Re: Hakko FR-301 alternatives?

Thomas Garson

Hello Jean-Paul,

Not to dissuade you from getting a good desoldering tool, but before you do that, get yourself some Chip Quik.

Chip Quik is very low temperature solder that readily alloys with normal solder when the two are melted together, thus drastically reducing the melting temperature of the resulting amalgam.

Once treated with Chip Quik, solder in a plated through hole, even in a 6 layer board, will stay molten long enough to suck it out or wick it at a temperature low enough to preclude significant damage to a quality PCB. It is often possible to gently remove a many legged through hole IC from a PCB using ChiQuick just by melting it into the solders and using a Wiha Ausheber.

My work includes rework DSP products that make extensive use of multi layer PCBs that mix through hole and SMD components. Chip Quik can be melted into those tiny flat pins on 100+ lead SMD LSI chips, again, allowing them to be removed, without physically damaging chip or pads, as all pin connections can be melted simultaneously as not destructive temperatures.

Once parts are removed, holes and pads can be easily cleaned with wick and retinned with regular alloy solder.

If I had to choose between a directed hot air desoldering station and Chip Quik, I would take the Chip Quik.

Thomas Garson
Aural Technology, Ashland, OR
By my calculation, the dynamic range of the universe is roughly 679dB,
which is approximately 225 bits, collected at a rate 1.714287514x10^23 sps.

On 1/7/20 4:49 AM, Jean-Paul wrote:
Hello all, this old EE has used solder wick and various spring loaded solder suckers, all are slow, and damage delicate PCBs. Due to maintenance, cost and bench space, I never got a rework station like the Pace. Now am restoring a number of TEK 2465/7B and 7000 plugins, so easily unsoldering components and ICs without board damage is a must.
Seems the Hakko FR-301 is highly regarded and gun style, needs no separate power supply/vacuum. (USA 120V model) But rather costly $250-350.
I have several other Hakko 926 (ancient analog control) irons quality and longevity is super.
I ask the Forums feedback on the Hakko, as well as lower cost alternatives.
Most of my work is thru hole, not SMD, perhaps 3-10 jobs in a year.

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