• Streamlining processes with enhanced features of the Hakko FX-100


    Hakko-FX-100-Soldering-StationMaking your job easier is a breeze when you have the right tools. In an industry where having a soldering tool that performs to the highest standard matters, the new Hakko FX-100 and T31 soldering tips complete the job. One of the newest members to the Hakko product family, this new technology stands out through the use of IE (induction heat) which allows the heat to reach the soldering tip efficiently and effectively.

    What does induction heat do?

    This helps the iron by working through a magnetic field that quickly changes through an electrical current to assist rapid heating of the tip, which comes in a variety of sizes. Although the Hakko-FX 100 is a soldering iron, the design and lightness of the device looks and works more like a handpiece.

    This new technology has additional enhancements:

     - Top-notch heat supply
     - No calibration needed
     - Power Assist function and backlit display
     - Password lockout
     - Programmable heating profiles
     - Great thermal recovery and responsiveness
     - Automatic detection of drops in temperature
     - Burn resistant cord

    The pre-set heat settings are helpful, and being able to program personalized heating profiles will same time and setup when having to change tip shapes or alloys. Another important safety feature is the tip sleep function. This will allow the reduction of heat while the device is not in use.

    The Hakko FX-100 is a great advancement in soldering iron systems, proven with each use. Streamline your processes through a new step in technological innovation that can make a huge difference in the way work is distributed and handled. The Hakko FX-100 can speed up wait times and provide a safer solution for soldering projects.

    For more information on the Hakko FX-100, T31 tips and increasing productivity, visit the site.

  • 5 Features of the Hakko FX-100 Performance Soldering Easier

    Hakko-FX-100-Soldering-StationThe Hakko FX-100 offers many excellent features that take performance soldering to the next level. Beyond offering a compact, sleek design, newer features make this model an excellent choice for those that want to make performance soldering easier.


    Feature #1 – Password Setting Options

    Password setting options make it possible for individuals to restrict setting changes on the Hakko FX-100, ensuring that important settings are not lost when multiple users use the machine. Several password settings allow you to restrict access to varying degrees.


    Feature #2 – User-Friendly Display

    Another feature that makes performance soldering easier is the user-friendly display offered by the Hakko FX-100. It boasts a large LCD display, making it easy to see settings. The power activity display is user selectable and allows individuals to program and save two different tip profiles.


    Feature #3 – Easy-to-Use Temperature Presets

    Instead of needing to manually set temperatures, easy-to-use temperature presets come standard on the machine, making it easy to choose the setting needed quickly. Not only does the machine come with presets, but those presets may be changed to suit the user’s specific needs.


    Feature #4 – Durable, Long-lasting Tips

    The tips featured by the Hakko FX-100 are of high quality and they are extremely durable and long-lasting. Tip life is prolonged by double plating and the durable, long-lasting tips offer better performance.


    Feature #5 – Warning for Low Temperatures

    Low temperatures lead to problems when performance soldering, and to avoid those issues, the machine offers a special warning when low temperatures are detected. The LCD screen displays an error message, ensuring that low temperatures are quickly detected.


    Although the Hakko FX-100 is a low cost device, it offers many features that not offer value and ease when performance soldering. Calibration is not required and the machine meets EMI standards, making it an excellent choice for many different types of soldering work.

    photoKimco Distributing is proud to be an authorized Hakko distributor.  If you have any questions concerning Hakko or any of the products we support, please call or email us.

  • 7 Critical Steps to Protect Your Electronics from ESD Damage

    ESD Static ControlESD or Electrostatic Discharge is described as the sudden exchange of electrical pulses between two objects. People, objects and electrical devices are carriers of static electricity. Walking across a carpeted area, picking up a poly bag from a bench or sitting in a urethane foam chair causes an electrical connection between the object and the person. This is also true of objects and electrical devices.

    Most major companies are not aware of the type of damage ESD can cause. Electrostatic Discharge is the “invisible” enemy that robs products of their quality, reliability and functionality. ESD can go unnoticed for months or even years, causing the company to replace sensitive and vital parts, such as circuit boards and sensors.

    7361017 Critical Steps Companies for Protecting Electronics and Operators from ESD

     1) Install or create a static free workplace. Create an area that is safe from electrostatic build up. This includes setting up workstations in non carpeted areas. Carpets are a conductor for electrical flow to generate. Tiled or concrete floors offer the best protection against electrical surges and static build up.

     2) Consider using an air ionizer if non static areas are not possible or available. Provide continuously maintenance to ions to ensure they are providing extra layers of protection by neutralizing the accumulation of electrostatic buildup.

     3) Provide education and training to personnel who work in close proximately with electrical devices and components.  In addition, Before operators are allowed to enter their work area, provide them with protective hand gear, such a wrist straps or antistatic top.

    4) Perform an audit of all equipment. When packing or storing Electrostatic devices, be sure to place equipment and components in static free protective bags and containers to prevent damage.

    5) When setting up new electrical equipment, be sure the devices are grounded properly. Use the proper wall outlets, surge protectors and wiring specifications to prevent electrical shock, and electrical discharge.

    6) When setting up work stations do not use desks, tables or other furniture that contain electrical conducive materials such as stainless stain, aluminum, or foil.

    746_17) Setup an In house Static Testing Center.  Prevention is cheaper than intervention on all levels. Onsite testing is less costly than outsourcing. Encourage workers to test their clothing, shoes and wrist straps before entering the work area. This will ensure that the workers will not discharge electrostatic waves, while they are working with sensitive devices.ThinkingEngineer

  • Choosing the Best Tools When Soldering with Lead Free Materials

    photoRecent trends in electronics and other areas have suggested that lead free solder is now more popular than lead options. This being said, it is important to first understand why lead free solder may be a more viable and useful option than other soldering methods.

    Lead has long been known to be toxic making it a difficult

    Lead Free

    material to work with. While it can be harmless in some applications, it can be incredibly toxic in other instances. With electronics and other items that we come in contact with every day, it is highly important that the use of toxic materials be limited to protect consumers.

    Lead free solder paste, lead free wire solder, and lead free compatible fluxes are also necessary. The Kester Lead Free solder paste is a great option that is fairly inexpensive. You will also need lead free solder masking agent like the one offered by Chemtronics Chemask.The European Union outlawed the use of lead in consumer goods in 2008 making it essential for users to find an alternative when it comes to soldering. Lead free alternatives are far more available than ever before as more and more people are switching to lead free alternatives. That being said, it may be necessary for users to find new tools in order to work with these lead free materials.

    Choosing something like the Hakko Lead Free solder pot FX301B-03 is a great place to start. Finding a lead free solder pot is the first step to making a successful transition. It is necessary to get a lead free solder pot as it will have different temperature settings, different gauges and more which could make lead free solder unstable and far less suitable for sturdy and durable solders.

    Still another item you may need is of course lead free solder itself. This can either be solder wire like the Kester 24-6337-6401 331 Organic Water Soluble Cored Wire is a great option. These spooled solder wires are great and are easy to use and easy to work with.

    Another option is of course lead free bar solder like the Kester K100LD 04-9574-0050 bar solder. This is also easy to work with and fast for those that do not want to deal with wire spools and unspooling the solder that they need. All of these products can help you quickly switch over to a lead free solder option making your soldering safer and easier all around.

    If you're still not sure what you need for Lead Free Soldering:

    If you have questions about anything related to Lead free soldering, Kimco has the answers you need.  You can browse our website or If you prefer, you can also contact our team of professional customer service representatives for assistance with your needs by calling (800) 521-9197.

  • PCBs and ESD: How to construct a work area that prevents Electrostactic Discharge

    esd_symbol_lElectricity follows the path of least resistance, which is the epitome of why ESDs occur. A short between two charged units creates a weaker path that electricity will take advantage of every time. An example is a lightening strike. Static electricity is attracted to us. Simply walking across a floor can cause a static buildup or even an ESD event. Electrical components are fragile and even a small ESD can cause severe damage. Work area construction practices play a part in preventing ESD from occurring, and those practices begin with prevention.

    Work Station Tools that help prevent ESD

    How the work station is constructed is half of the battle when it comes to preventing ESD. That process is not always within our control. The good news is that there are ways to compensate for construction deficits.

    - Work areas should include a humidity control unit. Humidity plays a large role in electricity build up. There are plenty of aftermarket humidity control units and humidifiers available.  GoKimco does not offer specific models, but if you need help in finding one call us at (800) 521-9197 or email us.

    - Flooring surfaces should be covered with non-conducting flooring finish in work areas and ESD Safe Anti-fatique mats at the workbench or the area designated as the work location or bench. These mats will dissipate static build up before a ESD event occurs.

    - Work surfaces should also be covered using either an anti-static mat or a bench mat with a grounding cord. Both help to prevent static electricity build up that can occur was clothing rubs together.

    Grounding straps for personnel are also essential. Grounding heel straps or wrist straps work well to eliminate static build up that naturally occurs on people.

    • ESD_Static

    The human body is a magnet for static electricity. Using preventative products to reduce static build up is an easy and cost effective way to avoid ESD events. Most of these products are not expensive. Most are easy to install. All of them do a good job of preventing EDS.  Visit our website for a full list of ESD Control products available from GoKimco.

  • Why Worry About Electrostatic Discharge ( ESD ) when working on a Printed Circuit Board?

    static-container-labelFor some, the prevention of Electrostatic Discharge, or ESD, is simply an item on a checklist that you mark through when doing a job, just to keep the boss off your back. However, ESD is a serious issue and can cause catastrophic damage to a project. If you are unconvinced about the ramifications of ESD, read on.

    What Is ESD?

    Electrostatic Discharge is a sudden, unexpected flow of electrical currents between two points. ESD can cause a short, damage to electrical components, and even damage to you and other members of your team. ESD can cause a catastrophic problem on a project, causing you to replace expensive components or even scrap the job and start all over. In addition to the monetary expense that can occur, there is also a measure of stress and even personal ramifications when ESD halts a project.

    How You Can Prevent ESD

    There are several steps you can take to prevent ESD.

      • First, don't let yourself become complacent. ESD is a serious concern and should be treated as such.
      • Next, take the proper steps to prevent ESD. These steps are different for each job, but proper grounding of your work area, your body and project components is imperative.
      • Cool, dry areas are also a concern, so be especially cautious when working in these places.
      • Do not stand on carpeted surfaces, and keep your work components off of fabric, carpet and similar surfaces.
      • Wearing sturdy shoes with a rubber sole with ESD foot or heel grounders can also help prevent ESD. You should also remain aware of your surroundings; there are two symbols that you can look for to assist you.
      • The use of ESD SAFE equipment will help you ensure that you avoid ESD issues when working on a project.
      • You should also keep an eye out for ESD Sensitive labels; these labels indicate that an item is highly susceptible to ESD, so you should exercise extreme caution.
      • Make sure to store circuit boards in an ESD safe container or a static shielding bag.
      • In addition to the precautions taken above, it is recommended that the controls are setup to maintain and monitor you ESD Safe working environment.  A few tips for doing this is to setup ESD monitoring devices and ionizers that will maintain safe areas.

    How We Can Help

    If you have questions about anything related to ESD, Kimco has the answers you need. Browse around the remainder of our website for information on products that monitor, control or prevent electro static discharge (ESD).  If you prefer, you can also contact our team of professional customer service representatives for assistance with your needs by calling (800) 521-9197.

  • 3 Crucial Things You Need to Know Before Soldering With Lead Free Materials

    Lead FreeSoldering with lead-free solder presents special challenges that you should know about before getting started. Knowing these challenges can help make it more likely that you will get the results you want. Three of the top items you need to keep in mind to meet those challenges are outlined below.

    1. Lead Free Means Higher Wetting Temperature

    Lead free Kester solder requires a higher temperature than those that are lead based. With its tin/silver/copper combination, this temperature is 217 degrees. This solder is no clean, an important aspect of lead free soldering since the higher temperatures required can often lead to unwanted residue.

    2. Stability of Components

    Though there are other types of lead free solder that are made with other alloys - tin-copper in particular - they have a higher melting point. This means that their wetting time is longer and it needs to be maintained for longer periods of time in order to ensure the right flow. Using Kester flux that is VOC, as well as lead free, helps ensure the balance out the high temperatures required by lead free solder.Kester 63-0004-0971 971M VOC Free No-Clean Liquid Flux

    3. Compatibility Issues

    When working with lead-free solder, ensuring that materials are compatible is imperative.This compatibility ranges from the tips used to the materials being soldered. Tips that are specifically designed to be used in lead free applications also reduce the residue, giving the finished product a cleaner look.

    Though working with lead-free solder can present challenges, they can be overcome with a few key adjustments. The benefits of a lead-free environment make the challenge of lead-free solder one to meet wholeheartedly.

  • Hand Soldering With Lead Free Materials: A How-to Guide for Beginners


    Lead FreeSoldering with lead-free materials does not need to be difficult. There are a number of tools that are designed specifically to make this job easier. When they are combined with the right techniques, a novice can enjoy an end product that is clean and residue free.

    Choose the Right Kester Solderimages (1)

    For the best results, use the appropriate alloy combination that is designed to be drawn into the wire. One such alloy is made of a tin-silver-copper combination (SAC) such as Chip Quik SMD291SNL10 Rework Solder Lead Free. This solder has a melting temperature of 217 degrees and is designed to be no clean. When compared to the other popular alloy formulation that utilize tin-copper (SnCu), this type of solder offers a quicker melting point, ensuring that it wets better and has better flow.

    KES-Pb-free-alloy-wire_27_4_1Choose the Right Wire

    To promote the proper wetting necessary to solder components together, the wire you choose needs to have at least 2% flux by weight. Using wire that has this weight allows for a good balance between wetting times and the possibility of residue. For wetting times that are deemed too slow, 3% flux can be used. However, the residue that is typically the result can be unsightly. Kester flux is specifically designed to work within lead free applications. Charring, splattering and the breakdown of the flux are minimized even when the necessary higher temperatures are used.

    Choose the Right TipSoldering tip locator

    The right tip choice makes all the difference in the delivery of the Kester solder. Lead free tips are crucial to both the success and aesthetics of the bond. These tips need to be able to deliver enough heat so that the right amount of coverage is generated. To increase the life of tips, it is important that the entire tip be designed for lead free applications. Those tips that are simply tinned with solder that is lead free tend to have a dramatically shortened life span.

    Choose the Right Technique

    Before making the final selection of flux, ensure sure that parts can be easily soldered with it. This will help reduce the desire to add excessive amounts of flux as well as the need to rework the piece repeatedly. Keeping contact times to a minimum will also result in a cleaner end product.

    Lead free soldering can result in a stable connect of materials that is also clean and residue free.


  • 10 Important Caveats When Cleaning PCBs

    PCB ImageWithout question printed circuit boards (PCBs) are extremely fragile pieces of equipment. To that end, cleaning them requires proper attention and care. Here are some mistakes to avoid when cleaning PCBs:


    1) Avoid using regular vacuums. In addition to possibly being too powerful (air-pressure wise), they may carry a charge that can be damaging in terms of ESD. Instead, use smaller units specifically designed for electronics.

    2) Use liquid detergents and water with extreme caution. Some delicate components (older crystals) may be irreparably damaged; this goes for things like labels.

    3) Use heat to dry "washed boards" only in controlled amounts. The use of an oven, for example, may be okay, as long as low heat is used and the oven is turned off when the board is put in it.

    4) Let only those persons who know what they are doing clean PCBs. This is not something to delegate to just anyone.

    5) Read up on the dos and don’ts of PCB cleaning before attempting it.

    6) Don’t be afraid to clean up sticky grime, paint, solder flux, etc. These types of debris can impair function in the long run.

    7) Corrosion (especially from battery acid) should always be cleaned up. Not doing so risks undergoing continuous damage.

    8) Take proper ESD precautions. Some people forget that ESD is still an issue when cleaning PCBs.

    9) Avail yourself of the latest products and services. Some of them may save you money and time.

    10) Don’t forget to remove any components (even if it involves de-soldering something) that may hamper the cleaning process.MicroCare mcc-frc flux cleaner



    PCBs, like everything else, do get dirty. While cleaning them can be risky (if damage is brought about), not cleaning PCBs also carries risks, especially if performance is in question, damage has already occurred (for which debris may be blamed), or debris can clearly be seen with the naked eye.


    Cleaning a PCB can be safely, conveniently and efficiently done, if you follow strict protocols and take all the necessary precautions.

  • What soldering tip do I need?

    Solder tip finding toolSoldering can be at once an incredibly rewarding and fun thing to do and a complete hassle. Without the right information, finding a tip that fits the job you are completing may be difficult. There are a few different tips that are specific to certain jobs and knowing a bit about them can make all the difference.

    Chisel Tips- chisel tips are perhaps the most common soldering tips on the market. They are easy to use, easy to come by, and are an all around great tip that fits plenty of different needs. For those just starting out, this type of tip is almost always best to get a feel for your soldering iron and your solder tip. This tip is good for creating smooth joints, smoothing over solder deposits, and more. This is truly the all around tip and should be part of any kit.

    Pointed Tips- This type of tip is almost always best for pin point work. This means that it is good for small detail work. This type of tip is good for moving the solder around after it has been deposited on the area you are going to be working with. It is perfect for creating small solders and pinpointing where you want your solder material to land and ultimately stay. This type of tip is great for both advanced and beginning users and is great for any soldering station. The Edsyn LT602-1LF tip is a fantastic pointed tip.

    Rounded Tips- these tips are great for depositing solder and for creating strong joints. This type of tip is great for beginning users and for advanced users and are perfect for depositing solder. If you are looking for a good solid soldering tip, round tips are great and offers stability in soldering for those that may not be all that sure about what they are doing.

    Mini Wave Hollow Tips- hollow tips are great for depositing solder and for moving around solder material while it is still hot and creating smooth joints. Hollow tips are great for both beginning and advanced users and are a great all around tip. Hollow tips generally feature a small well that can hold solder material at the tip to make for easy depositing.  One of the most popular Mini Wave tips is the Pace MiniWave.  Pace originated the patented tip design and we feature it on our site.  Keep in mind, the Pace MiniWave tip can only be used with the Pace soldering stations.  If you have a different soldering station brand, call (800) 521-9197 or email us for options.

    Solder tips do not have to be confusing. It takes just a bit of practice and a bit of information and you can easily and quickly find the tip that is right for your job. The tip makes all the difference and can make soldering much easier.

    Soldering tip locator






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