Heatgun Desoldering





Introduction: Heatgun Desoldering

About: Just a geek, if you need to know more. ask.

Using a Heatgun to remove/ scavange parts from old or broken PCB.
I using a old harddrive as a example. You can salvage most any surfacemount, BGA or even through hole parts using this method.

Step 1: Remove the PCB From Anyother Casings.

First remove the PCB from any casings.
Here I have just a few screws to remove.

Step 2: Heat Up Area Using Heatgun.

Now you will heat up the area with the heatgun. I would suggest using something nonflammable to put the item on and place it at a comfortable angle to work with. I used a old case side to protect the bench. You will also want to make sure there is nothing that could melt or burn in the area around it.
Here I am going to heat the area around the yellow SMT parts in the top left corner.

After heating the area. Watch the solder to turn shiny to show that its flowing, You can then remove the parts using tweezers or needle nose pliers. Then place in a safe place to cool off.
Be careful especially with the smaller parts or the parts that might be heat sensitive. The air from the heatgun can blow small parts around. You also don't want to burnout the parts you are trying to save.

Step 3: Parts Are Removed.

Now that you have removed the parts you are interested in. Let the board cool and do with as you please.

This picture shows the parts removed.
I have removed through-hole, BGA, SMT parts using this method. For some parts heating the backside of the PCB and letting the parts fall off can be faster. This only works with parts big enough to fall off.
Also I have seen some parts seem to be glued to the board and are more difficult to remove. So be warned.

Step 4: Results

Here are some of the parts I removed from the HDD PCB. In this picture I an see IC's, SMT transistors , capacitors, and diodes.



    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Really its very easy to remove the PCB from any casing. But sometimes heat gun little bit dangerous for our lack of awareness.

    If you're going to use this method, be careful to not overheat it. It is easy to do, and those fumes are not good to breathe.

    an embossing tool like http://www.walmart.com/ip/Embossing-Heat-Tool-with-Stand/10310557 is a pretty good alternative to use.

    2 replies

    The embossing tool is cute, looks like a hair dryer. For desoldering, we
    can use either hot air stations or heat guns (also known as hot air guns). Depends on the size of working pieces, we may need to change nozzles with different sizes and shapes.

    basically in operation the embossing tool is a hot air blower. I've used it to harvest SMD components from an old motherboard i had in my junk bin. and I know an amateur radio operator that uses it to assemble SMD kits for his station check out amateurlogic.tv

    I enjoyed reading the info. I still don't know how to use this rework station. I just received a SAIKE 909D. The hot air gin is for desoldering. It has a few tips of various sizes. I attach a small tip to the gun, and place it around the solder on my MB. Heat it up. Then, I use solder sucker to remove the hot solder. Right? After I remove the solder. I clean the area. Then solder the new caps back onto my MB. I assume this is the process of using this rework station.

    I just need to be careful to not get the solder to hot. Or I may burn the board.

    I don't like seeming dense. I thank you for your time. Merry Christmas!

    Excellent instructable,
    I use this method on a regular basis, my biggest sugestion is that you wear safety glasses.
    Heating a PCB too much will cause the board to delaminate and the resin can boil and burst through the board sometimes, In my early attempts I have also had an electrolytic cap burst on me, nowerdays I rip them off before hand (unless I really want them, then I would desolder the old fashion way).

    I usually stand my heatgun on the desk (mine has a flat back so I can do this), then I will prop the circuit board about an inch or 2 above the heatgun while its running then I will pick the components off in the area then move the board quickly before it delaminates. Another method is heating the board in this way then hitting the side of the board agains the desk or a brick so all the reflowed components come off, the only downside to this method is that you have to clean the globs of solder off afterwards.

    1 reply

    Agreed. Out of all the methods I've tried so far, my heat gun seems to provide that balance between efficiency and safety that you just cant get with a desoldering braid or (at the other end of the spectrum) a butane torch. Air guns are cheap, don't need anything more than a standard ac outlet to run, and have a nice area of effect to help pry off even the largest chip.

    thanks a million I've been trying to get a flyback transformer off of a circuit board for weeks

    2 replies

    45W++ soldering iron and a desoldering pump. not that hard...

    Glad i could help everyone with this. I plan on having new instructables sometime in the near future.

    most parts can stand excessive heat for short periods. Resistors,caps,diodes. Ic very sensitive. Heat guns may work but any temp over the temp to melt solder will effect components. Solder melts 160-180 deg. 

    Why can't you heat it from the back side and let the components falls out? Just curious since I'm wanting to clear away components from boards en masse for art.

    5 replies

    You could for some componets but with the amount of heat you might toast (burn) the side the heat is on PCB is not very conductive so be wary of heat buildup.

    I've never done that, but I read somewhere on the Internet that we can (or should?) heat from the back side. Then, the component will just fall off.

    Actually I wasn't thinking too smartly when I made that comment about why not heat the back side. Surface mount components have the solder on the face of the board. Since then, I did get my self a heat gun, but the board would scald and start smoking before any solder would run.

    Funny, the board is made out of fibreglass and copper. Make sure it doesn't have a protective layer which is usually plastic that melts.

    i have done that before with a pencil torch and it seems to work alright.