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walmart (U.S) lead-lead free solder that erodes soldering iron tips Answered

what solder to use to keep it from eroding my s-iron tip

i like lead-tin but i am not sure if rosin-cores by themselves not erode soldering iron tips

lead-free solder uses antimony, another neurotic metal that can cause cancer


Radio Shack sells great lead free tin base. I use a butane version with a "very fine" tip as far as soldering irons go. Have no problems with erosion. Two reasons:

1) I "tin: the tip once proper temp is reached
2) after soldering each point I wipe the tip very well with a damp rag, knocks off leftover film leaving you with a fresh tip

I've been wiring guitars, etc. for years no problems with this method.

As far as all the other stuff. What I had for breakfast probably took 2 days off of my lifespan.

Bottom line, use what works for you.

eric m

7 years ago

Walmart solder sucks.

I'm just going to guess you also bought your iron at walmart to. if you did that as I just found out tonight eroding is a normal thing for them.

The stuff Wal-Mart sells is tin with a bit of copper. I don't know where you heard that it had antimony in it.

 We had to make the switch to lead-free, at work, and the lead free solder does destroy the tips on our existing soldering irons. It doesn't as much erode the tips, as it coats over with crusty stuff and becomes unusable.

For my personal use, I went to radio shack and bought a big spool of the stuff with lead still in it. Freakin' commies shouldn't be allowed to tell me not to use an inert metal just because it sounds all scary and poisonous. That's like banning superglue because it's a cyano-acrylate,and cyanide can kill you.

It's all cheap, so I don't much care but it happens.


Cheap tips / solder I guess. I'm on different tips & solder at the moment.


Classic plumbing flux is known as "Yorkshire" flux here, and is rosin based, and non-acidic. You can use something called "Bakers fluid", which IS an acid and deposits a coating to let you solder difficult metals like steels. Modern potable water soldering fluxes can be nasty though - to judge by the green crap that is generated if you leave it on a pipe,

he's right the soldering iron tip never reely erodes it just needs cleaned.

I don't think antimony is found in solders in Europe, its a SnAgCu alloy.
Like Sean says, how are you cleaning your tips ?

Happens to me every time.