How to Desolder Headers

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Introduction: How to Desolder Headers

About: I make things, sometimes they brake

Quick guide for beginners who want to desolder male headers from any development board

I'll be demonstrating the process I use with Adafruit's Feather OLED

Improvements, Compliments, Questions are all welcomed!

@NemesisContrer8

Step 1: Cut the Joints of the Headers

-Use flushed clippers to cut where the headers are joined together

Step 2: Clean Out the Black Plastic

- After cutting , remove the black plastic with some needle nose pliers

Step 3: Remove the Golden Pins

- Clean the tip of your soldering iron

-Tin your soldering iron

- Add a glob of solder to the pin holes then touch the glob to easily slide off the pin

*(this technique helps prevent burning the copper pad from the board)

Step 4: Clean Up Using Solder Wick

- Clean out any solder blobs by using solder wick to absorb the excess solder

Step 5: Verify No Crucial Pins Have Been Damaged

-Inevitably some pins might be de-coppered (the copper pad was burned off) check none of these pins were crucial to making the board function properly

-The OLED feather wing uses I2C so I need 4 pins (PWR,GND,SDA,SCL)

- Fortunately none of these pins were de-coppered!

Step 6: Finished!

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    I used to do a similar process, but using a vice grips for weight to pull the pins out, falling on my feet or worse :) I found that the solder suckers available pretty cheap do a better job, There are tricks; Apply a bit more solder first, it will have better results clearing solder through the hole from a 'syphon' effect. Don't try to remove the iron quickly and line up the sucker, just get the solder liquid and place the sucker down to the side of the iron. I hope this helps you with your own desoldering projects!

    That is one way. Using de-wicking braid can also clean out the solder and allow you to remove the header in one piece. Solder suckers work well. So does desoldering stations designed for that exact desoldering efforts. A PAST desoldering staion will do the job. And if you happen to remove a soldering pad, yes it happens, they make repair kits to install new ones. So unless you totally destroy the board, it can always be repaired to workable condition again. I used to do such things as part of my career.

    2 replies

    Board rework is a specific skill set. It is really all about your goals. Is the board more important, or the part you are removing? Those headers are worth pennies, so it is not worth risking damaging a board to remove them in one piece. Cutting the part is absolutely the right thing to do. All of this eludes amateurs though.

    I absolutely agree. Components can be desold without destroying them.

    Using metallic pliers to hold and remove the pin needs much more heat which implies more risk of destroying tracks and pads. I worked as this at the very beginning, cos I didn't know much things.

    I needed to do this, but the best I could do was cut off the pins up to the black plastic.

    Thanks for another simplified way to disassemble.

    1 reply

    Happy to Help ^_^

    how do you desolder it for the male header