Soldering Iron Tips

Soldering iron tips transfer heat from a soldering iron into solder so that it melts and can flow into the joint between two components or workpieces. They’re also sometimes referred to as ‘bits’.

To protect your soldering iron tips, you should tin your tip before and after soldering to create a protective layer between the air and the soldering iron tip. Tinning prevents oxidisation and allows for a more efficient heat transfer.

Optimal operating temperature

Putting your soldering tips through excessive temperatures will shorten their lifespan. The temperature of the tip will decrease as the soldering iron is used more. There is the temptation to increase the idle temperature to compensate for this temperature drop – but don’t as this will shorten the life of the soldering iron tip. If you aren’t actively using your soldering iron think about turning it off or setting it to a low ‘idle’ temperature to maximise tip life.

How do you clean a soldering iron?

To keep your tip in perfect condition you should aim to clean before, during and after use. Before you solder, ensure that you have cleaned the surfaces which are to be soldered with an alcohol wipe.

To clean your tips, use either brass wool (less abrasive) or stainless steel wool (more abrasive). Try to avoid using a sponge as doing so rapidly cycles the tip through a hot and cold cycle. Doing this repeatedly will cause metal fatigue and tip failure. Once you have cleaned the tip ensure that you cover the tip with fresh solder so as to present oxidisation.

Using flux

When metals come into contact with oxygen an oxide layer is formed on the surface of the metal. This oxidisation prevents solder from wetting the joint correctly and impacts the quality of the solder joint. Flux dissolves this oxidisation layer.

Reactivating your soldering iron tips

If a soldering iron tip becomes oxidised it will appear darker in colour and you may not be able to tin it. If your tip is oxidised you can use a tip activator to remove the oxidisation as it will break down the oxide layer. Once cleaned and refreshed tin the tip again to protect it from oxidisation.

Soldering iron tip shapes

Most soldering irons have interchangeable tips that have slightly different shapes to allow for different tasks or precision levels. For example, conical tips are used for fine electronics work. Other common tip shapes include:

  • bevel (aka hoof)
  • chisel
  • concave
  • pyramid
  • bent

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Description Price Model Number Tip Shape For Use With Tip Size Tip Series Tip Angle Priced to Clear Soldering Accessory Type
RS Stock No. 498-6756
Mfr. Part No.T0054460199
BrandWeller
£21.06
Each
Units
RT 1 Needle WMRP MS, WXMP 0.2 mm RT - - -
RS Stock No. 518-848
Mfr. Part No.B005530
£4.362
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Conical Antex XS Series 0.5 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 542-885
Mfr. Part No.B110630
£4.116
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex CS/TCS Series 1 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 518-832
Mfr. Part No.B110530
£3.93
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Conical Antex CS/TCS Series 0.5 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 542-879
Mfr. Part No.B110030
£4.008
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex CS/TCS Series 2.3 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 516-909
Mfr. Part No.T0054200799
BrandWeller
£5.86
Each
Units
CT5A7 Screwdriver W61 1.6 mm CT - - -
RS Stock No. 516-599
Mfr. Part No.4PTAA7-1
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT BB7 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 1.6 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 661-403
Mfr. Part No.4PTAA7-1
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT AA7 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 1.6 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 661-649
Mfr. Part No.T0054128899
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT O8 Round TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 0.8 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 278-8695
Mfr. Part No.T0054321199
BrandWeller
£9.64
Each
Units
S32 Straight Chisel SI15, SP15L, SP15N 2 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 361-0739
Mfr. Part No.T0054442399
BrandWeller
£8.94
Each
Units
LT 1L Conical WP 80, WSP 80, WXP 80 0.2 mm LT - - -
RS Stock No. 495-6339
Mfr. Part No.T0054313299
BrandWeller
£5.66
1 Box of 3
Box(es)
MT1 Conical SP25L, SP25N - MT - - -
RS Stock No. 409-4605
Mfr. Part No.11288450
BrandPortasol
£7.08
Each
Units
- Straight Conical Pro Piezo Gas Soldering Iron 1 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 289-3135
Mfr. Part No.STTC-136
BrandMetcal
£23.70
Each
Units
STTC Chisel MX-H1-AV, MX-RM3E 2.5 mm STTC-1 30° - -
RS Stock No. 278-8566
Mfr. Part No.T0054321099
BrandWeller
£10.93
Each
Units
S31 Straight Chisel SP15N, WH40 3.5 mm S - - -
RS Stock No. 292-2031
Mfr. Part No.T0054441099
BrandWeller
£6.06
Each
Units
LT GW1 Mini-Wave WP 80, WSP 80, WXP 80 2.3 mm LT - - -
RS Stock No. 533-0148
Mfr. Part No.T0054000299
BrandWeller
£4.17
1 Pair
Pair(s)
7135 Straight Chisel 8100, 9200 - - - - -
RS Stock No. 604-589
Mfr. Part No.B005030
£4.276
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex XS Series 2.3 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 542-863
Mfr. Part No.B110130
£3.93
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex CS/TCS Series 3 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 661-683
Mfr. Part No.T0054126999
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT CC9 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 3.2 mm PT - - -