I'm a complete noob at soldering. I want to assemble Adafruit's Raspberry Pi Cobbler as shown here: http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-pi-cobbler-kit/solder-it

These instructions fail to mention what type of solder one should buy. Any suggestions for solder for electronics?


Anything really if it is a home project. 60/40 Tin Lead is really easy to work with and is your off-the-shelf choice. This only becomes an issue if you plan on selling your Cobbler. In this case you may need to go to lead-free solder depending on your country rules and regulations.

If this is your first time, pick up some solder wick (you'll need it) and either buy solder with a flux-core or buy some flux separately.

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    \$\begingroup\$ And never use ACID core (plumbing type solder) it will eat your board. \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Feb 27 '13 at 17:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even if one goes with the solder with flux-core, I think it is still prudent to use extra flux. Applying flux on the pads, terminals, connectors, wires prior to soldering, gets a much better quality solder. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Feb 27 '13 at 17:33

For general electronics soldering, get 60/40 wire solder with rosin core. 800 µm is a good general purpose diameter, although in some cases you may want smaller for fine work.

Note that in some parts of the world solder containing lead is not allowed. None of the alternatives are as nice a lead/tin solder. As a hobbyist, use lead/tin solder if you can. If you live in Europe or California or anyplace else this is banned, don't try to sell equipment built with lead solder. For personal use, don't worry about it if you can get it in the first place.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So what are the implications of selling a lead solder board to someone in California? We talking jail time? or just a fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Jake Robinson Feb 27 '13 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jake: None for you if you aren't in California. It's then the person who is buying it's problem. However, the authoroties might be able to confiscate units with lead in them before they reach the buyer, which would make it your problem. However, unless you are a real business doing real volumes, this won't be a issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 27 '13 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ sirris.be/uploadedFiles/SIRRIS/Subsites/ROHS/… \$\endgroup\$ – spearson Feb 27 '13 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, why recommend 60/40 over 63/37? 63/37 has a sharper phase transition due to the eutectic and I've found it easier to solder with. \$\endgroup\$ – helloworld922 Feb 27 '13 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hell: It is more available and seems to be what most people use. Yes, eutectic solder is fine too. In practise, there isn't much difference between 60/40 and eutectic to a hobbyist. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 27 '13 at 20:11

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