Choosing the right soldering flux

Yo techtalk,

I bought this at the electronics store:

It is the Kester 952-D6 LOW-SOLIDS, NO CLEAN, flux pen. I’m not soldering expert but does anyone know if I can use this with my padhacks? Do I need rosin activated flux? Any insight would be rad.

You know, I’m not really sure why I bought this thing…

Flux is somewhat unnecessary for padhacking, since the ideal type of solder for small electronics is rosin-core solder, which already has flux infused into it.

But in case you want to be able to use it later for something else, no clean, or non activated flux, just means that you don’t have to clean the surface afterward. Activated flux has acid inside of it that is used to remove the oxides between the metals and thus increase the wettability (stickiness) between them, but it leaves a corrosive residue that needs to be cleaned off after soldering.

Your padhack will be just fine. As he said, you already have flux in your solder, but, say if you let all of it burn off, then your solder won’t flow anymore, and you’ll need additional flux. But, you shouldn’t let all of it burn off, anyways. You probably won’t have a need for it, but it does help solder stick a bit better. It’s not going to hurt to use it. Of course, it’ll always be helpful to have if you ever get down to some sort of SMD assembly :lovin:.

Yes, flux evaporates very fast specially on those thinner rosin-cores. I personally like soaking the surface of the connections with flux beforehand better.

Solder paste is more expensive & is usually used is very small surface mount soldering.

There’s precious little flux to be found in standard solder, so some extra flux certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s also excellent for tinning wire with the least amount of hassle.

I’ve got a tub of LA-CO regular flux paste which I’ve got no complaints with.

Cool beans. I’m just gonna cover the connections with this. Thanks guys.