Hand soldering is the simplest form of soldering there is, since it's about the furthest thing from complicated that there is. It's also the easiest form of soldering. Given the simplicity of hand soldering, there isn't too much that can be made a mess of.
Selective soldering, on the other hand, is much more complicated as there are so many parts to the process that are involved. We developed a brief guide to selective soldering if you are intersted in learning more.
Which soldering methiod should be employed?
It actually depends. Each and every soldering method is a tool, a way of accomplishing a task, and each is suited to particular tasks more than others. What method works best, therefore, depends entirely on what application it's being considered for.
Hand soldering is, naturally, the act of soldering two pieces of material - often but not always metal - together by means of liquefying a soft metal to weld the pieces together. It's a type of joinery that has been around in some form or another for thousands of years, as modern gas, plasma or other methods of welding were simply not available until recently.
As a result, soldering by hand is used to assemble a great many things. Pipes are welded together in plumbing. Soldering and primitive brazing were used in metallurgy until modern welding techniques were invented. To this day, stained glass pieces are joined together by means of solder; the art is in disguising the lines to make it appear as if this were not the case.
However, most hand soldering is the assembly of electrical components by hand. Components can be hand soldered to boards, or components to wiring. Modern irons have a diverse array of tips and thus are capable of incredible finery and precision.
Additionally, soldering can be done by seasoned hands under seasoned eyes, without requiring reprogramming or retooling. Certain applications require a craftsman's bespoke touch that automation simply cannot provide.
Selective soldering, on the other hand, is an automated process that is capable of something hand soldering just isn't: scale. It also isn't the case that selective soldering isn't capable of precision, as laser soldering systems are capable of greater precision than any human that has ever walked the earth could dream of.
In this regard, hand soldering is not a wise approach to an operation that produces significant volume.
A maker of budget computers for chain stores, for instance, cannot likely afford the space nor payroll required to hand solder the PCBs for thousands of PC towers. An automotive company or automotive supplier cannot afford the same when making control modules for a mass-market commuter sedan. These and other applications require larger numbers of units produced by selective soldering machines in a given time.
It is in this regard that selective soldering is not only more desirable, it is the ONLY way to produce and be competitive.
Each Soldering Method Has Their Place Though
A soldering method is a tool, and every tool has an ideal application. Therefore, pick the right tool for the job.
For instance, a company that hand-assembles bespoke guitar amplifiers to the demanding specifications of discerning or working professional musicians may be better off hand soldering, as their products may demand a craftsman's touch. The suppliers of circuit boards for budget brand tablet computers? Not so much.
If intersted take a look at how at wave soldering vs. selective soldering.
Consider what suits your operational needs the best. Consider what your operational needs are likely to become in the future. That will tell you what solutions that are best for you to pursue. If you do opt for a selective soldering machine then give us a call or email, with over 480+ installations we can find the appropriate solution for your soldering business needs.