I need to replace a jack on one of my basses, so I ordered a soldering station from Amazon. I know 60/40 solder is recommended, but the station came with lead free tin/copper solder (99.3/.7). Anyone try using lead free? I know you have to use a hotter iron, not sure if I should wait until I get tin/lead or go forward with the lead free. The jack has a plastic casing around it which I don’t want to melt.
I use lead-free solder since at least 10-15 years, it’s very similar to leaded solder. you just have to adjust the temperature, as you would do with any solder.
If you don’t want to melt your plastic parts, it’s better to go fast, so you may want to set your temperature higher. The solder will melt faster and the heat won’t have time to transmit to the plastic parts.
Leaded solder melts around 180 deg C and the lead free stuff is about 220 Deg C. So a bit hotter but not by much.
To get some great tips on soldering watch this. It’s got everything you need to know.
I’ve used lead free for years.
I really, really prefer leaded but yeah - lead-free works fine, and if you have to desolder or reflow anything made since like 2000, it will be lead-free anyway.
I was able to get the jack replaced, but not very happy with the soldering station I bought. It came with “helping hands” attached, and even though the alligator clips were covered with plastic, it ate through and exposed one of my wires. Consequently, the wire that runs to the battery is really short now. Hopefully I won’t have to replace the jack again, but if I do, I will have to splice another wire to extend it. I can see how the solder with lead would be easier, it took awhile to heat up the solder points enough to melt the lead free solder (10 seconds?). Fifteen minute job took an hour