I need to solder header connector dedicated for SMT on my control PCB. My problem is that I have only standard soldering iron and I don't have a rework station. Please, can somebody tell me whether it is possible to solder SMD by soldering iron? If it is possible what is the best practice how to do that? Thank you in advance.

The part I want to solder is:

enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Usually yes, so long as you can get the iron onto all of the pins / pads of the header. Can you add a picture of the header or a link to its datasheet? \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve G
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 7:48
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ You might be interested in watching a few smd soldering techniques videos on youtube, like those from eevblog. It not only is possible, it is my personal favorite, due to being able to reduce stress to adjacent parts much better. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SteveG I am going to solder following connector link. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Steve it's better to add more detail to your question by editing the question than in comments. I've added an image from the link you provided. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those can be easily soldered by hand, pin by pin. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


My method is used widely. I use a 25W iron with a 'standard' tip. Position the item to be soldered accurately, and 'tack' diagonally opposite pins, 1st one diagonal, then the other. Then starting from one end pin, run solder over ALL of the pins on one side. Apply de-solder braid in line with the pins and re-heat with the soldering iron, moving the braid away from the item. Repeat using fresh braid, until all excess solder removed. Pause briefly to let the item cool a little, then do other side(s). Buzz out adjacent connections to check for shorts. Practise on some scrap/non-essential items before attempting soldering expensive ones!

  • \$\begingroup\$ The result from this can look pretty good, too! I'd like to add that just learning how to use a solder braid/wick can take some practice. It's well worth learning, however. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 11:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if in doubt, add gratuitous amounts of flux and re-heat. That should bubble away any bridges between pins. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fritz
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 12:59

This shouldn't be a problem. The key is to solder down ONE and ONLY ONE pin, and then reheat the solder until all the pins and pads line up correctly. Be careful about trying to adjust position when the solder is solid, as you have enough of a moment arm to torque the pad right off of the PCB with very little force.

Once all the pads and pins are aligned, solder the rest. Use flux, and don't dally with the iron on the pads.


If there is a central ground pad or inner rows of pins then you can't use a soldering iron. Beyond that just about any other SMT part can be soldered by hand.

You need a fine tip on the soldering iron, one of those bucket sized ones that is great for through hole work isn't going to cut it. Some solder wick, extra flux and cleaning solvent of some sort (e.g. isopropanol) are also a big help.

Beyond that it's mainly practice, don't expect to be able to do a neat job first time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Needing fine tips is quite a personal/relative thing. I use a quite large tip for soldering even the smallest pitch SMDs (MLF/QFNs). \$\endgroup\$
    – Wesley Lee
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with a large tip is that you can't get into the corners for parts with leadless packages. That and for the 0.5mm pitch parts it's impossible to touch up a single pin in the middle of the row. Yesterday I had to hack two 0402 parts onto adjacent pins of an 0.8mm pitch leadless part, I wouldn't want to try that without a fine tip. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @andrew: right, but these headers look like 2mm spacing or even 2.54, I can do those with a soldering gun (the heavy trafo-based beast). \$\endgroup\$
    – frr
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 14:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @frr Agreed. The part details & pictures weren't there when I replied. Those things should be easy with just about anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 14:23

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