Tweeze Your Way To Soldering Success!

Soldering, for those of us who spend a lot of time at an electronics bench, is just one of those skills we have, in the way that a blacksmith can weld or a tailor can cut clothing. We have an uncommon skill with hot metal and can manipulate the tiniest of parts, and incidentally our chopstick skills aren’t that bad as a consequence, either.

But even the best with a soldering iron can find useful tips from an expert, and that’s where [Mr SolderFix] comes in. His channel is chock-full of soldering advice, and in his latest video he takes a look at tweezers. They’re a part of the solderer’s standard kit and we all have several pairs, but it’s fair to say that we don’t always have the right pair to hand.

It was refreshing to hear him confirm that a good pair of tweezers, once a certain quality threshold has been met, need not necessarily be the most expensive set. We’ve certainly seen expensive tweezers with suspiciously bendy ends, and have found random AliExpress purchases which have stood the test of time. He also makes the point about which situations a set of tweezers with serrated heads might be more useful, and he demonstrates with a crystal oscillator.

As with photography though, we’d observe that sometimes the best set of tweezers to rectify a mishap are the ones in your hand. If you’re interested in more from [Mr SolderFix], we’ve featured his work more than once in the past. When he showed us how to lift SMD pins, for example.

25 thoughts on “Tweeze Your Way To Soldering Success!

    1. on behalf of the English language, I apologize, but this sounds perfectly normal and correct to me (and, I think, most people). Tweezers are in that odd class of plural nouns that define functionally singular items as “a pair” – “a pair of tweezers” is fine, as is “a pair of scissors”, “a pair of pants”, “a pair of glasses”, “a pair of forceps”, “a pair of tongs” … there is at least *some* logic to this, as they tend to be things with two fairly symmetrical parts, with a particular focus on clothing and tools.

      to make things more confusing, “set”, as in “set of tweezers”, “set of forceps”, is less common but also used in some dialects of English. It’s even more problematic since it’s ambiguous – a “set of forceps” could be a pair or forceps or several pairs – and because for some reason it only works with *some* of these words. As far as I know you would never say “set of scissors” or “set of pants” to refer to one pair of scissors or pants.

    2. According to “The noun tweezers is plural only. The plural form of tweezers is also tweezers.” says, “Tweezers is one of those words—like pliers, pants, and scissors—that are always spoken of as a pair, despite being a single object.”

      (Let’s not even think about sheep right now!l

      If it was just a forgotten “s”, it must be fixed now ’cause I see that letter at the end of the word. That or Citizen Bulldog Proofreader wanted to let us all know how much he knew.

      CBProofreader sure did that!

  1. The one tweezer for doing everything doesn’t exist.

    I have three Wiha tweezers, each one with different tip size and strength required to handle them.
    The softest one (Wiha 44531) is only for the smallest surface mount components, where a lot of force would just make a 0201 resistor just shoot into the distance and never to be found. it is absolutely perfect for this application.
    The two harder ones are for larger ICs and for handling wires when they get soldered to the boards.

  2. Mr.Solderfix is great, been watching his videos for the last year or so and they’re so well done, so much good content and not filled with fluff either, just good, honest advice with well shot videos, so refreshing.

  3. Summary, to save you 11minutes of your life…
    Thin tips allow you to use tweezers on closely mounted SMD components.
    Curved tips allow you to “come down over” big components like SMD electrolytics
    Gripping tip allow you to work with big components like crystal oscillators
    News follows at 10.

  4. By far the best tweezers I’ve ever used are the titanium alloy ones which were originally intended for surgery. Unlike nearly every ‘stainless steel, anti-magnetic’ BS pair of tweezers I’ve encountered, the tips never magnetize because they can’t!

    Additionally, the alloy they use tends to be much stiffer than steel so you can really grip small parts with needle fine tipped tweezers. As an added bonus, they are super lightweight as well.

    I use the blue ones that have the knurled handles and a center alignment pin. I’m sure there’s a very specific name for them but if you just search for titanium tweezers on AliExpress you’ll see a lot of great options for rock bottom prices.

    1. Yes, you absolutely need titanium tweezers.

      The two most annoying things when working with SMD components: Flux residue on the tweezers (quite sticky) and magnetized tweezers (ditto). Chip resistors are very lightweight and often slightly magnetic, so they really like to stick to tweezers when they are even slightly magnetized. Flux residue can easily be burnt off with the soldering iron, but the magnetization persists, which is incredibly annoying and frustrating when working with small components.
      Titanium tweezers, while not exactly cheap, easily solve this problem. They were, by far, the best tool purchase I made for soldering. I only wish I would have bought a kit when they were less expensive than they are today. Apart from being objectively better than steel tweezers, they are also lighter and usually well-made, due to their high initial cost. I absolutely love mine.

      That being said, of course you need plenty of steel tweezers as well for everything else. Add a rubber band and you can use them to hold components in place or to attach them to component leads or components as weights for easier desoldering. I personally found that the super cheap tweezers just don’t cut it. Their material is flimsy, often not stainless steel, they’re badly manufactured etc. I’ve had luck with (probably genuine) Vetus tweezers, but if you’re spending less than about 5$ per piece, save your money, it’s just not worth it. Avoid their “ESD” tweezers when you’re not absolutely sure you’re buying from a reputable seller, most of them are laughably cheap knock-offs in my experience using really bad materials.

  5. If you would to know how to do almost anything to a circuit board get a copy of the IPC 7711/7721 Rework, Repair and Modification of Printed Curcuit boards. It is a great guide with procedures for almost any operation. I am the chair of this document and a US Navy 2M instructor.

  6. Two thoughts, in addition to tweezers, extra long exactly knife blades where my goto for moving components around, along with mixing anything except a newly opened container of solder paste, with about 25% fresh Flux. Plus an exacto knife helps with placing the same amount of paste under pads if your dealing with a 16 pad or less bga.

  7. Also, don’t be afraid to modify your tools to your preference. I often find that cheap tweezers are manufactured very imprecisely. However, that is nothing a file and some sanding paper can’t fix.

  8. I’ve found the wax pencils used by nail technicians also useful, as they don’t exhibit pinch-and-fly, and picked components are easy to orient by twisting the pencil. Especially nice for picking directly from reels.

    1. Got a link or more info? I can’t really picture what a nail technician does or why they would need a “wax pencil” Is that the same as a grease pencil aka china marker?

  9. When it comes to tweezers, I can no longer live without a pair of

    VOMM 12 SA SMD tweezers

    In my opinion there is no tweezers even getting close to the precision and utility of this model in SMD (re-)work. I’d encourage everyone to try these.

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