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soldering iron help ? Answered

well today i finally got my soldering iron Weller marksman 25 watts for $ 17.75 but i turned it on it smoldered for 3 minutes then stopped then the tip started to get black and solder wont stick to it is that oxidization and how and what do i use to clean it off


There is a product that looks like a wad of copper shavings. A copper brillo pad maybe. It's in a little container so that after every use you can just run the point into this thing and it cleans it off. Then when I pick it up again i hit the pad and make my connection. It keeps the tip in great shape and I don't have to to the sanding which wears out the tip faster.

Sean has it dead right, under NO circumstances file or sand a new tip - you'll wreck it. Tips are IRON plated (solder doesn't easily alloy with iron, solder loves copper) IMHO, the ONLY time to file a tip is when you desparately need one last job out of a really crappy, pitted tip. We sometimes use plumbers flux to clean our irons at work, and the makers of our tips supply a very fine brass wire brush to LIGHTLY clean the tips. NEXT time you get a new tip, work with it constantly while it is warming up, and get clean solder wiped on the tip as the tip is coming up to temperature for the first time. Wipe off, re-coat, wipe off, re-coat for a few times, and then, like Sean says, wipe the tip on a barely damp sponge every few joints. I wouldn't recommend wiping after every joint, because unless its a professional, powerful, temperature controlled job, you will cool the tip down and your chances of making a bad joint go up rapidly. Have fun.


8 years ago

If you visit an electronics hobby shop you will probably be able to purchase a tin of tip cleaning paste. It smells vile but cleans like new without effort or abrasives. Once clean follow seandogues advice on tinning and cleaning with a sponge. A company called PACE distribute it through trade suppliers here in the UK, their part code is 1102-0016-P1.

To prime a solder tip I have always used a piece of sand/emery paper/file and gently created a fresh surface from which I can solder. Thereafter it's a quick wipe on a damp rag to clean the tip.