Introduction: Pen Solder Feeder Hack

Picture of Pen Solder Feeder Hack

Hi! Today I have a special soldering quick tip for you: how to create an ultra cheap solder feeder. Once you start using it, it's much like with soldering fume extractor: you didn't know you needed one until you tried using it. And much like building a fume extractor, solder feeder is just as easy to make. All you need is a mechanical pencil and solder of matching diameter.

This hack does not only help with managing your solder wire but is also great for stabilizing your hand for times when you have to solder some tiny components like SMD chips. Without any further ado, lets get started.

Step 1: Building It

Picture of Building It

If you don't happen to have a mechanical pencil, take a walk to nearest office supply store. From then one, any will do. There are two factors to consider though: first is lead thickness for the pencil. It has to match the diameter of your solder wire. I used 0.5 mm pencil for 0.5 mm solder wire but you can pick any dimension so long as it matches your solder wire's thickness (0.7 mm and 1.0 mm are standard)

The second thing is to try and find a mechanical pencil that doesn't have "extend lead" button on the end but somewhere in the middle like what you can see on all above images. This will help you to extend solder wire more easily. If your local office supply store doesn't sell such pencils, buy one of these. If you don't want to spend any money, you can also use a regular mechanical pencil but that has some minor drawbacks.

Now that I covered the theory, let's get down to business. Take your pencil, open the lead compartment, remove cap, eraser and lead rods. Straighten your solder wire and insert it where lead rods should go. You will have to hold down "extend lead" button in order to get solder wire through point. Note that you may want to insert solder wire through a hole in pencil's cap before inserting it in pencil but that isn't crucial.

That is it. Now you have your own solder wire feeder!

Step 2: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

As I said in introduction, you don't realize you need one until you use one.

If you like it, favourite this Instructable and if you don't, give it a try. it only costs you a dollar to make one. And when you make it, come back to favourite this Ible :)

Also please vote for me for one or all of following contests:

  • Unusual Uses Challenge
  • Before and After Contest

And thank you all who voted for me in reuse contest! I got runner up prize. I am looking forward to scoring high in other contests as well!


rcada (author)2015-07-31

I have worked in electronics since 1975 and made this Pens with solder in the 70's and 80's.

To in prove on your idea I would coil the solder to fit the inside of the barrel then feed it from the end of the coil down through the coil solder and out the end of the pen barrel. This keep the solder clean and easy to feed and handle

ptkrf (author)rcada2015-08-01

Great, thanks for sharing the idea!

maidenkrystal made it! (author)2015-07-09

I replace the pen cap on mine by a spray cap with the hole drilled to make it a little wider, then attached the solder wire cylinder with tape. Quick and easy =) I'll improve it for sure and make comments later, thanks! great idea!

ptkrf (author)maidenkrystal2015-07-10

I never knew comments could contribute so much to the Instructable!

goharetto (author)2015-07-08


ptkrf (author)goharetto2015-07-09


ptkrf (author)2016-05-17

I didn't even know those existed! relatively expensive though... might be worth the money if they are easily refillable.

Hope you enjoy using this hack if you get to try it out ;)

smandal13 (author)2015-08-22

this is awesome

miked2001 (author)2015-07-08

I made several of these with .5 .7 and .9 sizes. They worked well for small solder joints but if you need to feed fast... oops, melt down. I love the idea but when I solder I feel the need, the need to feed. Still, I won't toss them, they will come in handy some day.

Also I have my solder on a homemade solder spool holder that hangs from the hutch on my desk and that works better for what I am doing.

Nice instructable, good info.

ptkrf (author)miked20012015-07-09

Worry not, my friend! I am working on "proper" solder feeder - one that will have switch on soldering iron and feeding mechanism standing on the table. To know what I am talking about, see this link (first recommended by MoTingerGNome):

With that difference that my version will leave one hand free. Stay tuned!

miked2001 (author)ptkrf2015-07-23

Scrap aluminum, scrap EMT, add two sheet metal screws and Voila ! !

miked2001 (author)2015-07-23

Scrap aluminum, scrap EMT, add two sheet metal screws and Voila ! !

jernej.nose (author)2015-07-23


christopher.leblanc.98 (author)2015-06-28

for got metals contest

tks, did not know that

I didn't. You can only apply for three contests with one instructable. Thank you for your concern though.

kiwiben (author)2015-07-12

well done excelent idea and so useful thank you

teddibear1 (author)2015-07-10

First attempt to actually making an instructible. Worked perfectly. Anyone that sends negative comments on this, just like to make negative comments. It's simple and elegant and it works. what more need be said. you got my vote.

naeco (author)2015-07-08


KickSucker2013 (author)2015-07-08

Wow, ingenious - the simplest things make the biggest difference! Added this to me Wire It Up! collection on Instructables.

gseac (author)2015-07-08

genius :D

Porda (author)2015-07-06

Great idea! I'm setting one up at my soldering station now.

snerual2010 (author)2015-06-26

Nice!, pitty that it wasnt your exact idea though, because kipkay had a video featuring this in april

Actually, Kipkay took this idea from MoTinkerGNome (Link:

Kipkay tends to take a lot of his ideas from Instructables users without letting them know (or giving them a say).

jpessato (author)2015-07-03

Now just wait, we are going to see this in store very soon....

ptkrf (author)jpessato2015-07-04

and now we wait for someone to post a script for TV advertisement for "Handy Solderfeeder 2000" XD

GenerallyOdd (author)2015-07-02

Brilliant! I don't solder but I might dream up a project just so I an do this! PLUS, you can remove the wire, add your leads and you've still got a pencil!! This should DEFINITELY win a prize in the Unusual Uses Challenge!

ptkrf (author)GenerallyOdd2015-07-02

Thanks! I sure am hoping to win at least an instructables t-shirt in unusual uses challenge :)

MoTinkerGNome made it! (author)2015-06-29

My version...

puttyfutty (author)MoTinkerGNome2015-07-02


Good job mate and good luck in the contests. I voted for ya. :)

BicIsmail (author)2015-06-30

excellent idea

tenthdoctor3946 (author)2015-06-29

Gotta go buy a pencil.....

gijoebob (author)2015-06-29


Poppy Ann (author)2015-06-29

looks good but it needs to be built into the soldering iron as most of my soldering needs three hands one for the iron one for the solder and one to hold the items i wan soldering together, I have one iron which has a built in solder feeder but it is a 60 watt iron so a little large for most use except for soldering on plugs to rc model plane motors still a good instructable many thanks for your work.

Regards Poppy Ann.

ptkrf (author)Poppy Ann2015-06-29

I've been thinking of making a detachable electronic colder feeder - a device that would feed solder to the tip of your solder iron using electric motor. I however don't have too much time on my hands right now so this will have to wait...

MoTinkerGNome (author)ptkrf2015-06-29

I had the same thought one of the commenters on my Ible suggested making something like this. Good luck in the contests I voted for ya as it is such a simple Idea I am sure everyone that picks up a iron will figure it out eventually.

One thing I learned a long time ago from a inventor friend build everything you think of. 10 people may come up with an idea 3 will write it down and 1 will build it. Inspiration strikes everywhere.

ptkrf (author)MoTinkerGNome2015-06-29

I was thinking of something smaller, something that could be operated with a single hand, leaving your other hand free for holding things. Perhaps your idea could be used just with a button and feeder attached to soldering iron and feeding mechanism somewhere on the desk. Thank you for everything!

MoTinkerGNome (author)ptkrf2015-06-29

Oh that is not my idea it was what someone else posted. I have been working on other projects then electrifying the solder dispenser. The clicky feed works just fine for me :)

icemanfrost (author)2015-06-29

This is one of those head slapping projects where i say "Duh... why the h*** didn't I think of that". Great tip and very handy. Voted for all three. Thanks!!

callhow (author)2015-06-28

I a;ways use a straw.....however, whatever works "best" for those that solder....use what's most comfortable AND easy to keep with your solder.

ThomasC26 (author)2015-06-28

Looks like a great idea. Thanks.

ai.roboticsltd (author)2015-06-28

Hi I've been thinking of this for years but to lazy to do it so well done.



dreiduke (author)2015-06-28

another hint
if u have another Pencil like that, u can use it to desolder PCB holes.
Heat the solder and stitch the pencil lead (the graphite refill) through the hole.
the solder can not connect to the graphite. and the hole is open, this is nice end easy for de- and resolder work.

bmiller91 (author)2015-06-28

This sir is $#@$& brilliant!

RiccardoB1 (author)2015-06-28


tenthdoctor3946 (author)2015-06-27

You have my vote ;)

cyberhao (author)2015-06-27

so smart idea...

XxJuanxSoloxX (author)2015-06-26

Awesome idea! Simple and useful thank you.

James holwett (author)2015-06-26

I would really love to get in touch with you. I have an invention and I'm looking for someone to build a prototype. I would really appreciate it if you can contact me via my email in the subject line please put prototype. Hope to hear from you soon thank you.

About This Instructable




Bio: An engineer by trade, an artist by heart. Here to share my knowledge, ideas and methods.
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