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conical tip on soldering iron

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by john, Mar 14, 2009.

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  1. john

    john Guest

    I must have lived a sheltered life because onmy Antex soldering iron I
    have always used a standard chisel tip.

    Recently I saw a lot of cheap soldering irons in the stores with a
    conical tip. I can't think I'd ever want to use that shape but someone
    must be doing so. What use does a concial tip have for
    electrical/electronic work?
  2. I must have lived a sheltered life because onmy Antex soldering iron
    It's cheap to make.

    Broadly speaking, a chisel tip delivers more heat to the joint you're
    soldering, simply because it has a larger area.
  3. john

    john Guest

    Yes, used the standard tip for many years.

    The point asking about is this:

    "Recently I saw a lot of cheap soldering irons in the stores with a
    conical tip. I can't think I'd ever want to use that shape but someone
    must be doing so. What use does a concial tip have for
    electrical/electronic work?"
  4. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    In the not cheap realm ;-) I use a pointy conical tip (actually 1/64"
    radius, IIRC) on a 60W TC iron for working on SMD boards - with
    magnification, I can get in there and hit one pin on fine-pitched
    packages. Still works fine on bigger components if lined up correctly,
    so it's not a constant need to switch tips. Lots of power is available
    if needed, but it doesn't cook.

    As for the cheapies with no temperature control, I don't have anything
    good to say about them. Junk is junk.
  5. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I usually prefer my iron that has a chisel tip, because it is thermo-controlled, its handle is more
    comfortable, and cord is more flexible (so stays out of my way). I use a different iron, that has a
    conical tip, when space around the joint(s) is limited and the large, unused part of a chisel tip -
    protruding out into space - could get too close to things I don't want to melt. Sometimes the point
    of a chisel wants to roll off a joint (DEsoldering operation) and the conical tip provides easier
    control. Quite a bit of your tip choice depends on preference, but, as another poster pointed out,
    more tip in contact with the joint can put more heat into it.
  6. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I think that to some extent, it's a case of what you get used to. The
    'standard' 700 degree bit that most people use on the old Weller TCP
    Magnastat irons - and bear in mind that for many years these were the
    workhorse iron of the electronics industry, and are still to be found in
    many workshops - is conical. I have always found that a conical tip is much
    better on high density boards, as a flat or chisel tip can easily heat two
    joints at once if you don't position it carefully. If you are soldering
    under magnification, as is sometimes required with even fairly 'ordinary'
    boards, I find that it is easier to see what you are doing, with a small
    conical tip.

    I don't find that I have any problem getting enough heat into joints with
    this type of tip. If your iron is set for the right temperature for the
    solder being used, it won't be a problem. If any joint won't flow
    satisfactorily, then the iron that you're using is either not powerful
    enough, or a conical tip simply isn't appropriate for that particular type
    of joint. Those of us professionally involved in bench soldering, usually
    keep two or even three irons, plus desoldering equipment, at the ready, and
    just reach for the 'right' one for the job, without thinking about it.

    Obviously, there's a lot of generalisations there, and for hobbyist or
    occasional use, the 'traditional' or standard Antex-style chisel bit, is
    probably the most versatile general-use type. One downside of conical tips,
    is that the plating tends to fail fairly quickly, so they don't last as long
    as chisel tips. We had quite a debate about this on here a few months back,
    and we all pretty much agreed that the conical Weller TCP tips used to last
    a lot longer than they do now. One interesting document came up in that
    debate, which explained about the dreaded lead-free solder leaching iron
    from the tip plating and accelerating wear which, when coupled with the more
    aggressive fluxes used in this stuff, leads to much shorter tip life.

  7. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    Ditto, recommend magnastat, and conical tips.
    I rarely need to use very fine solder, and when I do, I flatten some 1 mm
    solder in a "set of rolls" and then slice the flattened solder with a razor
    blade for an odd inch or so of 1/3mm or so solder.
  8. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    For my translator file
    What are "set of rolls" called in USA ?
    A proper engineering set pic here
    minus handle it seems

    I recently bought one of these , not for pasta,
    but for the 2 sets of intermeshed roller "guillotine" cutters for cutting
    bicycle and motor bike inner-tube down to neat strips for rubber drive band
    making (then standard "bean slicing" to cut them down narrower). 2mm ones at
    top of pic ( although 4mm for cutting rubber for some odd reason) and 6.5mm
    You can only neatly bean slice once you have neat parallel sided strips of

    I've not tried the plain rolls section of the pasta m/c but it is all metal
    construction and a neat hidden innternal mechanism, I've not thought how it
    works, for varying the gap in 10 lock-down steps and still allow
    contra-rotation of the steel rolls.
    Overall quite heavy , beefier than needed for pasta anyway. For thick rubber
    use the make/break joint between the 2 main sections, is too weak. You have
    to swap the handle between sections, and for this use mount the slicing
    section in a vice or something.
    If I can find something like oats I will try it.

    Otherwise for solder (tighter sub-mm gap) this is my set of homemade set of
    rolls on my tips file
  9. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

    No cereals, pulses or dried beans , so tried some dried cloves which is
    probably more of a test. 5 crushed cloves and 5 whole for comparison.
    Required stepped repeated crushing , at setting 9,6,3 and then 1 but oats
    would probably go through in one.

    Over engineered for damp pasta.
  10. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    We've used conical tips almost exclusively in 25 years of production
    soldering. The biggest advantage to conical over spade in that
    environment is speed: You don't have to think about tip rotational
  11. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I'm not at all sure that is the case ...

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