When and Where to Use Lead-Based Solder

Solder is a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal work pieces. The most common type of solder used is tin-lead solder that was mixed to such a degree that it is known as eutectic mixture. Tin-lead solder is also called soft solder are commercially available with tin concentration, the greater the solder’s tensile and shear strengths. The addition of tin improve the wetting properties of the alloy, lead itself has poor wetting characteristics.

When you see 60/40 or 63/37 it means 60% tin by weight and 40% lead. This is commonly used for electronic soldering. 60/40 solder is a general purpose solder for use of non electrical application. It is used for applications in the sheet metal, stained glass, galvanized gutters and radiator repair industries. 60/40 lead solder is also commonly used in stained glass solder, which is using solder to connect the pieces of stained glass together. Lead based solder is usually referred to as soft solder. The melting points for the different types of tin/lead solder are:


  • 60/40 Sn-Pb melts at 188 ℃ (370 ℉)
  • 63/37 Sn-Pb melting point 183 ℃ (361 ℉)


Tin is more expensive than lead and improves wetting properties of the alloy. Lead by itself has poor wetting characteristics. High tin-lead alloys have limited use as the work ability range can be provided by a cheaper high-lead alloy. Tin-lead solders are not recommended in high stress or vibration joints in the cooling industry due to lack of sufficient elongation properties.

For consumer based products many industries have started moving away from lead-based solders due to the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) which limited the amount of lead in any component to 0.1%.


solderSolder is also available in a number of diameters, with 0.02”, 0.063” and 0.04” being common solder diameters. Larger diameters solder are great from large solder jobs, tinning large gauge or multi strand wires but make fine work such as surface mounting solder pieces. Overall the most popular forms of solder is 0.04” diameter solder.


Mayer Alloys

Mayer Alloys is a solder distributor that stocks and supplies a complete line of solder. All material we stock and supply is guaranteed and certified to comply with ISO 9001 standards. Mayer Alloys stocks a full line of the highest quality, non-ferrous metals specializing in tin and lead-based alloys, and lead free alloys for manufacturing and/or fabrication. We will ship your items the same day it is ordered in most cases. Customer service and technical assistance is always available to ensure you are getting the right materials. For technical support, please contact us at 888-513-7971 or email us at sales@mayeralloys.com. {{cta(‘0530d76d-2aa5-4bc8-bd94-5ec238270062′,’justifycenter’)}}

Scroll to Top