What is the best desoldering pump? Years ago when I was a trainee technician at university the solder pump was the first method of desoldering I was taught. Recently I needed to buy a desolder pump or solder sucker as they are also known. I was rather disappointed with what was available and how poor some of them were. It seems the original pump I had was the best desoldering pump. It was time to do a little investigating.
A solder sucker is a device to desolder. If you’ve soldered something and you need to get it out you’re going to need something to remove the solder and to be honest, of all the desoldering techniques, I find this the most effective. There are two main types of manual desoldering pumps available. First there’s the bulb type, which seems almost impossible to find available in the U.K. Secondly there’s the tube version. Both are used to remove molten solder by suction.
You press in the plunger, which then locks. Hold the solder sucker in your left hand and your thumb over the release button. With the soldering iron in your right hand apply the tip to the joint to be desoldered. As the solder begins to melt introduce the Teflon tip of the solder sucker into the molten solder and press the button with your thumb. Be careful not to get your face too close to the rear of the tool. Although it’s partially guarded it can still hurt. Don’t force the tip into the solder as you press the release button as rough use can damage the solder pads on the board. If all’s gone well you should have removed the solder from the joint. If not you can try again to take off what’s remaining. Sometime though it’s easier to apply more solder and then try.
My favourite way to desolder is to use the desoldering pump first and if that doesn’t completely remove all of the solder I use desoldering braid. See the article here about using desolder braid.
After trying to find a replacement for my old Weller solder sucker I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of poor desoldering pumps on the market. While looking around the products available on Amazon I bought a standard model. Although it does work and removes solder it is nowhere near as good as the old Weller one. Hardly ever does it totally remove all the solder. I think it’s probably down to the teflon tip. The hole seems to be a lot larger than that of my Weller. There are a lot of desolder pumps available at ridiculous prices. I haven’t tried any of these but would guess they are pretty poor.