Introduction: Intro Into SMD Soldering

Picture of Intro Into SMD Soldering
Many people here might think SMD is impossible since the pins are so small and solder wants to cling onto every pin but it actually is very easy. This will teach you the basics of SMD Soldering if you build anything that works with SMD soldering and my tutorial helped you I would like you to post the picture.

WARNING: SMD components are very sensitive to heat, make sure you let your SMD cool down after every step.

I will start adding videos to this:

Making the base:

Place the SMD:

Since I was using a broken SMD here I forgot to do this, after soldering a side of pins the SMD will grow very hot get your sponge and hold it on the smd until it cools off, do this after the other side also. The reason you should do this is because you do not want the SMD to overheat and break.

Step 1: How They Look

Picture of How They Look

SMD components can be of all shapes and sizes most of the time the really small items or ones with many pins are SMD. Here are some SMD components.

Step 2: Get Your Parts

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Now go take your time and go find all the SMD components your heart desires BUT make sure the breadboard or PCB you are soldering them to is compatible with them. I used a old phone-line PCI card for this tutorial.


Soldering Iron
Desoldering Braid
Moist sponge

Use scissors to cut off peices of desoldering braid

Step 3: Set-up Your Workspace

I like using a table, you can use anything you like as long as it is clean and flat. I usually place a sheet of paper under my breadboard or PCB to help me consentrate. This peice of paper will also catch any solder that comes off the board. This is the step you should start warming up your soldering iron.

Step 4: Tin Your Tip

I forgot to film this part (woops) so I suggest you go to this instructable:

How to tin the tip

Step 5: Make the Base

Picture of Make the Base

I call it making the base because this is where you will base your SMD component, take some solder and soldering iron and add miniscule amounts of solder on each of the connections, it does not matter if the solder connects with other connections.

Step 6: Placing the SMD

Picture of Placing the SMD

Now go get those forceps and pick up your little SMD, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! MAKE SURE WHICH WAY YOU MUST SOLDER THE SMD, KNOW WHERE PIN 1 OR + IS AND ALIGN IT WITH THE BOARD!!! Now grab your soldering iron and heat up a connection of solder and place the SMD, CORRECTLY, on it, again it does not matter if the solder makes connections with other connections. Now place solder on all the connections like I did in the picture this is a lot easier to do. Then grab your sponge with a little water on it and run the top of the smd a little rub the connections also.

WARNING: As I said SMD components are sensitive to heat, do this step very quickly.

Step 7: Touching Up

Picture of Touching Up

Now for the final step... Grab your desoldering braid and soldering iron, and forceps. Cut some braid off and pick it up with the forceps, the braid gets super hot in the next steps. Place the braid over the big blobs of solder, still holding it with your forceps. Place your soldering iron over the spot where the blob is, also on top of the braid, the braid should start getting silver, leave it there for 1-3 seconds after you see the silver start coming, pull it off and the blob should be gone and be replaced with single connections. You are now done :P

Step 8: Congratulations

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You now know how to solder SMD components, this knowledge should work with any SMD component.


thegrendel (author)2015-09-16

Thank you for an interesting and useful Instructable. Clear and well presented.

Now, for my own observations on SMD soldering.

1. Soldering flux, carefully applied with a toothpick to the pads of the base --

this helps the solder flow and also hold the IC in place.

2. If you can get one corner pin soldered, it fixes the IC in place for soldering the other pins.

3. SMD resistors seem to be *much* more difficult to work with than ICs.

Aiden1015 (author)2011-06-17

"this should work with any SMD component."

Not to be a smart ass but that's not true with BGA they have sold balls on the bottom that you cannot get with a soldering iron, you'd have to use a hot air station. Or the IC's that have a heat sink on the bottom.

Good instructable, I would also recommend using a liquid flux if you don't want to waste most of your solder.

Thereyouhaveit (author)Aiden10152011-09-11

BGA is different , BGA is not considered SMD .

Aiden1015 (author)Thereyouhaveit2011-09-11

Why not? they seem to match the definition of surface mount.

The Dark Lord (author)2011-03-09

Aaah, no video :(

masterguevos (author)2011-02-24

where are th vids?

d3monhax0r (author)2011-01-26

why did you remove the video?

bpfh (author)d3monhax0r2011-02-03

Bump :(

Adum24 (author)2010-03-02

This was really helpful! I won the homemade holidays runner up prize. This was a hackable christmas card. All the components were super small. This will help me. Thanks! But one question. Why did you remove your videos?

jrgcool35 (author)Adum242010-03-30

 I kind of stopped using instructables, but the account I hosted these videos on was deleted, and I don't have backups for the videos. I'm going to try to make a new version of this with better videos and pictures.

osoriocj (author)jrgcool352011-01-21

Thanks for sharing ...

Adum24 (author)jrgcool352010-04-01

Oh, alright.

Detman101 (author)2010-10-25

Thank you for this instructable. I always wondered how to solder SMD components and also how to properly desolder. Now I know both.


whiteboyninja (author)2010-05-16

why'd you remove the videos

he diden't there still there

Szajba (author)Doctor Freeman2010-10-06

nope the clips are missing

albylovesscience (author)2009-08-15

sorry to ask but on step six is that too much solder being put or just the ripe amount and what solder are you using lead free or leaded rosin core or solid solder lead free or leaded.

it is a bit much, but if your component isn't too head sensitive it should be fine. this isn't the correct way to solder smd but it works...


emkeyen (author)2008-11-30

Hello. Thanks for a very nice Instructable. Though, the videos are not working? ("We're sorry, this video is no longer available.")

jrgcool35 (author)emkeyen2009-01-27

Ah, Sorry the videos will be repaired ASAP. I am currently very busy and haven't been able to check Instructables in a long time

Alexizupinhea (author)emkeyen2008-12-27

Yea, I saw the videos in the past, but now they're not working. Please add them again to youtube or something and update the instructable.

rob_fed (author)2007-12-21

I noticed that you did not use any additional flux. I realize that the solder contains flux, but I used to build prototype, demonstration boards by hand. They contained many surface mount devices. If you coat both the circuit board pads along with the component connections with flux, the solder will lay flatter and in many cases you will not need to use the desoldering braid. Water based flux is the best, if you use rosin paste, you will have a larger clean chore.

justzisguy (author)rob_fed2008-10-21

By "water based", I assume you mean "water soluble" which generally requires cleaning afterwards. Not all fluxes require cleaning as the residues in some don't corrode and are non-conductive. I use an organic flux at work that requires cleaning as it will lead to corrosion if left, but it leaves a nice looking PCB when finished. See for details.

justzisguy (author)2008-10-21

I'd advise against using the liquid from the duster cans as they will more likely induce thermal shock. Personally, I don't do any cooling step on any of the boards I work with (as an electrical engineer). At work, we use a good liquid flux that allows for quick soldering of the components (should be done in under 10 seconds).

justzisguy (author)2008-10-21

The important thing to remember for your "base" step is that the pads need to be flat and smooth. Particularly with fine pitch parts, I like to remove as much solder as I can, then brush my iron across the pads to leave a smooth surface. If you have a liquid flux, adding the flux to the board before using your iron can help a great deal with getting solder to flow (just don't forget to clean afterwards if you're using organic flux).

jrgcool35 (author)2008-09-18

Anything that will keep the device cool will be fine :D

thermoelectric (author)2008-07-11

I think you should to try using a very small soldering tip

lamedust (author)2008-01-08

Hey, is this technique similar to one I can use for LCC mount soldering especially concerning: it's PDF schematics can be found here:

Just wondering...

evildoctorbluetooth (author)2007-12-18

hi, im sure the term is SMT, as in surface mount. maybe its different in america.

IT is SMD = Surface mount device, and I think that is the term used in all english countryies maybe you misheard it.

No, i work in a high quality circuit board factory, and the SMT department deals with Surface Mounted Components.

wikipedia page

sorry for double post. we are both right, mine refers to the tech, yours is just the classification for the component.

jrgcool35 (author)2007-12-18

Woops put this in the wrong group how can I remove it from the group?

Shifrin (author)2007-12-17

Wow, Great job, Jacob! I think I can really find this usefull, for soldering and if I ever get into that type of stuff. I'm glad I can still Solder with you, because your a great teacher...

jrgcool35 (author)2007-12-17

Woops sorry for bad grammer I am uploading video 2 of 3 right now to youtube.

Dsk001 (author)2007-12-17

Good pictures and intractable if possible maybe a picture of the desoldering braid in action might help improve this but other wise real good.

ninjapants (author)2007-12-17

I was having a hell of a time reattaching a mini-usb connector that popped off. I was having similar problems with the pins being small and close together. I think this is going to help a lot! Thanks!!

inventorjack (author)2007-12-16

Dang! While it *may* have been sarcasm, it's more likely someone was trying to pay you a compliment. I know human expression doesn't transfer well over textual communications, but give the guy the benefit of the doubt next time.

BTW, your images are pretty nice and clear.

And no, that was not sarcasm.

jrgcool35 (author)inventorjack2007-12-17

Then disregard my previous comment.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2007-12-16

This actually helps. I have never been able to solder smd. Thanks, great instructable

paulgeering (author)2007-12-16

I doubt it. The pictures are miles better than the stacks of fuzzy pictures we see from people who haven't found the macro function on their camera, and the instructions were simple and clear and concise.

jrgcool35 (author)paulgeering2007-12-16

Thanks I hope this helps people who want to learn how to solder SMD components.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-16

wow, nice pictures /instructable

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