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
RS Stock No. 860-9298
Mfr. Part No.DS-KIT-1
£250.46
Each
Units
- - TMT-9000S - MDT - -
RS Stock No. 914-5880
Mfr. Part No.S75MF003
£9.30
Each
Units
- Micro Fine MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS 0.25 mm S - -
RS Stock No. 860-9330
Mfr. Part No.M7CH176
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 1.78 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9466
Mfr. Part No.S80C001
£11.13
Each
Units
- Straight Conical MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS 0.1 mm S - -
RS Stock No. 860-9422
Mfr. Part No.S75BV007
£6.99
Each
Units
S75 Concave Hoof MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS Ø 0.7 mm S 45° -
RS Stock No. 914-5648
Mfr. Part No.M7BV350
£13.18
Each
Units
- Bevel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 1.78 mm M 60° -
RS Stock No. 914-5711
Mfr. Part No.M7MF375
£13.18
Each
Units
- Micro Fine MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 0.25 mm M - -
RS Stock No. 860-9412
Mfr. Part No.PM75CH175
£9.19
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS1K, MFR-PS2200, MFR-PS2K, TMT-2000PS 2.5 mm P 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9292
Mfr. Part No.K75CH010
£8.33
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200 w/SHP-KM, PS900 w/SHP-K, TMT-2000PS 1 mm K 30° -
RS Stock No. 914-5887
Mfr. Part No.S75DS061
£14.76
Each
Units
- Straight Knife MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS 4.5 mm S 45° -
RS Stock No. 860-9400
Mfr. Part No.M8CH250
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 5 mm M - -
RS Stock No. 860-9321
Mfr. Part No.M7CH175
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 2.5 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 914-5584
Mfr. Part No.M6CH178
£13.18
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 1 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9399
Mfr. Part No.M8CH175
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 2.5 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9475
Mfr. Part No.S80CH006
£6.99
Each
Units
- Straight Conical MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS 0.6 mm S 30° -
RS Stock No. 914-5818
Mfr. Part No.M8MF375
£13.18
Each
Units
- Micro Fine MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 0.25 mm M - -
RS Stock No. 860-9352
Mfr. Part No.M7CP200
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 2.5 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9346
Mfr. Part No.M7CH179
£14.20
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MX-500, MX-5000, MX5200, TMT-9000S-1, TMT-9000S-2 1 mm M 30° -
RS Stock No. 860-9302
Mfr. Part No.K75CH015
£8.33
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200 w/SHP-KM, PS900 w/SHP-K, TMT-2000PS 1.5 mm K 30° -
RS Stock No. 914-5893
Mfr. Part No.S80CH010
£9.30
Each
Units
- Straight Chisel MFR-PS1100, MFR-PS2200, SP200, TMT-2000PS 1 mm S 30° -