Let's Make Robots!

Lead free soldering?

Hi all,

after buying all tools and ordering all parts to build my first robot, the only thing I still need is a soldering station.
I didn't know about lead free solder a couple days ago. And now that I know I'm asking me is it really that unhealthy to consider lead free soldering? Can I use the same soldering stations for lead free solder?

Is there a good soldering station available for around 50$?

Thank  you. 

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I have recently switched to lead free solder. I have tried a couple of different solders and i found that the flux makes a big difference, i am currently useing chip quick lead free solder and i can honestly say that i find it easier to get a good joint with the chip quick solder than i did with the old lead solder i used to use. My workmates all agree with the above aswell. Only downsides i can think off are that you need to have the iron hotter so it would be easier for an inexperienced solderer to damage a fragile board and the soldering iron tips dont last aslong, probably due to the increased temperature.

Honestly lead solder is easier to work with then lead-free solder. Also, lead never reaches its evaporating temperature while soldering so all you have to do is wash your hands after handling it. Also don't forget ventilation (anything home-made will do) as I have made the mistake of soldering in my room (I did that for like half a year). Eventually my eyes got irritated, but it only lasted a day. I don't know what might've happened to my lungs though.

If your not sure .... go lead free (i thought most are Pb free anyhow these days) ..... mini extractor fan and good ventilation......

Looks like I'll stay with the Lead soldering.

As I want a Weller, with which one of the followings would you go:



The price difference isn't to big. 
And should I buy an additional  sized tip? Maybe a thin one?

I believe lead-free solder requires more flux to make a good connection, so there will be more potentially harmful fumes. However, the benefit is of course that you don't use lead, a toxic element. I personally use lead solder, but am just careful to wash my hands real good after handling it.

replace one harmful substance with another or why not two even? I saw a study where the chemicals(HFC's) they used to replace CFC's are now suspected to be 4000 times as worse a greenhouse gas than CO2. Personally for my own stuff I still use lead solder. But yeah, if it was for production then I'd consider the change. Either way we're all screwed.