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All About Solder Smoke & Fume Extractors

Published: April 11, 2020

Your solder fume extraction system is an important part of your work space. Solder fumes are often not thought of as such a big deal, but if your guys are soldering all the time and breathing that stuff all day, that’s not going to be good for their health.

Solder smoke extractors come in many different price ranges and functionalities. Here’s a short guide to how they work, and how you should be choosing one.

How Solder Fume Extraction Systems Work

The fan motor in the solder smoke extractor pulls air in, driving the tainted air toward the extractor. The air is brought in, caught by the filter, and the clean air is then sent out through the vent which will lead either back into the work area, or outside.

Some extraction systems have the filter in front of the fan assembly, others have the filter behind the fan. The jury is out as to which one is preferable, however a filter behind the fan will allow for better air dispersion across the filter. This could prevent the air filter from clogging up and causing the motor to overheat.

How To Choose a Solder Fume Extractor

How should you choose your solder fume extraction system when purchasing one?

The most important thing is to not consider price first. Price will be a consideration, but generally you get what you pay for and it’s better to consider your work space’s needs first. This is employee health we’re dealing with here! 

A good solder fume extractor will have a high quality HEPA filter. The filter is what catches the particulate in the air caused by solder smoke. A higher rated filter is more likely to catch more of the smoke dust that’s floating out in the air, so this is a very important consideration. What’s also important is that higher quality filters will not need to be replaced as often, lowering overall maintenance costs and needs.

Your filter should also be chosen based on your work space’s needs. Do you have a large work space? Are there multiple employees working in one area? Choose one that fits your needs, and do your necessary research before shelling out money on one!

A solder fume extractor will also need to have a fan that is powerful enough to support your work space’s needs. Weak fans are inefficient, lowering air pressure and reducing the amount of fumes captured.