The selection of tools and accessories for soldering and desoldering is a rather complicated process even for experienced craftsmen, not to mention a beginner. Therefore, if you are an electronics repair or soldering enthusiast, then the best desoldering tools are a must-have for your workshop.
These tools are sure to help you quickly remove unwanted solder drops or clean the board. Of course, you can look at many reviews or read the forums, but it’s still better when all the helpful information is collected in one place. However, you can save your precious time and read our article. We bring the primary attention to the soldering removal tools which you can buy simply and without problems.
How to desolder?
Solder removal is a must-have skill for every electronics technician. And this process is no more complicated than the soldering itself. The entire process is tied to the heating of the solder. And when it becomes fluid, and the component is movable, you can remove the solder from the board. Then it becomes possible to clean the place of the component from the rest of the solder. And then, I suggest you consider the types of tools that will help you remove the solder.
Types of desoldering tools
A solder sucker or a soldering pump is so-called because it uses a vacuum to extract the solder. You can consider them the best desoldering pump because you pump out the molten solder with this tool and clean up a place for further work on the board. The significant advantage of this type is that the removal of the solder harms neither the components nor the board.
Let’s take a closer look at how this tool works. The design of a solder pump is very similar to a medical syringe. Here, too, there is a rod with a piston that runs inside the cylinder. Only often, the instrument is all metal. That is why these tools can be regarded as the best solder sucker for beginners. Basically, you remove the solder using a vacuum created in the pump housing. This requires a minimum of knowledge and skills.
However, there are also automatic models. Automatic desoldering pumps are suitable for professionals, but such a tool is more expensive. Such solder remover is wired directly into your workstation without requiring any connection to a compressor.
A desoldering gun gives you complete control over your work. This disassembly device comprises a trigger with which the temperature of the tip can be precisely adjusted. However, it is worth remembering to adjust the timing of the tool with components or solder joints on printed circuit boards. It is essential not to overheat the component, as this can harm it. The principle of operation is like a conventional soldering iron, but only at the end, we remove the liquid solder from the board.
Unlike the pumps discussed above, guns are suitable for workshops where is a lot of work. Moreover, the desoldering gun is suitable for working with large-scale devices and boards because it becomes possible to warm up large areas at a time. However, to prevent harming the circuit, this device needs extra user knowledge.
The copper braid is specially designed to solder components from the PCB without removing flux residues. Such a tool is made of copper braid, coated in a vacuum with a flux that does not require cleaning and does not contain halogen activators. This coating retains its effectiveness even when stored for a long time in high humidity conditions. Thus, with a desoldering wick, it is possible to desolder and retrieve solder residues from every sort of device, including electrical equipment, PCBs, and printed circuit boards with no pump excess flux residues. However, it is only suitable for skilled technicians since it may be hazardous if misused.
Desolder bulb works with a desoldering gun. However, this instrument does not have a temperature or contact time regulating trigger on PCBs to adjust components and solder connections. Instead, this tool is connected to a soldering iron and works by mechanical action on the bulb. This simple device will help you get rid of tiny drops of solder or clean the contacts of an element.
Due to the limited suction power, you cannot expect to process large PCB areas in a short time. Most likely, you need to rely on a point application in the direction of amateur activities rather than professional ones.
Advantages of using a desoldering pump
Desoldering pumps are tiny instruments like pens that may be used for solder removal. However, in certain situations, little components like PCB joints are minuscule. Consequently, these little sucking points resemble the pumping design designed just for small sections of the surface. To summarize, the solder suckers have several advantages, including:
- Allows troubleshooting and repair of the defective micro components.
- With the desoldering gun, the requirement for an individual tool is eliminated, the process is speeded up, and the danger of mistakes is lowered.
- It is suitable for tight areas because of its size.
- Desoldering pumps will not damage the entire PCB. For additional operations, users can reuse the used boards. It helps remove PCBs that are already costly for optimal usage. Desoldering pumps enable your old kits to be recovered and reused to decrease waste from landfills.
Best Desoldering Tools Reviews
Best desoldering pump (solder suckers)
ENGINEER SS-02 – best overall
I think it’s worth starting our review with a fairly popular model. ENGINEER SS-02 is a good desoldering pump with an innovative silicone nozzle. In addition, it is compact, only 6 inches in length.
The pump has a very robust aluminum housing. This device has outstanding quality. I think it’s worth the price. The stem is also made of metal, and the piston is made of resistant rubber, which gives an excellent level of suction of the molten solder.
The SS-02 comes with a spare silicone nozzle (about 0.7 inches long). There is no claim to the heat resistance of this component. The silicone nozzle makes it possible to come into contact with the soldering iron panel. However, the nozzle does not deform under the influence of temperature. Anyway, the tip is easily replaced with a spare in the packaging.
This device deserves to be called the greatest overall. This is due to the high-quality housing and ergonomics of the device.
- Robust aluminum housing
- Replaceable nozzles
- Very tight piston stroke
Velleman VTDESOL3U – desoldering pump with heater
Velleman VTDESOL is an excellent electric vacuum desoldering pump that can be used both as a soldering and solder removal tool. The device has the option to heat up and provide better suction for an easy desoldering process. As you know, it’s easier to remove molten solder with a heated nozzle.
The VTDESOL3U is equipped with an aluminum body and a removable heater that provides the ability to work in two modes: no heating or pre-heating for better desoldering results. In addition, there are replacement sponges on the bottom of this circuit board extractor which can be removed when worn out.
Finally, this solder suction tool is powered by a standard power supply (12-24V), which significantly simplifies the use of this device in your workbench setup or while traveling.
And how can we conclude that the Velleman VTDESOL3U is a pretty good universal device that will help while working with equipment.
- Removes 99% of solder
- Lightweight and handy tool for one-handed use
- It takes quite a long time to heat the part since the tool’s power is 30 W
- The suction power decreases with use
Best desoldering gun
HAKKO FR-301 – best electric desoldering gun for professionals
HAKKO FR-301 is the electric desoldering gun designed to work with printed circuit boards. The device has an ergonomic handle, and due to the powerful motor, it can remove solder from large areas of the board without problems.
This tool provides high efficiency while soldering, significantly reducing your working time compared to other methods such as using a desoldering sucker. In addition, FR-301 works with the help of an electric iron, which provides for great desoldering results and ensures minimal damage to electronic components on your device due to high-temperature influence.
The tip is quickly replaced by undoing one screw that holds it in place without changing the entire gun.
I was impressed with the HAKKO FR-301. Even if you are not an expert in soldering, this best desoldering gun will help to quickly remove solder from electronic components without damaging them during the rework process.
- A wide range of nozzles and molds for high-quality dismantling
- Equipped with a high precision temperature control function
- Requires 100 V AC
- The on/Off button is a little awkward to push
NTE Electronics SW02-10
NTE Electronics SW02-01 is a high-quality desoldering wick. It can be used with a desoldering gun or soldering iron. This wick is designed to work on various surfaces, not only printed circuit boards. It does not leave residues of solder or damage the surface during extraction. SW02-01 works perfectly in removing solder from even the smallest spaces on printed circuit boards.
Moreover, I have used this product for some electronic repairs, and it has been effective. The material of which the wick is made allows it to withstand 500 degrees Celsius or 932 Fahrenheit. This dramatically expands the scope of the tool.
- Electronics SW02-01 is compact and easy to store, which provides for its portability
- It can work with all types of new and old solder types
- Requires good warm-up
- The packaging does not contain a lot of a wick
Electronics Inc. Desoldering Bulb
Electronics Inc. Desoldering Bulb is the cheap desoldering tool that contains an air pump to remove solder from the printed circuit boards. It has a built-in filter to avoid clogging or damage due to chips and dirt getting into the device. It will work with the most common soldering irons, making it convenient for use in the workbench or on the go.
- Easy to operate due to its simple design
- Included are two nozzles of different sizes (0.02 inches and 0.04)
- Instances with low-quality nozzles come across
How to use a solder sucker?
The solder remover is used to remove solder on components or aboard. There are different types of these tools, but most work on the same principle. The solder pump is similar to a conventional medical syringe, only made of metal, forming a sealed chamber. In more advanced models, there is even a heating element inside the chamber to facilitate disposal of the solder.
Using the pump is straightforward. I will point it out to you in the following paragraphs.
First, place the pump over the intended target, such as the legs of a component, so that the nozzle covers the welded joint. Then, make sure that adjacent components or parts do not fall under the nozzle or within its radius of action.
Then push the nozzle slightly against the connection to ensure that the nozzle is snug, and then press the button that activates the suction mechanism. Hold the nozzle in place until the solder is completely sucked into its chamber. BUT do not keep the device on the board for too long. Doing so can overheat other components and disrupt their connection or even damage them.
Then remove the soldering pump from the board and release the button to cool the solder inside the desoldering nozzle.
After the device has cooled down, remove the solder from it. Clean the desoldering tip with alcohol before and after each use.
Also, note if the nozzle gets stuck with the solder. In this case, to free the nozzle and not damage the board, you can apply some hot solder to the joint to be removed. This will help unsolder the incorrectly solidified solder and remove it together with the nozzle. You also need to clean up soldering tools if it gets too hot while using a solder sucker.
It is also worth considering the temperature regime and safety rules. When the desoldering tool is too hot, you should not touch it with your bare hands. The excellent way to protect yourself from injury while using a soldering sucker or any other desoldering tools, for that matter, is by wearing heat-resistant gloves.
Which is better: a desoldering pump or wick?
Some soldering tools are not only for removing solder but also for cleaning holes on circuit boards. If you do repairs frequently, it’s a good idea to have both a wick and a pump because they fit in different cases.
The wick is used when there are fewer components under the nozzle of a desoldering tool, and there is no need to remove solder from many holes or desolder without a pump. For example, the solder removal tool can remove solder when replacing a fuse in an electronic device or a CPU heatsink.
The desoldering pump works well for cleaning components with a lot of thermal mass underneath them because this desoldering tool allows you to drop all of the solders out of multiple holes.