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. 620-4977
Mfr. Part No.T0054465299N
BrandWeller
£52.65
1 Pair
Pair(s)
RTW2 Bent WMRT, WXMT 0.7 x 0.4 mm RTW 45° - -
RS Stock No. 291-1592
Mfr. Part No.T0054104599
BrandWeller
£13.91
Each
Units
ET GW Mini-Wave LR20, LR21, WEP 70 3 mm ET - - -
RS Stock No. 409-4706
Mfr. Part No.11188310
BrandAntex
£7.46
Each
Units
- Straight Hoof Gascat 120P 2.4 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 516-612
Mfr. Part No.4PTAA9-1
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT AA9 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 1.6 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 661-677
Mfr. Part No.4PTAA9-1
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT AA9 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 1.6 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 661-554
Mfr. Part No.4PTBB8-1
BrandWeller
£5.27
Each
Units
PT BB8 Straight Hoof TCP 12, TCP 24, TCP 42, TCPS W 61, W 101, W201 2.4 mm PT - - -
RS Stock No. 121-769
Mfr. Part No.SSC-725A
BrandMetcal
£16.93
Each
Units
SSC Chisel MFR-H6-SSC, SP-HC1 1 mm SSC-7 30° - -
RS Stock No. 661-920
Mfr. Part No.4CT6E8-1
BrandWeller
£11.62
Each
Units
CT6E8 Screwdriver W101 7 mm CT - - -
RS Stock No. 612-4348
Mfr. Part No.SFP-CH10
BrandMetcal
£13.39
Each
Units
SxP Chisel MFR-H1-SC2 1 mm SFP 30° - -
RS Stock No. 604-602
Mfr. Part No.B005230
£4.276
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex XS Series 4.7 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 517-5294
Mfr. Part No.T0054310500
BrandWeller
£3.08
Each
Units
DBL Screwdriver SI40, SP40L, SP40N 6.3 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 509-6517
Mfr. Part No.0054440999
BrandWeller
£5.07
Each
Units
LT D Screwdriver WP 80, WSP 80, WXP 80 4.6 mm LT - - -
RS Stock No. 512-626
Mfr. Part No.10288880
BrandAntex
£9.90
Each
Units
- - Gascat 60 1 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 498-6734
Mfr. Part No.T0054460399
BrandWeller
£21.06
Each
Units
RT3 Straight Chisel WMRP MS, WXMP 1.3 mm RT - - -
RS Stock No. 178-437
Mfr. Part No.26150201JA
BrandDremel
£9.43
1 Lot of 2
Lot(s)
- Straight Conical VersaFlame 2200, VersaTip 2000 - - - - -
RS Stock No. 332-0133
Mfr. Part No.7712001000
BrandEngel
£8.42
Each
Units
- - Engel 100S Soldering Gun - - - - -
RS Stock No. 608-783
Mfr. Part No.B010630
£2.566
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Straight Chisel Antex C Series 1 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 122-9735
Mfr. Part No.T0054449499
BrandWeller
£5.07
Each
Units
- Screwdriver WP 80, WSP 80, WXP 80 0.4 x 0.15 mm LT 1SC - - -
RS Stock No. 660-898
Mfr. Part No.T0051612099
BrandWeller
£12.12
Each
Units
70 01 01 Needle Pyropen Piezo 1 mm - - - -
RS Stock No. 661-863
Mfr. Part No.4CT6C7-1
BrandWeller
£11.62
Each
Units
CT6C7 Screwdriver W101 3.2 mm CT - - -