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reccomend tweezers for surface mount soldering?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Michael Noone, Jul 6, 2005.

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  1. Hi - recently I was reccomended to get some tweezers to assist with surface
    mount soldering. I looked through the Digi-Key catalog (I do about 99% of
    my ordering through digi-key) and they had quite a few different types. Can
    anybody reccomend some good general purpose tweezers? Preferrably ones that
    Digi-Key stocks. I should mention that most of my surface mount soldering
    of discretes is with parts in 0805 or SOT-23 packages.


    -M. Noone
  2. w2aew

    w2aew Guest


    You'd probably want to have a small selection. I've always found that
    a curved set (like digikey EROP7SA-ND) is nice, especially when
    handling small SMT parts under a microscope. A couple of straight
    tweezers like digikey EROP3CSA-ND are nice. Finally, a nice "reverse
    action" set is nice to give you that extra pair of hands sometimes
    (digikey XHT412-ND). These are all pretty inexpensive.

  3. I like a stubby little Solingen (German) "La Cross Premier" pair that
    I got for $10 or $15 at a drug store chain (Shopper's Drug Mart). They
    are a fair bit stiffer to operate than the typical fine tip tweezer,
    and the relatively fat and square tips meet properly.

    For *very* fine tips, good steel is better than SS, IME. That kind of
    tips tend to be brittle rather than soft, so they will snap off rather
    than bend all over the place if abused a bit. I don't have the really
    good Swiss one I used to have anymore, but I don't seen anything in
    that class for sale at Digikey. They were probably $30 or more a pair.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  4. Ban

    Ban Guest

    I use Bernstein 5-031 Titan I don't know if it is available at digikey, but
    it is not magnetic and also doesn't get soldered. You can use it even for
    very small parts
  5. Chris Carlen

    Chris Carlen Guest is where I obtained my Swiss "Cobaltima" by Excelta
    cobalt alloy tweezers. A bit pricey but *very* tough and menacingly sharp.

    Christopher R. Carlen
    Principal Laser/Optical Technologist
    Sandia National Laboratories CA USA

    NOTE, delete texts: "RemoveThis" and "BOGUS" from email address to reply.
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Michael,

    I just bought a few at places like Walmart and they work fine. Other
    than that I second what Spehro suggested. If tools like this come from
    Solingen in Germany it is "the good stuff". Not just tweezers but also
    kitchen knives and things like that.

    Regards, Joerg
  7. Glen Walpert

    Glen Walpert Guest

    I use a set of 4 tweezers, 1 each straight and curved nonmagnetic for
    placing parts only, and 1 each straight and curved heavier duty steel
    tweezers for unsoldering. Any tweezer will pick up small smt parts,
    but only a clean and dry nonmagnetic tweezer can reliably let go of
    them. Any residual magnetism or tiny bit of flux on your tweezers
    will make many parts stick to one side of the tweezer when you are
    trying to let them go. Depending on how you solder, this may or may
    not be an issue - some people always put solder paste on the board
    before placing components, and components placed on pasted pads will
    stick more to the board than the tweezers. Solder paste has a short
    lifetime on a preheated board, so I like to lay out groups of 20 or 30
    parts next to their pads on the preheated board, apply paste to the
    pads for those parts, quickly move the parts onto their pasted pads,
    solder with hot air, then repeat for the next group of parts until
    done. This prevents the solder paste flux from losing activity (it
    appears to dry out) before soldering, but requires the clean
    nonmagnetic tweezers to be able to let go of parts on the dry board.
  8. Ted Edwards

    Ted Edwards Guest

    Put "dumont tweezers" (no quotes) into the search space in
    < > and pick your dealer and model. I don't
    believe anyone makes a better product.

  9. John Miles

    John Miles Guest

    Looks like everybody has their favorite models. Might as well throw
    mine in:

    They are particularly nice for picking 1206 and smaller parts (like
    resistors) out of tape strips. Expensive, but indispensible.

    -- jm
  10. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Wow, and I thought it only was tweezers being marketed to technical markets
    that could command high prices!

    Personally, I love my curved-tipped Exceltas. I don't know which model... I
    recall they weren't cheap (>$20), but there were others that were even
    spendier than were simply out of my price range.
  11. Fred Abse

    Fred Abse Guest

    Probably come up with a load of Groucho Marx related stuff :)
  12. Bob Stephens

    Bob Stephens Guest

  13. Richard H.

    Richard H. Guest

    Look for:
    * Self-closing (squeeze to open) - it saves you from dropping a lot of
    tiny parts, and gives your hand a break
    * Solder won't stick - nickel plating seems good for this;
    ceramic/carbon would probably; maybe stainless
    * Non-magnetic - it only takes a tiny charge to make tiny parts stick to
    the tool
    * Sharp tip - more important for tiny parts like 0402

    I really like these ($5) - they're stiff, sharp, but not non-magnetic:
    These look similar:

    To fine-tune adjustment, dental probes work really well. (I'll suggest
    a technique if you're interested.) Also for picking at SMD legs to test
    for poor solder joints.

    This is a handy alternative if you do much assembly:
    For 0402 and 0805, the 22-gauge (black) 1" needles can be formed into a
    tiny pickup tip.

  14. Often you can make a suitable vacuum pump out of a diaphragm-type
    aquarium pump with a few minutes' work - attach another piece of
    tubing or flip the valve. I forget who wrote about doing just that-
    Dobkin maybe.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
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