SMT prototyping


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Applying Solder Paste

Nippy cutters

Finding nippy cutters with fine tips for cutting out surface mount chips turned into a bit of a quest.

I looked for a good cutter with a very pointy end for cutting out very fine pitch surface mount components. I found the Lindstrom 8138MX looks to be the smallest tip, rated at 0.1 to 0.8mm for copper wire, quality box joint, and a very fine point on a very small cutting head!

(thumbnail)
Lindstrom 8138MX nippy cutter next to a 0.5 mechanical pencil - click to zoom

The list price for this on the we is $87 - which is too much. I could easily see $25 - $30 (2012-07) for these. One could easily take the less expensive cutters and grind them to a sharper point for the price difference - I'm waiting to talk to Lindstrom to see if better pricing is available.

They also make the 8148 with the same copper wire limits, but not as small and pointed.


I also have a 8140 - rated at 0.2 - 1.25mm for more general electronics work. These should not be used as one would use a 170M cheap nippy cutter - do not cut steel wire or even heavy gage copper or you will destroy them. ($21 new via ebay )

I also have a Knipex 78 03 125 that is rated copper 1.6mm (Fe 1.0mm )which appears fine for general work. Appears to be out of some type of stainless steel. ($31 as of 2012-07 from zorotools


One more is the Excelta 776-US - it lacks a wire rating - has a fairly fine pointed tip. excellent box joint. ($26 2012-07 new via ebay.)

Nitrogen Soldering


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