Kester vs Alpha Fry 60/40

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by 93-Strat, Jun 29, 2021.

  1. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    Just some info for new techs or people looking into soldering... I originally used Alpha Fry 60/40 (60% tin/40% lead) for years until recently I had been using Kester 60/40 for the last few months. Well tonight I found a roll of Alpha Fry in my cabinet to use on a project and immediately started choking and coughing.

    I decided to A/B test them. The Kester makes barely any smoke and fumes at all and the Alpha Fry smokes like a chimney. No wonder. I also found the Kester makes smoother looking solder joints but is mainly just a cosmetic thing, never had any issues with bad joints with either. Good things to know, will be sticking to Kester just for the reduced smoke/fumes.
     
    vid1900 likes this.
  2. cpage86

    cpage86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Which Kester you using? 44, 245? I use both 44 and 245 at work when I am working on electronics. I prefer the 44 for general purpose. I have some 245 at home and I don't like it for my personal projects, I had been using some good 60/40 rosin core Radio Shack stuff for the past several years at home. I haven't used any Alpha Fry, but definitely am a fan of Kester overall.
     
    93-Strat likes this.
  3. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    It's the 44. My advice is there is no need to try the Alpha Fry lol. I miss Radioshack, I seem to remember them having some good solder.
     
    cpage86 likes this.
  4. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,923
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Yemen
    jbylake, Nate D and 93-Strat like this.
  5. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    That is cheaper than the 60/40 by about $15 where I get it. I've been soldering for about 13 years or so just haven't tried a lot of different solder, always just got what I could get locally. I started using Kester because I live about a half hour from Parts Express and go there a lot now and they have the Kester I buy.
     
    vid1900 likes this.
  6. shadco

    shadco Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    City of Oaks NC
    Kester Solder review from Amazon.

    Have you ever wanted to solder micro PCB transistors and resistors like a demi god/ robot? Then this solder is for you.

    Do you want a lead solder with a competent flux that will bond your connections like a champ, and give off fumes with the sweet taste of Bismuth salts and antimony that pairs nicely with a glass of Montepulciano or a Sanghiovese?
    Then this flux core is for you.

    Do you want to live as long as possible and keep your sperm count up? Then maybe you'd prefer a Rohs solder, and after throwing it across the room you'll realize: laboratories and electronics are not for you.

    We all die sometime, we're surrounded by death. No need for the constant reminder from our electronic devices that die before their time, due to inferior Rohs compliant solders.

    Women like mysterious dangerous men, and what could be more dangerous than a man who breathes fire and lead fumes? Nothing. Take it from me: a scientist; put a roll of this bad boy in your laboratory and watch the panties drop. Now I know what you're thinking: "we have a disparity in the sciences, with too few women taking degrees in the hard sciences thanks to years of uninformed dogmatic gender role ascribing women to careers other than the hard sciences. Now we're paying the price. Do you realize how hard it is to get a lady in your laboratory?"

    Well, true. And no. I don't.
    because I use spools of lead solder.

    Fact: women are drawn to the sweet smell of Bismuth salts and the pheromones excreted by a man with acute lead toxicity coursing through his veins are unmistakably unique.

    It intoxicates their senses, they're drawn on a genetic level to procreate with you *immediately* because, with lead, there might not be much more time.

    Pretty sure Darwin mentions the mechanics of this exact biological drive in his work "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals" but I wouldn't know. I'm a real scientist, not a biologist so I've not the time to read such quackery.

    What I do know about women I've learned from observation and captain Kirk.

    From observation I can assure you, heat up some of this solder, sit back and watch the women come in droves. Your lab will make Hugh's house look an all boy's academy. Hang another roll from your review mirror. Trust me. This solder will save us from the gender disparity in the sciences. It will save future generations. But, don't wait, copulate. After all, it is lead bearing solder, so there's not much time.

    .
     
  7. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    Very funny. Huge can of worms the lead free debate is. Lead in solder is very misunderstood. I used to use lead free solder made by Bernzomatic. I stopped after a lot of research. The lead free eats tips and doesn't make as good looking solder joints.

    As I understand it lead does not vaporize at the temperature soldered, so it is the contact with hands that can create exposure. This can be remedied by wearing gloves or washing your hands when you finish soldering. The flux in the lead free is said to be more harmful than the lead in the leaded solder.

    Lead is a four letter word and people don't like it but sometimes... it just seems to work better than the alternative as I understand it and in my experience. It would be nice to have to have lead free solder that perhaps uses bismuth in place of lead and not contain the horrid flux used in the types I've found but I haven't seen any yet.

    The lead free solder seems to be directed at keeping it from leaching into the ground when our throw away societies throw away all the things we do and I appreciate its use in consumer throw away electronics 110%.
     
  8. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,923
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Yemen
    Lead turns to vapor at 1750*C (3182*F), so you are never going to hit those temps with a soldering iron.

    Even if you crank your Hakko all the way up, it only goes to 480*C (900*F)
     
    93-Strat likes this.
  9. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,923
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Yemen
    Wow, you are right.

    Parts Express is insanely expensive for solder.

    Kester 63/37 is friggin $36, whereas everyone else sells it for $20

    https://www.parts-express.com/Kester-44-Rosin-Core-Solder-63-37-.031-1-lb.-Spool-370-074
     
    93-Strat likes this.
  10. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    Lol and I only solder with a 25 Watt iron that maybe gets to 700.
     
    vid1900 likes this.
  11. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Location:
    Jeffersonville, OH
    Yeah, they are a bit high on it but that is the retail price for it at a few places.

    They are close though do if I happen to be over there already I get some. It's a nice little store in a nice area. There is a really good bar/ restaurant down the road from there my wife loves so I never get any flak for wanting to go to Parts Express.