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I need to solder ESD-sensitive components. Can I get rid of my ESD wrist strap if my tweezers are anti-static?

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No.

"Anti-static" tweezers serve a different purpose than a wrist strap. A wrist strap keeps your BODY from building up a charge which can damage a component.

Antistatic tweezers provide a "controlled" way of equalizing the charge between your hand and the component. So that it doesn't "zap" the component.

If you disconnect the wrist strap, it allows your body to build up a charge. And that almost makes the tweezers (of whatever kind) even MORE potentially dangerous.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ anti static tweezers are conducting?? \$\endgroup\$ – Sparkler May 4 '16 at 3:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ They are "static-dissipative" which means they are conducting, but with a high resistance so that they DISSIPATE any differential charge safely without proving a low-impedance path that produces an arc. Even an arc that you can't see, hear or feel is enough to destroy many components. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard Crowley May 4 '16 at 3:52
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The ESD wrist strap grounds you, unless the ESD tweezers have a cable going to ground as well, they're not going to offer the same kind of protection

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  • \$\begingroup\$ These tweezers would have a high internal resistance, so as long as you don't touch the components directly, it would be safe to handle them -- however putting them down afterwards on a surface that has a low resistance connection to ground would be bad. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Richter May 4 '16 at 3:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, so they'd help, but not as much, could always run some wire from the tweezers to ground, homemade Grounded ESD tools... \$\endgroup\$ – Sam May 4 '16 at 3:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I though that by using antistatic tweezers I don't need to be grounded because charge won't get transferred to the component anyway... \$\endgroup\$ – Sparkler May 4 '16 at 3:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Antistatic tweezers just have a high resistance (as opposed to a pair of metal ones), this reduces the effect of static but doesn't prevent it. To get rid of static charge, you need somewhere to dump it (the earth connection being a popular choice). The high resistance will limit the peak current that can flow during a static discharge but it won't prevent it. As Richard Crowley said, the tweezers serve a different purpose \$\endgroup\$ – Sam May 4 '16 at 3:49
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No.

While it is better than nothing, it still doesn't provide equal potential, so there is still a chance of accidentally breaking components.

If you find wrist straps annoying, there are ESD chairs as an alternative.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please re-read the question. I have edited it to make the answer to the title the same as the body. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO May 4 '16 at 3:52

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