Introduction: DIY Soldering Iron From Household Items

This tutorial is to build your own portable soldering iron from simple items that you should be able to find somewhere in your household. I apologize for not having any pictures to show, but you should be able to follow along easily. If you have any troubles performing any of the steps in this tutorial, you will probably not be best suited for using the soldering iron.

Step 1: Gather Components and Tools


  • 2 paper clips
  • Wire
  • Pencil
  • 2 AA Batteries
  • Electrical Tape
  • Duct Tape (optional)


  • Utility Knife
  • Wire Strippers
  • Needle-nosed Pliers

Step 2: Start Building

Start by straightening out the paper clips. Do this by taking your pliers and clamping down on the sections of the paper clip that are bent.

Cut off the eraser end of the pencil with the utility knife. If you have a hack saw, use it, as it will be much faster and easier. Cut the pencil in half along the end and so you can remove the lead, and throw the lead away. About a third of the down from the tip, make a notch large enough that a wire can fit through it when both halves of the pencil are pressed together.

Run one wire from the tip of the pencil down to the end of the pencil, and another from the tip to the notch you made. Both wires should not exit the pencil shaft. Close the pencil making sure the wires remain in the channel. Tape the tip of the pencil with DUCT tape.

Tape the batteries together so the positive and negative ends touch using ELECTRICAL tape. Tape the batteries to the pencil with the positive end pointing towards the tip using DUCT tape.

Take both paper clips and cut them in half. Take poke one end of a half into the end of the pencil and press the other end against the negative end of the battery. The paper clip should be bent so it lays across the battery. Tape this down with ELECTRICAL tape.

Take another half of the paper clip, poke it into the notch made in the pencil, and run it down the pencil. Do NOT connect it to the positive tip of the battery. Take another half and connect this one to the positive tip using ELECTRICAL tape. Bend it so it does not touch the other wire unless pressed. Take the final half, bend it in half and insert it into the tip of the pencil.

Step 3: Start Soldering

To use, simply press the paper clip attached to the positive end of the batteries so it makes contact with the paper clip running into the pencil. If desired, electrical tape may be placed over the paper clip, but not between the two paper clips, it must be wrapped loosely around the pencil. The tip should heat up fairly quickly. If not, check your wiring. WHEN USING, TAKE CAUTION TO NOT BURN YOURSELF!!!