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Topic: Solder paste vs. flux for reflow. (Read 11640 times) previous topic - next topic


Dec 03, 2012, 01:46 pm Last Edit: Dec 03, 2012, 02:19 pm by szangvil Reason: 1
I want to try reflow soldering at home. I got a recommendation to use Kester EP256 solder paste.
Since I am only trying, I don't need so much. Where can I find solder paste in small tubes?
I looked on ebay for "solder paste" but all the results I get looks like flux (although it says "solder paste"). So how can I know if what I buy is just "flux" or "solder paste"?

Bottom line, I need a small tube of solder paste to try out reflow soldering. I prefer buying it on ebay...


Kester makes 35 gram (10cc) tubes:

7016070520  63/37 solder in no-clean flux  $36.75
7017080520 63/37 solder in water soluble flux  $36.75

Chip Quik Inc makes 15 gram (5cc) syringes that come with an application needle.

SMD291AX  $13.35

They also have 35 gram (10cc) syringes with needles.

SMD291AX10  63/37 solder  $19.85
SMD291SNL10  lead-free solder $22.31

Prices are from DigiKey.com
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The guy I bought from on ebay doesn't list any for sale currently.  He was repachaging into syringes and I think I got mine for around US$10 a couple of years ago; I'm still using it.

Be careful, because there's some confusion among some sellers (seems to be a translation problem, maybe) about the difference between "paste flux" and "solder paste".  Paste flux is just that, flux in a paste form (as opposed to liquid) - there's no solder in it.  Solder paste is solder with the flux mixed in.

I got some paste flux from deal extreme.  It worked, but was a bit stiff, and not easy to dispense.

If it doesn't come in a syringe, get yourself some syringes and some dispensing tips.  I bought something like this so I had room to experiment.  You want dispensing tips, not needles - needles are sharpened, dispensing tips are not.



Dec 03, 2012, 03:53 pm Last Edit: Dec 03, 2012, 04:00 pm by szangvil Reason: 1
Thanks for all the tips.
The magic phrase I was missing is 63/37... running a search with this phrase gives better results.
I ended up ordering this for around $5 and a set of 100 tips for $12.50 from here



looks similar to the solder paste I have gotten from www.dealextreme.com


(free shipping always).. shipping takes A LONG time to get to the US though.. not sure about Israel  :)

syringes too if you search.

if doing MANY boards.. maybe invest in a solder mask/stencil...


Dec 03, 2012, 11:16 pm Last Edit: Dec 03, 2012, 11:18 pm by MarkT Reason: 1
BTW  Paste flux is used for soldering water pipes by plumbers - it is not rosin flux, it is highly acidic
and must never get anywhere near electronics - and must never be used without eye protection either.

[oh yes, and if you are going to use lead-based solder paste you'll should wear gloves since you don't
want to get it on your skin, its not easily removed by soap and water.  Lead-free solder paste is available]
[ I will NOT respond to personal messages, I WILL delete them, use the forum please ]

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