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The Weller blog has a nice write up of what a soldering tip is made up of – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. rdarlington says:

    I grew up with cheap junk RadioShack pencil irons and was taught to file them down to expose shiny copper and then to tin the copper. Well, one day I got to use a Metcal iron and noticed the tip was always wet, at most I had to wipe the tip on a moist sponge, etc. That was the day I learned about tip design and why a $7.00 iron is worthless for anything but wood burning projects. I urge any of you guys reading this to try a real iron some day, be it Metcal, Hakko, or Weller. Read the manufacturer instructions on tip care, and never, ever, ever file your tips!

  2. mrmeval says:

    Considering Weller has the most horrid tip life it’s more of a primer on how not to make a tip.

    Get a Metcal.