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Best method for desoldering (double-sided PCBs)

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by TTL, Mar 23, 2017.

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  1. TTL


    Oct 24, 2013
    What do you find is the best way to desolder through-hole components from double-sided PCBs (without expensive specialized gear that is)?

    I find that using a desoldering pump doesn't suck out all the solder and oftentimes it "splashes" the solder out around the hole as well (I do find that holding the desoldering pump a few mm above the PCB and not towards it helps, and also heating up the area with the soldering iron until right after you've used the pump helps too). A soldering wick works for one side, but doesn't remove solder from the other side as well.
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Place extra solder on the joint and use a solder sucker or vacuum pump.

    Solder wick is very effective if the holes ARE NOT plated through, but it can be less so where they are plated.

    But extra solder will often be the difference between working first time and continued frustration.

    Edit: making sure your vacuum pump isn't designed to block up really helps. The one I purchased used a cotton pad to prevent solder bring drawn into the pump. However this blocks up really quickly. I replaced this with metal swarf. The difference in performance is astounding.
  3. TTL


    Oct 24, 2013
    You may be on to something with the solder pump there though my Goot GS-158 doesn't have anything to stop solder getting inside.

    But I find that with a desoldering pump/sucker there's really not much room to get the tip of the pump in there along with the soldering iron tip. Probably a technique I haven't acquired yet.

    An electrical vaccum desoldering pump would probably do wonders, but of course cost a small fortune for the occasional electronics hobbyist such as this Hakko FR-300 (approx US$ 265):

    But I came across some cheap equivalent (well, maybe not equivalent, but vaguely similar) 30W desoldering pump from eBay at around US$ 25:
    Obviously nothing like the Hakko FR-300, but judging from this Youtube review video it appears to do the job quite well. Its long-term reliability may be another question, but for occasional hobby work it might be the solution I'm looking for. Has anyone here tried the above (or similar) and can share their experiences?

    There are even cheaper electrical solder suckers around with manual pump mechanisms, such as the (approx US$ 8) Duratool D01849 sold by Farnell (which probably means tighter quality control and an electrically approved design which I'm sure the eBay isn't), but the electrical pump surely makes it look easier, and apart from getting better access to the solder pad you're heating up/sucking up its pump action and force probably isn't that much different from the desoldering pump I already have.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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