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This is a my first foray into building electronics. I am building a project that uses chip/SMD LEDs and resistors. What type of soldering kit should I be using for those devices?

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marked as duplicate by Ricardo, Scott Seidman, Michael Karas, W5VO Mar 8 '15 at 22:01

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your first time and you're doing SMD components? Good luck! \$\endgroup\$ – DoxyLover Mar 7 '15 at 19:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I second this ^. If you have no soldering experience starting off with smds is a Bad Idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Vladimir Cravero Mar 7 '15 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you could clarify the components the project uses or provide a link to it? While the possible duplicate has some good answers if you're talking about say 0603/0805, SOIC and similar packages other than a good soldering iron you won't need much at all and it'll help someone give you a more focused answer. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Mar 8 '15 at 3:47
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Are you using SMD parts because you need to keep the the size of a board to a minimum? If not, there are often through-hole parts that provide the same functionality. Obviously in you case, the resistors and LEDs, but there might be other ICs as well. You don't have to use SMD parts for everything just because you have to for a couple, for example one or two ICs that you can't get in a through-hole package at all.

That said, a good soldering station for SMD work that is a fraction of the cost of most others is the Hakko FX888D. You can get one from SparkFun for $100. I worked for a company that got these for all the engineers because they didn't want to spend four times as much on a Weller.

enter image description here

You will probably want to buy some extra tips in different sizes. I suggest getting a T18-I-T18; it has an extremely fine tip (0.2mm).

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The next step up for working with SMD parts is a stereo microscope; the minimum for a decent one used to be around $700 but they are now appearing at half that price. The important thing is to get one with a boom, like the one below, so it can swing out over your PCB. If you are going to be doing a lot of SMD work in the future, and can justify the cost, you won't believe how much easier it is to work with.

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I have never heard of a soldering "kit" per-se, but here are the ways that I solder SMD components.

My favorite for SMD is soldering paste, then heated in a toaster oven. (Be sure not to put food in the toaster afterwards!) http://www.instructables.com/id/Toaster-Oven-Reflow-Soldering-BGA/

Followed in close second is doing it by hand with a variable temperature soldering iron. (I like wellers) http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Solder-SMD-ICs-the-easy-way/

I prefer to use 60/40 solder & solder paste.

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All you need to know is addressed in Dave Jones dev video blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5Sb21qbpEQ

He also mentions Hakko and many more tools and techniques. It is worth watching his tutorials, not only for beginners.

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