Within reason, yes. A soldering iron, which can operate at around 100 watts should be enough to remove solder from any through-hole printed circuit board (PCB). These devices often tend to provide a higher wattage rating, but this is used to heat large amounts of solder quickly; for desoldering, the higher wattage is unnecessary.
As usually with any job involving heat, it’s essential to stay very careful when working near any components. It would help if you want to use your soldering gun only on components, which are no longer needed and never immediately next to a component you wish to keep; overheating can cause damage or destroy a component.
What temperature of the soldering gun is it better to use for desoldering?
Desoldering guns should be always hot enough, but, at the same time, not too hot. The solder is in a liquid state when it melts, and the tool must only heat the components you want to melt without causing damage to the component, board, or adjacent components. With most desoldering guns, you can achieve a sufficiently hot temperature by simply adjusting the temperature control knob.
When desoldering, it is not necessary to use excessive heat. Instead, we recommend using the lowest possible temperature setting to accommodate your needs. When you apply too much heat, it can often damage circuit boards and components with prolonged exposure. In most cases, a low-to-moderate temperature setting will provide adequate soldering time.
A useful guideline is to set the soldering gun temperature so then it’s hot enough to melt most of the solders in ten seconds.
Are there other appropriate tools for desoldering?
People use a desoldering tool for removing solder from the desoldered area on SMD. They can also use some desoldering tools like a vacuum pump (manual desolder pump), hot air soldering station, tin whisker soldering iron, solder sucker, and so on.
Desoldering braid is the preferred option for removing solder. The copper braid wicks up solder when heat is applied, so it is able to pull it away from a soldered joint without damaging anything else on your board. If the desoldering braid isn’t available, regular solder will do in a pinch, but it isn’t as effective.
Solder wick is a less desirable option, but you can also use it successfully. The metal in the solder wick cannot grab solder the way a braided metal does. If you don’t have a desoldering braid, the solder wick will work fine.
One more option is to flood the joint with solder and use a solder sucker (a plunger device) to remove it. It takes more time than desoldering braid or wick does.
How to use a desoldering braid?
First of all, place the tip of your soldering iron on top of the solder you wish to remove. The solder should melt quickly, so it is better to be ready to apply the desoldering braid right away before it gets too hot.
Once melted, touch one end of the desoldering braid to the still molten solder and pull it back gently with the other hand. Your solder should be sucked into or onto the desoldering braid if you did it correctly. Sometimes you may need to repeat this step several times until all solder is removed.
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