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I'm not asking about the safety of which solder, I'm asking about which type of solder would be best for my purposes

I'm a novice electronic hobbyist and I just want to know what composition of solder should I get that will do the job the best, for the best price. There are many different compositions of solder wire and I really don't know which would be best for some simple circuit soldering.

If someone could breakdown what solder they would get for hobbyist purpose, could you let me know. In addition could you breakdown what metal composition of leaded solder, lead free, and tin-lead, would be suffice for my purposes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Rosin core 63/37. I use Multicore 362 myself. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Rosin core so it doesn't chew through the leads or traces, and 63/37 so that it melts easily. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 20:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ (1) What they say (2) Summary - use a good brand of tin-lead solder of AROUND 60/40. Having a small amount of Silver does no harm and may help (and costs $) BUT do not use leasd free solder to start Lead free is used in Europe and many other locations due to ROHS requirements BUT is harder to use and will cause you more problems to start. Later when you know why you want to you can enter the lead-less battle. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 23:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ || It is highly likely that you can breathe all the smoke you wish from soldering and not suffer lead poisoning problems as the vapour pressure is very low even when liquid BUT breathing resin smoke is not certain to allow you to live long and prosper (but it may) even though some smells very nice indeed - so a simple fan or ventilation system does no harm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding lead, here is something to think about: someone somewhere is shooting ducks or rabbits with lead pellets as we write this, and will having them for dinner later. Maybe roasted over a campfire: a nice segue to the topic of burning resins! Say, I wonder how many hours of soldering are equivalent to one evening sitting around a campfire. Electronic tinkering vs. outdoorsmanship: not so different! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaz
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 23:35

2 Answers 2

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A hobbyist isn't constrained by rules like ROHS or anything. Your only constraints are your soldering iron, and the availability of getting solder.

63/37 Tin/Lead Rosin Core is a relatively low temperature, easy to use, easy to find solder commonly used by hobbyists. Choose the size depending on what you are going to solder (the bigger the parts, the larger the solder you want). 60/40 Tin/Lead is also commonly used. You can try 62/36/2 Tin/Lead/Silver if you want to get fancy.

Best advice, don't sweat the small stuff :D

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The benefit of tin/lead is that it melts as lower temperatures than lead-free solder, and thus you have less risk of toasting the components you're working with. I would highly recommend using tin/lead for beginner hobbyist projects. I use 62/36/2 tin/lead/silver from Radio Shack, but there's really no difference between that and 63/37. 63/37 is great because it's eutectic, too (has a melting point, rather than a temperature-range-of-smushiness.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In my experience the 63/37 is less strong but more ductile. The 62/36/2 is stronger and more rigid. IOW, the former is good for hookup wires, through-hole components, and stuff that might get flexed. I use the latter mostly for SMD components and for soldering (magnet/wire-wrap) wire directly onto SMD IC leads. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 4:51

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