How to Use Soldering Gun and Iron: EASY Steps

Soldering is a precise craft and a useful skill to have. You can use it professionally or for DIY projects. However, there are some tips that can make your soldering project better than others.

So without further delay, let’s look at how to use soldering iron and gun.


How to Use Soldering Iron and Gun

Soldering is the welding of two metal parts by melting solder into the parts you want to connect. The projects you’ll be working on are mostly circuit boards or different gauge wires, which is why soldering is a precise craft.

Before you decide whether to use a soldering iron or a soldering gun, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the success of your soldering project.

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Tools and Equipment

Let’s go over the tools you’ll need for a complete soldering project. If you don’t have the necessary tools, this will make an excellent shopping list.

-Safety goggles

-Protective gloves

-Soldering iron or gun

-Soldering iron and gun tips


-Tip cleaning sponge

With the shopping list out of the way, let’s discuss how to put these tools to good use.

Step 2: Take Safety Precautions

Always remember safety is the number one priority. Soldering iron and gun tips can reach temperatures of over 800° F. That’s why it’s crucial to know where the tip of the gun is at all times.

What’s more, with such high temperatures, there will be fumes from melting solder. Inhaling such fumes can be very harmful, so always keep a fan on hand to help with ventilation.

Finally, grab a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from any popping solder.

Step 3: Choose the Best Tool for the Job

Soldering iron or gun are the main tools in any soldering project. Both tools follow the same concept, which is using heat to melt solder. However, there are some differences between an iron and a gun that make each tool appropriate for a specific job.

Soldering Iron

A soldering iron is a long pencil-shaped iron that heats up to melt the solder. It has an insulated handle, which is where you hold it.

Most soldering irons operate by plugging them into a power source and allowing them to heat up. Unlike the gun, when you turn the soldering iron on, it stays on.

Soldering irons are ideal for smaller gauge wires and printed circuit boards. This is because such projects will require the use of a small precise tool, which the iron provides.

Iron Tips

Soldering irons offer two types of tips:

Chisel tips are suitable for soldering large components or wires due to their flat broad tip

Conical tips are used for more precise projects, such as circuit boards. Conical tips have a pointy end that can deliver heat in a very small area with no harm to its surroundings.

It is important to clean the iron tip regularly.

Soldering Gun

A soldering gun is…a gun. You hold it like a gun, but unlike the iron, it only heats up when you pull the trigger. Some soldering guns offer two trigger options: half a pull for low heat and a full squeeze for high heat.

Soldering guns are great for heavier gauge wires or projects that the iron’s heat can’t tackle. In most cases, they’re used in auto repairs.

Gun Tip

Soldering guns usually come with a replacement tip because the tip can snap due to temperature changes causing it to expand and contract. That said, soldering gun tips are resilient, so it’ll take long before they snap.

Step 4: Clean the Iron or Gun Tip

An iron or gun’s tip can oxidize, reducing functionality and heat transfer. This is why you have to clean the tip before soldering.

To do that, you have two options: a wet sponge or a brass sponge.

To use the wet sponge, heat the tip and drag it across the wet sponge until the tip is shiny. It’s easy and won’t scratch the tip.

Just keep in mind that the water in the sponge will cool it down rapidly. Over time, this repeated thermal stress can shorten the life of the tip.

A brass sponge, on the other hand, lasts much longer and cleans more thoroughly. What’s more, it won’t cause thermal stress.

Step 5: Solder With Iron and Gun

Whether you’re soldering a circuit board or connecting two wires, the steps below should cover nearly all of the techniques for using a soldering iron and gun.

How to Solder Onto Circuit Boards

When working with boards, the best tool you can use is a soldering iron. Let’s take a look at how to solder an LED bulb into a circuit board.

Step One: Mounting Components

Feed the two LED leads into the circuit board and bend them at a 45° angle. This angle ensures that the LED stays in place when soldering.

Step Two: Heat the Copper Pad

Flip the circuit board to see the bottom copper pads on the board. Press the iron’s hot tip on the copper pad and the leads for about three seconds to heat up.

Feed the solder onto the copper pad and not the iron itself to create a stronger bond.

Step Three: Cut the Leads

Finally, allow the solder dab to cool down before snipping off the excess lead ends. After every soldering session, clean up the tip then add a little solder to the tip to extend its life.

How to Solder Two Wires

Soldering wires together is a very simple project that can be done with either an iron or a gun.

Step One: Preparation

Start with removing the wire insulation on both ends of the two wires. Then, place them onto a helping hand.

Step Two: Splice Wires Together

Take both ends of each wire and twist them into each other. At this point, make sure the temporary connection has no poking wires. This can cause bad connections when the poking wires are soldered together.

Step Three: Soldering the Wires

Place the soldering gun to the bottom of the temporary connection until it heats up. Then, feed the solder from the top. You want the solder to melt over the wires so that it seeps in.

After you’re finished, let it cool down naturally.

Step Four: Final Touch

Finish up the project by placing some heat shrink over the new connection, and you’re done.


Soldering is a great skill, and its projects can be fairly easy.

To properly solder either a circuit board or wires, there are some tips to follow. We’ve included all the steps you need, as well as a list of all the items you’ll need to tackle a complete project on your own.

Now that you know how to use soldering iron and gun, practice so that you’re ready to show off your skills!