4 Types of Soldering: The Last Guide You Need on Soldering

It’s in our nature to explore and push everything around us to the limit.

Experimenting is one of the ways to do it, but there is another method that helps, too.

And that’s by merging two things!

In doing so, it helps us tread into new territories we never knew even existed in the first place!

Like the many, many ways of merging stuff!

And soldering is one of those ways!

So, what are the different types of soldering?

What is Soldering?

So, fusing two different metal components is what you’re supposed to do in soldering, except you’ll be using solder to do that.

Compared to welding and using an electrode, this solder is what you’d consider a filler metal because it has a lower melting point if you compare it to your base metal.

Through this melted solder, you’ll have this joining two pieces of metal together. Think of it like glue, but much more permanent!

Here, all you need to melt down is that filler metal, while welding has you melting the base metal itself.

There’s one thing welding and soldering have in common, though, and that’s having different types of processes to fall back on depending on the base material you’ll be using!

Types of Soldering

Soft Soldering

This is what you’d normally see done by electricians who tinker with intricate equipment, like computer components.

Having a low temperature here is key to joining metal for soft soldering, but not too low that it’s freezing! 

Because the solder used here is an alloy that normally has tin and lead in it, it has a melting point below 350 degrees Celsius, hence the need for a lower temperature.

At this temperature, the tin-lead will get all soft that it’ll melt to the points where you want the two pieces to join together using a heat gun or a regular soldering iron!

But the ease you have in soft soldering is a double-edged sword.

Sure, it’s easy to melt down your filler metal while soldering, but that also means its low melting point makes for sensitive joints.

And joints like these don’t belong to any industrial, construction-level setting that amps up the heat!

Not only the heat but soft soldering of whatever equipment there won’t be enough to handle anything too heavy because, well, it’s soft!

Therefore, soft soldering is perfect for handling more detailed stuff than anything else.

multiple types of soldering

Hard Soldering

On the other hand, a higher temperature is what you need for hard soldering.

Any degree higher than 450 Celsius will cook your solder nicely because it’s either made out of extra tough materials, like brass or silver. 

And that temperature’s high enough where mere tin-lead solders would’ve melted, for sure!

Because materials like these are way sturdier than tin or lead, a simple heat gun can’t do much other than warm them up a little.

That’s why a blowtorch or a furnace is your best bet in melting down your solder!

Now, those two things are vastly different from each other; that’s obvious enough, right?

Well, that’s why there are two kinds of hard soldering!

Silver Soldering

So we all know that silver’s just not something you use anywhere all willy-nilly.

You don’t see it used much in an industrial setting, at least.

That’s because this is more for smaller details!

I suppose you can consider this as one side of the coin with soft soldering at the opposite end.

A blowtorch would be your ideal weapon of choice in battling a silver solder!

Although it’s WAY hotter than your usual soldering iron, you have full control over its heat far better than anywhere else.

And control is what you’ll need to fix up small, intricate fittings, like jewelry!

Therefore, not only will it be a controlled heat, but it’s also a clean process throughout the entire soldering process!

However, silver doesn’t have a great track record at filling in the gaps.

But that doesn’t mean it’s poor at flowing in the direction you want it to go! Only for sealing things over, anyway.

That’s why if you’re looking for thoroughness that’s able to fill out even the tiniest gaps, trying out a variety of fluxes to find that precise silver solder will do you wonders!

different types of soldering

Brazing

Whereas silver soldering requires precision, brazing has a rougher treatment on its metals. Think of it as tough love.

Here, you’ll be using the highest temperatures yet (higher than 450 degrees Celsius!) because the filler metal you’re going to work with is part of the big leagues: brass, copper, nickel, you name it!

So that already sends out the message that you mean business!

Just like with the rest of the soldering types in this list, heat at this level can melt your metal filler, quickly and easily.

So what exactly makes this any different from the others?

Now, blowtorches can work in brazing, sure, but if you compare those to furnaces? Molten salt vats?

Well, it’s easy to say that extreme heat is their middle name!

Here, the joint between the base metal and filler metal is clean and done much more thoroughly if you compare it to silver soldering.

The filler serves as the missing piece between the two metal pieces because, once those metals solidify from their liquid, melted state, they’ll create a bond far stronger than what the other soldering types can ever manage to do!

Therefore, you can consider brazing the toughest, most solid soldering out of this list when it can handle anything you throw its way; be it something as heavy-weight as construction equipment to iron-wrought bed frames. 

Final Words

Soldering is a practice that got passed down from generation to generation, lifetime after lifetime, because of how effective the process of joining two unjoinable things together is.

Then, we reach the present, and there’s plenty of technology to go around in helping this process along!

By soldering two pieces of metal together, any professional welder out there can claim that this has a far stronger and longer-lasting bond that can outlast relationships that crashed and burned throughout your entire life!

But of course, as soldering improved, many types branched out of it to fulfill a specific purpose because, well, not all metal alloys have the same blueprint!

Here, you’ve learned how soft and hard soldering differed from each other.

Hopefully, this article gave light on which one you’ll want to practice when training to be an expert!

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