Author Topic: desoldering braid  (Read 9845 times)

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Offline akis

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desoldering braid
« on: April 22, 2016, 08:37:44 am »
Why is it so expensive? it's just plain copper, weaved, no insulation jacket, nothing. It weighs nothing, yet, for example a 30m/100ft reel is 3 times as expensive as say a 100m/300ft of 22 AWG 16 * 0.2mm insulated cable... http://uk.farnell.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=15001&langId=44&urlRequestType=Base&partNumber=2343916&storeId=10151

Are they taking the piss on ebay or is it something I am missing? Maybe its the weaving process that makes it expensive? Because it is not definitely the quality or the quantity of the copper...
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 09:33:51 am »
Probably no more reason than it's a relatively small market. And most people don't use much of it. I think I use less than a foot per year. This makes me more likely to purchase my favorite brand when I run out. Or the first roll I see. Rather than try to save a few bucks by bargain shopping.

I mean, it's really not a useful tool for anything of scale. If you're using it, you are replacing a chip or connector by hand and spending a heck of a lot of time doing it. Yeah, I know some people use it for sucking out bridges after soldering chips/connectors, and such. But if you scale up, this method is simply not particularly efficient. So for the most part, it can be expensive because it's really not necessary for anything except apps where the manual labor will eclipse the cost of the tool.

If you are concerned about the cost of solderwick, you might be doing it wrong.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 09:43:53 am by KL27x »
 

Offline Richard Head

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2016, 12:25:40 pm »
I agree. It is F%&* rip-off.
Another way to look at it is that's it's a good business opportunity!
 

Offline Shock

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2016, 12:52:27 pm »
The last I brought was $3 AUD for 1.5m, that works out to be about $0.10 to remove perhaps a dozen components.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
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Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 12:54:42 pm »
It's not just copper wire, it's soaked in flux and put on a little reel that you can hold so you don't burn your fingers :)

Plus I pay bugger all for it.
 

Offline akis

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 01:02:56 pm »
It's not just copper wire, it's soaked in flux and put on a little reel that you can hold so you don't burn your fingers :)

Plus I pay bugger all for it.


£9 for 100m of AWD22 insulated 20x0.2 cable...

£20 for 30m desoldering braid. Weight less than 50g.

This is not "bugger all"...

 

Offline CJay

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 01:11:58 pm »
I've used, when desperate, the woven shield from multicore wire before now, you need to add a little flux to make it work but I could find no real difference. Plus you end up with lengths of 'spare' hook up wire.

But, I still have a reel of solder wick that I bought 20 years ago, when I finish that one I'll probably buy another and will it to my kids.
 

Offline Kilrah

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 01:18:03 pm »
£20 for 30m desoldering braid. Weight less than 50g.

This is not "bugger all"...
I don't think I'll use 30m of desoldering braid in my entire life. Negligible.
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 01:20:37 pm »
30m! In 20 years I've used about 5m of the stuff off my 10m reel.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2016, 01:28:51 pm »
I've recently run out and I can't find the nice Chemtronics (fake or otherwise) wick that I bought cheaply from an Israeli seller over eBay.  Where do you guys buy yours from?  Ebay seems to be full of braid sans flux.

Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 01:47:44 pm »
Rapid Electronics or CPC in the UK. Depending on who is cheapest.
 

Offline DenzilPenberthy

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 02:46:45 pm »
£9 for 100m of AWD22 insulated 20x0.2 cable...

£20 for 30m desoldering braid. Weight less than 50g.

This is not "bugger all"...

I agree. It is F%&* rip-off.
Another way to look at it is that's it's a good business opportunity!


Come on, seriously. Aside from the fact it has good quality flux added to it, surely it doesn't have to be explained why something which you buy maybe 1ft of per year and is not used in mass-production is more expensive pound-for-pound than something which is used in *vast* quantity and sold by the 100m reel.  I look forward to buying solder braid from your business which is sold at the same per-metre price as skinny stranded hook-up wire :)
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2016, 06:38:09 pm »
The cost of the solderwick is not from the manufacturer/ing. It's from the distributor. If you have a store, and I am selling you an item that doesn't not move much, you have to make a higher margin for it to be worth your time. You have to make a new SKU. It increases your inventory management. It increases your physical space to store and organize your inventory. It is additional web site labor. It's only in the store to increase the selection of tools, there as an occasional add-on.

If I reduce the price of my store's solderwick, this item, alone, is not enough to entice many buyers to come to my store and buy other things. Because they are buying this item very rarely, this is only going to attract very few shoppers. Maybe some excited hobbyists will stock up. Then a month later, it's over. Your target market for this product has for some reason bought 3 lifetime supplies and is never going to come back to your store for solderwick. Ever. If you open a "solderwick store," with the best price in the world, good luck staying in business. The large scale buyers are retail stores and distributors, and they are already buying this stuff for a fraction of the price we buy it. You can make a living making/selling solderwick for cheap, but it will be to other retailers or distributors who are going to then jack the price right back up for the end consumer.

Personally, I have bought 3x as many soldering stations as rolls of solderwick. And the last roll I bought I didn't even need. I just built a soldering accessory caddy, and I wanted to fill it, lol.

When braided cable can sell in 1.5M to 10M rolls per user per decade, nearly exclusively, show me how much it costs. I would wager it's sold in 5 foot rolls because half of these things are lost or misplaced before they ever run out.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 07:22:06 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline Shock

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2016, 07:16:39 pm »
30m! In 20 years I've used about 5m of the stuff off my 10m reel.

Measure it every day before going to bed it lasts longer.
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM     >>> Fluke 51/52 Thermometer Parts Required <<<
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Offline free_electron

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2016, 07:26:51 pm »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.

Trust me on this one... or prove me wrong by sending me the one you think is better. I have tried at least 30 different brands in my life.
Chemtronics beats all of em.

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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline akis

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 07:30:44 pm »
I've recently run out and I can't find the nice Chemtronics (fake or otherwise) wick that I bought cheaply from an Israeli seller over eBay.  Where do you guys buy yours from?  Ebay seems to be full of braid sans flux.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281058812481?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
 

Online nctnico

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2016, 09:28:59 pm »
I've recently run out and I can't find the nice Chemtronics (fake or otherwise) wick that I bought cheaply from an Israeli seller over eBay.  Where do you guys buy yours from?  Ebay seems to be full of braid sans flux.
If you buy the cheap stuff once you quickly jump back the Chemtronics. I'm using quite a lot per year but I just fork over the cash for buying Chemtronics. I do safe the spend solder wick though in case I need a bit of thick copper wire.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apelly

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2016, 09:44:34 pm »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.
I've heard that before. Someone here (Psi?) recommended it to me ages ago and I have to strongly agree.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline Whales

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2016, 12:13:40 am »
I've recently run out and I can't find the nice Chemtronics (fake or otherwise) wick that I bought cheaply from an Israeli seller over eBay.  Where do you guys buy yours from?  Ebay seems to be full of braid sans flux.
If you buy the cheap stuff once you quickly jump back the Chemtronics. I'm using quite a lot per year but I just fork over the cash for buying Chemtronics. I do safe the spend solder wick though in case I need a bit of thick copper wire.

I'm really suspicious of un-branded and air-exposed stock.  Have you bought a roll of this?

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2016, 12:54:53 am »
I recently bought a spool from Radio Parts and they were a hell of a lot cheaper than Element 14, I paid $23.10 inc for the 2.54 mm x 7.5 meter roll, it is labeled as Chemtools and made in the US, Altronics also carry the stuff.

Radio Parts
http://www.radioparts.com.au/product/38616065/50-4-25-2.8mm-x-7.5m-soder-wick-blue-desoldering-braid-4#.VxrBxtR94dU

Altronics
http://www.altronics.com.au/p/t1217-chemtools-2.54mm-blue-7.6m-solder-wick-desoldering-braid/

Chemtools
http://www.chemtools.com.au/product/electrical-and-electronics/production-and-rework/solder-wick/
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2016, 01:27:29 am »
I have both Chemtronics and TechSpray and both work equally well.
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Offline Someone

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2016, 02:14:56 am »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.
Chemtronics "SODER-WiCK" [sic!] is certainly the reference by which others are measured, but I've got rolls of Techspray "PRO WICK" here which are just as good.

I've used, when desperate, the woven shield from multicore wire before now, you need to add a little flux to make it work but I could find no real difference. Plus you end up with lengths of 'spare' hook up wire.
For the cheapskates who want to use a lot of braid you can buy very narrow screening/grounding/shielding braid and add the flux of your choice, works ok too.
 

Offline BMack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2016, 03:35:04 am »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.

Trust me on this one... or prove me wrong by sending me the one you think is better. I have tried at least 30 different brands in my life.
Chemtronics beats all of em.

I agree completely with this post.
 

Offline QuantumLogic

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2016, 01:32:55 pm »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.

Trust me on this one... or prove me wrong by sending me the one you think is better. I have tried at least 30 different brands in my life.
Chemtronics beats all of em.

My story:  I unknowingly suffered with some cheap solder braid that I bought from a surplus store many years ago.  At the time, I figured solder braid is solder braid, so how bad could the cheap stuff be compared to the more expensive brands?  It came in a round white plastic package with beveled sides on the bottom and a green label (I forget the brand name), not a cylinder shape with flat bottom like Chemtronics braid.   When I tried to use it years ago, it did a terrible job of sucking up the solder.  It sucked up some solder, but always left some behind which made it difficult to remove the component I was working on.  Not knowing any better (I'm just a hobbyist electronics guy) , I figured that was just how solder braid worked - terribly.  Since there were other methods of removing solder, such as more expensive vacuum systems, I figured solder braid was just not a great way to remove solder.
 
Fast forward to a couple months ago.  I tried it again thinking that maybe the new (more heat mass) tip on my Weller iron would make it work better.  Nope, it was just as crappy.  Then I read some Amazon reviews about solder braid and some people were saying Chemtronics was much better compared to the cheap stuff.  I was curious, and since I was getting back into playing with electronics again after many years, I decided to buy a roll of Chemtronics braid.  Immediately upon opening the package and comparing the braid between the off-brand and Chemtronics I could tell that the Chemtronics braid was much finer with many more strands of thinner copper wire and a very tight weave.  I tried the Chemtronics braid on an old circuit board that had some capacitors I wanted to try to remove.  Wow, what a difference! The Chemtronics braid just sucked up the solder like it was starving for food.  The solder on the board was gone except for a coating on the trace and leads!  The capacitor practically fell out by itself after the second lead was done.

I will never buy anything else again.  Chemtronics all the way.
 

Offline jitter

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2016, 04:23:24 pm »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.

Trust me on this one... or prove me wrong by sending me the one you think is better. I have tried at least 30 different brands in my life.
Chemtronics beats all of em.

I agree completely with this post.

I don't agree, if you stick to A-brands.
At home I use the same stuff we use at work... obviously  ;).
The last time I took some 3 m rolls home was probably six years ago, and in that time I may have used 0.5 m or so.

I know that over the years we switched a few times between brands. I seem to remember the Swiss 3S-Wick and after that mostly USA made stuff like Techspray and Loctite.
Apart from one batch that seemed to have been in storage for forever and which had oxidized, they all seemed to work fine for me.

What I use right now is Techspray and it works a treat, sucking up solder just like your description of Chemtronics in action.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 04:34:46 pm by jitter »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2016, 07:16:09 pm »
FWIW, I'm partial to Chemtronics as well (I prefer the Rosin variants), but Techspray is similar in performance, and those that have used the Loctite/Henkel wick state it also works very well. MG Chemicals is OK, but I'd rather have the Chemtronics.
 

Offline boffin

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2016, 07:37:01 pm »
Any of the solder wicks work well.  The trick is wet them with a flux pen 1st.
 

Offline Richard Head

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2016, 12:33:18 pm »
Chemtronics SODER-WICK is the best (by far) that I've ever used. If you work in SMD you basically have to use a de-soldering braid. I've tried others but they are utter crap.
Unfortunately Chemtronics is expensive.
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2016, 03:41:44 pm »
So I happened across a repair job today that needed a parts order. Thandar TG-102 range selector switch replacement, but I digress. I threw a roll of Chemtronics braid in the RS basket as it was only £3. Let's see if it's any better than 20 year old junk by a direct comparison :)
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2016, 11:19:08 pm »
I bought Chemtronics because of the forum hype.
Meh.  :-//
It works fine, but it loads fast. It gets used up like the printing ribbon in a typewriter. I suppose it presents a small heat load, so there's that.

The w/e brand I used before is probably 4x the mass/thickness. It's coarser, but it sucks a lot more solder.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 11:22:33 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2016, 12:09:51 am »
I bought Chemtronics because of the forum hype.
Meh.  :-//
It works fine, but it loads fast. It gets used up like the printing ribbon in a typewriter. I suppose it presents a small heat load, so there's that.

The w/e brand I used before is probably 4x the mass/thickness. It's coarser, but it sucks a lot more solder.
If I understand you correctly, you're using the wrong size (too small for the job).
  • Size matters (like soldering iron tips, you size it to the hole/pad; or in the case of BGA for example, you use a wide wick and desolder multiple pads simultaneously).
  • Don't let the used end get too long before cutting it off (makes it easier to manipulate as needed).
Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all, so you might want to take a quick look at the following Sizing Guide.
There's YouTube videos as well if you're so inclined (might see a technique you find useful).


 

Offline KL27x

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2016, 05:17:20 am »
It's not the width, but the thickness. The width on these two wicks is on the same order. Chemtronics Chem-Wick 0.100" is what it says on the reel. I don't see that size on the chart you linked, at all.

The other brand is a lot thicker (not wider) with larger gauge wires. It feels like it has 3-4x the mass of copper per foot.

I don't know that my needs are particularly demanding. I wouldn't know why one is crap compared to the other. The other stuff works fine and you don't need to move it around as much to a fresh spot while using it. I feel like I use 3-4x as much of the Chem-Wick to do the same thing. I'm sure it's better for certain things that I am not doing, yet. The width is just about right for general use, I think. The Chem Wik is a lot more floppy/flexible. It's like a copper cloth, the wire is so fine.

*Looking at them side-by-side, the Chem Wik is slightly wider, if anything. But side profile it looks half as thick. I can't find my calipers. And now I'm looking, the wires in the other brand are about as thin, afterall. Just not as bendy because maybe it's more material.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 05:41:47 am by KL27x »
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2016, 09:18:23 am »
Ok I did my first repair with some Chemtronics stuff. I'll concede, it's actually much better than the cheap crap!
 

Offline macboy

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2016, 01:15:09 pm »
I use Multicore (Loctite) NC-AA wick, and it works quite well for me. These folks would agree.
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2016, 01:42:37 pm »
I use the Loctite branded solder - probably a good bet. One 500g of the old Multicore branded stuff did me from 1987 to 2005 :)
 

Offline QuantumLogic

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2016, 03:36:06 pm »
For comparison, here are the two desoldering braids I own at 3 levels of zoom.
The left one with the green label I purchased from a surplus store years ago and it does not work well for me at all.
The right one is Chemtronics 0.100 size. 
The width and thickness of the braids are about the same, however the Chemtronics wire is about half the thickness, thus many more strands make it a much tighter weave.



 

Offline macboy

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2016, 06:44:22 pm »
Here is a comparative shot of 3 different good quality wicks of the same size. Loctite (Multicore), Chemtronics, and MG Chemicals. As you can see, all have about the same number of strands.

Thickness is as follows:
MG Chemicals: 0.34 mm
Loctite: 0.32 mm
Chemtronics: 0.30 mm
All within +-0.02 mm of 0.32 mm, or less than 7% difference.

All are Rosin fluxed, and all work well, certainly better than any "Goot wick" or similar you will buy from China.
 

Offline wagon

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2016, 11:33:48 pm »
I burn through about 10 rolls a year, of the 7.5m spools.  Chemtronics is by far the best I've tried, and I won't touch anything else.  The cheap stuff will waste your time and probably damage components and pcb tracks.
Hiding from the missus, she doesn't understand.
 

Offline charlespax

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2016, 04:55:28 pm »
How long before someone crowdfunds smart solder wick?
 

Offline wagon

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2016, 06:32:14 am »
How long before someone crowdfunds smart solder wick?
Smart?  What?
Hiding from the missus, she doesn't understand.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2016, 07:04:13 am »
There is only one desoldering braid that works properly : Chemtronics.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS CRAP.

Trust me on this one... or prove me wrong by sending me the one you think is better. I have tried at least 30 different brands in my life.
Chemtronics beats all of em.

loctite is the only other brand ive found even comes close.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2016, 09:11:24 am »
Any crappy wick will work for bulk solder removal as long as it isn't tarnished and you use enough flux and an iron that can deliver enough power to the tip, but I think the difference that makes Chemtronics stand out for cleaning up smaller joints is the closeness of the weave.  It relies on capillary action to pull the solder into the wick, and to get the joint really clean, the distance between strands in the wick weave needs to be less than the gaps you are trying to clear solder from in the joint.

The other issue is technique - you actually need a little solder at the very end of the wick to get good rapid heat transfer to the joint, but once the wick has absorbed solder that length is 'dead'.  You really need to trim the end after *EVERY* use for best results, bending it to find the end of the solder saturated section, which is often much further up the wick than you would think from the surface appearance, then snipping it about half a bit's width towards the end from where it bent to retain a very short solder loaded section for better heat conduction and rapid wetting.
 

Offline Richard Head

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2016, 10:31:23 am »
I constantly snip off the saturated wick when it gets to about 15-20mm.
 

Offline charlespax

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2016, 06:51:48 pm »
How long before someone crowdfunds smart solder wick?
Smart?  What?

Some sort of Arduino-compatible IoT smart solder wick that supports cloud-based technology solutions. Wireless is a must.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 11:54:08 pm by charlespax »
 
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Offline wagon

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Re: desoldering braid
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2016, 11:19:57 pm »
How long before someone crowdfunds smart solder wick?
Smart?  What?

Some sort of Arduino-compatible IoT smart solder wick that support cloud-based technology solutions. Wireless is a must.
USB3.0 support too?
Hiding from the missus, she doesn't understand.
 


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