Do you need to use soldering flux?

by David L.
(Bellflower, CA, USA)

Do you need to use soldering flux with the copper soldering wire as you would with common lead/tin solder and what effect will ferric chloride have on lead/tin solder?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dave!

Lead/tin solder is a very low temp solder most commonly used in electronics. I have never used it and doubt I ever will. As Ferric Chloride will disolve or damage lead, I don't recommend using it on anything that has been soldered using a lead/tin solder like copper circuit boards. Ferric chloride is commonly used to etch copper circuit boards before any soldering is done to them.

Some solders have flux in them and don't "require" the use of flux. But regardless, I always thoroughly clean and then apply flux the metal to be joined before soldering. I find the whole soldering experience to go more smoothly with a better result when I do.

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