Choosing the right Desoldering Braid

Sometimes it may be time-consuming to remove excess solder on the circuit board. Desoldering Braid (also known as “wick”) is an inexpensive and effective way to clean unwanted solder. Knowing this, how do you choose the right desoldering braid for your project needs?

  1. Match Flux Type to your cleaning process
  • Rosin - Rosin fluxed braid has the fastest wicking action, but does leave behind residues that need to be throughly cleaned.
  • No clean - No clean fluxed braid is ideal when cleaning isn’t practical or possible. After desoldering, it only remains a clear and non-ionic residue.
  • Lead Free - This braid contains no clean flux and can heat up quickly, so it prevents heat stress to components at higher lead-free temperature.
  • Unfluxed - When specified flux or aqueous flux is needed, you can add your own flux to this unfluxed braid. Unfluxed braid will not remove any solder unless flux is added.
  1. Static sensitive application or not
  • For working around static sensitive applications, it recommends to use static dissipative (or ESD-safe) wick, because when a roll of wick are packaged in insulative plastic spools, it will have a risk of charge generation.
  1. Braid width
  • It is better that the braid width is closely to the size of solder join or contact point.
    Smaller widths won’t remove enough solder efficiency. Larger widths requires more time to heat and may interfere with other components on the circuit board.

Below is an example how to use desoldering braid to remove components.

I’d recommend a Solder Pump (aka “Solder Sucker”) - these are really inexpensive and amazing to use.

I used a pump similar to part # 243-1182-ND but we have lots of different options available! Link below to the pumps: