Desoldering without Solder Sucker/Solder Wick?

Today I found a nice looking Potentiometer on an old circuit board I took out of a stereo. I noticed it had 3 pins (like normal) and two larger tabs presumably used to hold the thing in place. All of them were soldered onto the board. I took out my soldering iron and began to try to remove it.

Immediately I faced the problem that I don’t have any means to get the solder off of the board once liquid. I could heat up one pin, but by time I got to the next one, the first one had solidified again.

Is there any easy way to desolder multi-pin components without a Solder Sucker or Desoldering Wick? Or should I just invest in one :P?

There are assorted substitutes for desoldering wick. Stranded wire might do for occasional use, though it will help if you have flux…

Any idea how well Solder Suckers work for removing small amounts? Turns out they’re only a couple of bucks. :stuck_out_tongue:

meh, they work better for large amounts, unless you have something like this

problem with that is its a 45 watt radio shack firestarter, and once it gets going it will vaporize any pad these !@#* hobby companys put on their boards (you know, just an atomic trace around the hole kind of pads)

wick works better IMO for most things

as far as removing your pot, add abit of hoby solder to the connections, it will make life easier

heat the 2 tabs and pry up with a chisel pick or small flathead screwdriver

the 3 pins flood fill with solder so they are all bridged together, reheat so the entire mass becomes molten and remove with pliers on the other side, write off the board tho

ive done that to many IC’s and found that the process is quicker, and therefore not as much heat soaks in, versus trying to de-solder individual pins with wicks or pumps (plus its more even), and about the only reliable way to remove items soldered on both sides of the board (if your trying to save the part and not the board)

Any idea how well Solder Suckers work for removing small amounts? Turns out they’re only a couple of bucks.

I have found mine to be pretty good but it depends on how close you can get it to the solder.

They are really cheap so well worth it even if you only use it occasionally.


One technique that works well if there is a lot of solder is to rapidly move the board and then bring it to a sudden halt. Or in other words flick it off.
You have to mind three things:-

  1. Make sure no one is in the way.
  2. Make sure it is not a nylon carpet.
  3. Make sure your wife / mother is out.
  1. Make sure your wife / mother is out.

Haha! Yeah, I don’t think she’d like that very much :P.

All in all, I suppose that would work pretty well if you have a lot of solder.

Small iron, I use a 12watt i think with a pointy tip and a solder sucker with with some silicone tube on the tip.

Heat the solder with the iron, then with the iron still on press the silicone end over the pad and iron and fire it, works so well, will remove even small amounts of solder, and a low power iron helps avoid taking the pad off the board.

Strip the outer core of Co-Ax away, twist the stranded wire together and add a little flux. Its not great but it will do the job!

I’ve always used grumpy mike’s technique but I couldn’t come up with a good way to describe it. I assume that you all understand that you have to heat the solder up first.