The smoke produced when one is soldering can easily expose one to Hazards Of Inhaling Fumes. That’s why you need to come up with a way to eliminate that toxic smoke whenever you’re soldering. But here’s where the confusion comes in: Since one can build his own soldering fan (and there are lots of online tutorials on this), is the soldering fan enough or should you consider investing in a soldering fume extraction system? You’ll shortly learn the difference between soldering Fans and solder fume extractor.
The difference between soldering fans vs solder fume extractor
A soldering fan resembles a desktop fan and you can make it yourself with a small budget of between $15-$25. Here’s an example of a DIY video tutorial that shows how to make one.
When the self-made soldering fan may blow away fumes while soldering, where will the fumes released go to? Even though opening the window helps clear the fumes, some VOCs may be absorbed into fabrics and then released afterwards (this may pose a great health risk to those around).
A Solder Fume Extraction System on the other sucks the fumes produced during soldering and passes it via a filter. The filter then eliminates toxic fumes and harmful chemicals from the air around the soldering area. The price of a solder fume extraction system starts at around $45 to $700. Compared to a solder fan which doesn’t suck in toxic fumes, a solder fume extraction system captures all the fumes produced during soldering.
Most solder fume extractors are also portable and consume less space. They can be easily transferred from one location to another without requiring too much manpower.
Which one should you choose between: Fume extractor vs soldering fans?
Factors to consider when choosing a solder fume extractor
- What type of soldering are you into?
- How big is your work area? And how is it arranged?
- Do you solder often or rarely?
- How many people solder together with you?