(Topic ID: 296127)

Best quality all around Solder for Pin repair?

By wrd1972

3 months ago

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  • 12 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Thermionic
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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    #1 3 months ago

    Out of Solder.

    Okay is there a particular Solder that you guys like? Or is it all the same? I typically just get the first 40/60 .031" that shows up on Amazon. But if there is a higher quality for our needs, that will my solder going forward.


    #3 3 months ago

    Radio Shack # 6400005 (2.5 oz roll) or # 6400009 (8 oz roll) is what I use. Old part numbers were 64-005 and 64-009 respectively.


    #4 3 months ago

    Kester 60/40 flux core solder, .062" diameter, 1LB spool, 24-6040-0061
    Kester 60/40 flux core solder, .031" diameter, 1LB spool, 24-6040-0027

    Those spools have lasted me for years.

    The .031" I use for PCB work.

    The .062" I use for solder lugs.

    Supposedly, there's a 3-year shelf life on rosin core solder, but I've never had any issues with going well beyond that.

    #5 3 months ago

    Avoid lead free stuff.

    Stick with RA type flux Core such as Kester's #44.
    I have gone through several rolls of Kester and have a nearly identical roll of solder from AIM. Made in Mexico - cost a lot less but smells like dog crap when it melts. The Radio Shack stuff works well, also. I still have a roll from the 1980s that works fine.

    63/37 works a bit better but costs a hair more than 60/40. The 63/37 composition puts the solder at the eutectic point. This pretty much means it transitions nearly instantly from liquid state to solid state. Other compositions have higher amount of time when they're in the 'plastic' state which can result in bad solder joints if moved. 60/40 is nearly on the Eutectic point, 63/37 is right on it. Most people won't notice a difference between the two.

    Like Forceflow said -- 0.031" for most PCB work, 0.062" for large items such as lugs on coils.

    And like everything else, the cost of solder has gone up this past year. It is now just over $20 for a 1 lb roll.
    A 1lb roll is pretty much a lifetime supply for most casual users. You can also get this stuff in much smaller pocket packs.
    Best price I can find for name brand stuff is Kimco.


    #6 3 months ago

    More info on Eutectic point:

    #7 3 months ago
    Quoted from wrd1972:

    Out of Solder.
    Okay is there a particular Solder that you guys like? Or is it all the same? I typically just get the first 40/60 .031" that shows up on Amazon. But if there is a higher quality for our needs, that will my solder going forward.

    Be careful - "40/60" is plumbers solder and NOT what you want. You want 60/40, a completely different mix of metals.

    I prefer 0.8mm 60/40 with rosin core.

    DO NOT buy 40/60.

    The MAIN thing here is to observe the spelling of the word - SOLDER - note that there is an "L" in there, 'SOL-DER' not SOD-ER

    #8 3 months ago

    How we long for the days of shows where Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine selling one pound rolls of 60/40 and 63/37 Kester solder for five bucks a roll. I'd buy a minimum of four rolls at a time. Sometimes I'd buy all he brought 20 to 40 rolls.

    #9 3 months ago

    What was the missing 3%?

    #10 3 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    What was the missing 3%?

    Usually things like copper to enhance the soldering iron tip life.

    #11 3 months ago

    I use this solder:

    KESTER SOLDER 24-6040-0027 Wire Solder, 0.031"Dia., Pack of (1),32117

    amazon.com link »

    #12 3 months ago

    The Kester #44 60/40 0.031” Lermod linked is all you really need for pinball or anything else, and a pound will last forever. (I think you can generally ignore exp. dates if you store the roll in reasonably stable conditions - I have some Multicore 63/37 from the 70s that’s still perfectly good!)

    Although they claim it isn’t strictly necessary, I still like to clean the flux residue as thoroughly as possible using either 99% “technical grade” IPA or Techspray Flux Remover.

    Regarding 63/37 vs. 60/40 alloys, I was once told by an engineer in audio electronics:

    63/37 wets, flows, and solidifies quicker and is good for PCBs and delicate situations where you strongly prioritize minimization of time heat is applied.

    60/40 forms stronger and more pliable joints and is preferable for heavier gauge wire, terminal lugs, and point-to-point connections. It also works fine for PCBs and is the best choice if you want a single “all-purpose” roll of solder, it’s just possibly slightly less forgiving of suboptimal soldering technique.

    In my experience, Kester #44 62/36/2 (2% Ag) is the easiest to work with of them all (I like it for SMD) and makes connections that sparkle like jewels, but it’s expensive and technically unnecessary unless you are soldering silver-bearing wire or components.

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