How to Pick a Tip for a Soldering Iron

Learn how to pick a soldering tip for a soldering iron from expert Jeff Koskulics in this Howcast video.

There’s a wide variety of tips that you can choose from in your soldering project. A typical tip that might be useful for general purpose use would be a screwdriver tip with a small screwdriver. This has a flat, 2 flat sides that comes to a chiseled point and that flat side can be useful for resting up against the flat side of a large component such as an integrated circuit or a resistor leg.

But often times you’re dealing with more delicate parts or parts that are hard to reach. In which case you might want a longer tip with a long conical style shape such as this.

For fine work, you may choose a screwdriver tip with a smaller point. A good general purpose tip is the conical tip with a large cone radius. And for heavier work, a large screwdriver.

And these tips are interchangeable by unscrewing the barrel on the iron. And starting out, you probably only need the tip that comes with the iron. It’s typically a tip like this, or maybe slightly larger, a screwdriver tip, and that’s good for general purpose use. As you become more proficient in soldering, and you get to more advanced projects such as service on devices, you may want something with a finer tip that allows you more precise control over where that heat goes. So a tip like this might be something you’d use further down the road.