If you’ve got a soldering iron, there’s a good chance that you’re going to use it for a desoldering task at one time or another.
A “solder sucker,” or desoldering pump, is basically a hand-powered vacuum, designed to rapidly draw in small amounts of molten solder. A cheap one will do for once-in-a-while desoldering, but for more frequent use, you’ll want something better.
I had some soldering and desoldering work to do today, and out came my Engineer Inc SS-02 solder sucker. I have tried a couple of desoldering tools over the years, and this is one of the nicest ones out there.
What’s unique about the Engineer Solder Sucker desoldering tool is that it has silicone tubing as a tip, instead of the usual hard plastic nozzle. It also comes with an extra length of clear tubing to cut replacement tips from, and you can buy more if or when need more.
It’s small – around 6″ long, and easy to use.
To operate the Engineer Solder Sucker, you press down on the red plunger until it locks. Apply heat to the solder you wish to remove, and once it’s molten, position the Solder Sucker tip over the solder and press the side release button for quick suction.
The flexible tip helps to create a tighter seal over the solder, compared to hard plastic tips or nozzles. It does a really good job, although there are still times when a desoldering braid can help with final clean-up. And, although the Solder Sucker has a self-cleaning shaft, there are times when I need to pull the tip and clear out a small clog.
The SS-02 is made in Japan.
I bought mine back in 2013, and it’s still going great, although I don’t desolder all that often.
If you’re looking for something different, I also like the Edsyn USA-made Soldapult ($24 via Amazon).