Is an IR thermometer a good way to measure tip temp of soldering iron?

Ron E

Member
2002-06-27 10:41 pm
USA, MN
Thanks Ron. I was hoping that since an IR is meant to be used as a surface reading thermometer I could get the tip temp if I got the sensor close enough.

A number of reasons why - emissivity of the tip is probably very low - will give a low reading. Spot size is probably too big even held very closely to the tip.

Solder melts at 183-190C, so maybe if you use a small pool of solder on an insulating surface (piece of wood or fiberglass?) and get it to just melt it would give you a reference point. Much better would be a thermocouple with a small tip. I have one that fits my $50 DMM. I probably wouldn't worry about it, though - if it melts solder, it's hot enough.
 
A number of reasons why - emissivity of the tip is probably very low - will give a low reading. Spot size is probably too big even held very closely to the tip.

Solder melts at 183-190C, so maybe if you use a small pool of solder on an insulating surface (piece of wood or fiberglass?) and get it to just melt it would give you a reference point. Much better would be a thermocouple with a small tip. I have one that fits my $50 DMM. I probably wouldn't worry about it, though - if it melts solder, it's hot enough.

Well, I'm about to enter the world of Pb free solders, and from what I've read the temperature control for this type can be a little tricky depending on the combination of metals. But I hadn't thought of a thermocouple. I have a Fluke 87 DVM. Wonder if I can get one for that?