Solder: 60/40 vs 63/37

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KR2D, Dec 10, 2011.

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  1. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    My son asked Santa for his very own 1 pound spool of Kester 44 for Christmas. Both of us have only used 60/40, so we have no direct experience with 63/37. Is there any benefit to 63/37 over 60/40?

    This is for general purpose hobby use. He is into audio equipment, so it would be used for connectors, printed circuit boards, point-to-point wiring, etc.
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the eutectic is over-blown. I've used both for many years and have not noticed any difference.

    Just don't get the lead-free junk.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    For years Kester 44 (60/40) has been the stuff that others are judged against. Buy him 2 spools :) 1 standard diameter for general purpose wiring etc along with one of the the smaller diameter spools for ease of control (not gob up a couple of nearby pads.....)

    A butane iron would be a nice addition for soldering speaker wires "out in the field" (they also come with little blow torch tips that work fine for heat shrink and are refilled with common butane lighter fuel.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  4. KA9UCN

    KA9UCN Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my opinion and yours may be different. 63/37 has a very limited plastic range. I find it questionably better on a printed PCB were you want to get in and out in minimal time. Only then and only rarely I find it better than 60/40.
    I like the 60/40 in all most every application. It flows better and becomes a solid during cooling more consistently . As I said it is just my opinion but I have 1 role of 63/37 on the back of the bench and several roles of 60/40 in reach.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean you can even FIND solder containing Pb (Lead?) WOW! Buy what you can (preferably 60%Tin, 40% Lead, or 60/40, a QST article notwithstanding [before their correction.]) while 60/40 is still available, at slightly less than the price of Gold, and becomes Unobtanium.
  6. KB3LIX

    KB3LIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Contrary to the others,
    I would stick with the eutectic 63/37.
    The idea behind the 63/37 is that it goes directly from liquid
    to solid. The plastic state is virtually non-existant.

    I use ONLY 63/37.
  7. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio Shack has lead solder and it's great stuff. I think it is really Kester 60/40.
  8. W8JI

    W8JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've tried it all, and the 60/40 with wrap 2 or 3 (activated flux 2% or 3%) is where I keep landing.
  9. W2BBQ

    W2BBQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    NEITHER !!!

    C'mon guys, git wit this century will ya? [​IMG]

    Try the 2% Silver Bearing electrical solder. For goodness' sakes Radio Shack even sells it although in a small roll - small diameter. I bought a 1 pound roll of 2% on eBay a few years ago, use it all the time and no where near 1/4 used yet. I hope it's a 10 year + supply for me.

    The silver bearing flows easier, sticks better and is a better electrical connection than any non-silver. Give it a'll never use anything else.

    If I can read the tiny print on this label, what I have is Kester Tin 62 Lead 36 Silver 2 Diameter .031 Catalog # 24-7150-7402

    Good luck
  10. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of the clubs I belong to has there meetings at St. Thomas collage , along with there club and each meeting we have guest speakers talk about things that may interest the members .
    A couple meetings ago , the Prof of the electronics lab talked about solder , in the power point there were many , I do not remember , about 20 or alloys of solder and his main point was to use the 63/37 because of being plastic for so short of time .

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