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Hot Air desoldering many pin thru hole parts? Answered

i have asked around but no answers that really helped

Basically, im just asking if anyone has personal experience in succesfully using a butane soldering iron with hot air blow tip to desolder many pin thru hole parts such as headers, connectors and large DIP packages.

Yes, i know that it is possible to do this but i would just like to hear from anyone who can tell me that they have succesfully done that with minimal damage to the components

i already asked the exact same question about doing this for surface mount components, and there are more details there. Well, sort of. Anyways, here is the link:


There was an article on this back in the early days of BYTE magazine, when we were all still scavenging parts for reuse. The author referred to it as "wave desoldering", since in some ways it's the inverse of the "wave soldering" technique that was used in large-scale production of circuit boards. It relies on the fact that, while too much heat will cook chips, a _brief_ burst of heat may not percolate through enough to do any damage. As I remember it, the technique they recommended for desoldering DIPs was to grip the chip (carefully but firmly) with locking pliers, swipe the torch (as flame, not as hot air tip!) across the circuit board (just hot enough and just slow enough to melt the solder), then yank the chip free. Watch out for solder spray as the board rebounds. They warn that if you apply too much pressure there's some risk of bending the plastic DIP package, but even then the chip, and the connections to the chip, may still work. You'll probably cook some chips if you try this technique -- but it has the advantage of being relatively fast, which is useful if you need to de-manufacture a large pile of relatively dense circuit cards. For components other than DIPs, this might be more problematic; you might need to find other ways to grip them to avoid crushing them. CAVEAT: I never tried this approach. And obviously there are possible fume issues, and fire issues; be careful and stay safe. But I've been assured that it's possible, at least with the older MSI/SSI chips. Good luck!


8 years ago

I just use a solder sucker. It's slow, but pretty safe.

When I do it I heat each blob up enough for it to melt then move on to the next, then once each has been melted one I wave the torch quickly back and forth across the lot until the connectors/headers fall off. Easy!