If you solder, it is very important to have good air circulation at your workbench, which should also include a fume extractor.
A fume extractor helps suck nasty soldering fumes out of the air, so you don’t inhale them.
It is said that solder fumes are dangerous to inhale, so whenever possible, avoid inhaling them.
Now, there are many routes you can take regarding fume extractors.
- You can build your own, which is fairly simple, but they tend to be a bit bulky.
- Or you can buy an off the shelf Fume Extractor.
DIY Fume Extractor
For the DIY, you basically get a Carbon Filter with an inline duct fan, where you set it to blow the air towards the filter, therefore causing a suction effect. Of course, you’d need to also run an aluminum duct hose to your work bench.
Here’s the list of materials you’ll need:
● 4in 195 CFM FAN ● https://amzn.to/2Xe2Q7Q
● 4in Carbon Filter ● https://amzn.to/32KyBGL
● 4in Duct – 8ft Long● https://amzn.to/2Xc25w1
● 4in Carbon Catch ● https://amzn.to/2CKJP3e
● 4in to 2.5in Reducer https://amzn.to/2VIfyw0
● 2.5in Hold Tite Rigid Duct Tube https://amzn.to/2YYpZ0l
● Smart Wireless Outlet (Remotely turn on/off Fume Extractor) ● https://amzn.to/2OcmY66
● White Duct Tape to seal it all off ● https://amzn.to/2KkzwHH
Off The Shelf Fume Extractor
If you’d like to buy an off the shelf Fume Extractor, here are a few options available on the market.
2UUL uuFilter Desktop Fume Extractor
|Price||$72.99 + Shipping|
|Size||34 x 24 x 16 cm|
|Where to Buy|
The 2UUL Fume Extractor is a great option for most solder workbenches. It is small & compact, but powerful enough to suck in all the fumes from within 6in or so of your working area.
The built in hose is about 30 inches in length, so it allows you to set it far away enough so it doesn’t get in the way of your soldering tools.
Plus it’s fairly affordable if you compare to the other options on here.
Here’s a full video I did on the product.
2. Hakko Desktop Fume Extractor
|Price||$73.88 w/ Free Shipping|
|Size||10.1 x 9 x 6.7 inches|
|Where to Buy||https://amzn.to/2Xbt7aN|
This is the most common Fume Extractor I’ve seen other techs use. Although, from the feedback I hear from them, it doesn’t work that great, as it has to be right next to your working area, so it gets in the way of your tools & microscope.
So I wouldn’t personally recommend this style of Fume Extractor. I’d prefer a unit with a hose, so you can keep the main unit far away from your bench & run the hose close to your working area.
Although I have not used one myself, so this is just my opinion based on the complaints I heard from others.
3. Weller WSA350 Bench Top Smoke Absorber
|Size||11.3 x 10.2 x 7.1 inches|
|Where to Buy||https://amzn.to/3ACXUvT|
This Weller Fume Extractor is a great and affordable alternative to the Hakko Desktop Fume Extractor. One of the benefits to this one vs the Hakko above, you are able to tilt it up & down. Also, the fan appears to be a bit stronger, but a little louder.
So with the tilt abilities, you can tilt it forward as you’re working on something & create somewhat of a canopy to allow it to fully suck the fumes out of the air. But if you’re working under the microscope, it may get in the way.
Same as the Hakko above, having a hose to get it near the working area, is the best setup for microsoldering work.
4. Hakko FA-430 Fume Extractor
|Price||$738.69 + $141.62 Required Duct Kit|
|Size||33 x 36 x 34 cm|
|Where to Buy|
This is the Rolls Royce of Fume Extractors. It’s the most expensive, but it’s also the best performing unit.
The unit is quiet, has powerful suction, and filters last a long time.
The one downside is that this unit is large & must be setup under your bench. If you’re like me, my bench is a U shaped workbench mounted to the wall with no real place for me to place it. I would need to cut a new hole to feed the hose so it comes up to my working area.
For others, where they have a traditional bench with lots of room on the sides to set this thing, it should work great. Assuming you can afford spending close to $900.
So Which One Should You Get?
Well, that’s really just depends on you. What’s your budget & preference?
For me, the DIY setup mentioned above works great for the space I have. I have the carbon filter sitting on the top of my shelve & run the duct down to my microscope & have it all zip tied & out of the way.
The 2UUL uuFilter is what I’ll be using on my secondary workbench that I plan on setting up soon.
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