead free solder develops something called "tin whiskers" which are physical abnormalities that grow in non-lead solders. They eventually grow long enough to lead to unpredictable shorting and failures. Google "tin whiskers" for more information. I refuse to use non-lead solder in any of my projects.
Criket7 years ago
Lead free CAN be repair with leaded solder! Lead free is also less ductile and this make it more prone to crack in thermal variation. Making it a LOLrepair! PCB re-use and repair is a challenge due to higher heat! composant Desoldering, repair or resolder could [in my case "has"]  :(   
be damaged by the heat!In my case, iron and iron tip didn't last too :(
i personally NEVER WILL USE AGAIN, if i can, lead-free solder. If you concern about toxicity of lead, (if not you should be) there is some easy prevention. A kitchen fan ducked outside at your working space can be setup easily. also some latex or similar glove can also help and ALWAYS WASH YOUR HAND after touching leaded solder and rosin.

i wish this help you! ;)
PS: Sorry for my crappy english! lol!
redcorvette1 (author)  Criket7 years ago
Yea iv'e heard about the fan thing, but thanks for the answer.
Dr.Bill8 years ago
lead free takes more heat and is a harder solder i don't like the stuff
redcorvette1 (author)  Dr.Bill7 years ago
Alright, thanks i'll take that into consideration.
That's basically the right answer: lead free does have a slightly higher melting point. That may take a bit of getting used to.

I'm still using solder I purchased many years ago. When I run out, I'll probably switch to lead-free just on principle. I'm not paranoid about it, but I'd rather not spread more lead around than I have to.