The Desoldering Decision

So we all know about soldering equipment, right?
If not, there are some threads about that.

But what about de-soldering? We’ve all done that at some point or another, and if the thing you’re de-soldering has more than one leg/pad/pin, it can be kind of difficult…

I recently wanted to replace the joysticks in some of my PS5 controllers, and those little buggers have 14 legs, so de-soldering them was not easy.

For the first joystick, I went at this with the tools I have, which are:

This is an excellent solder sucker btw, highly recommended.


Which I don’t use that much.

However, de-soldering the joystick took a long time. I was never able to get the legs completely solder free, so I had to essentially pull on the joystick, melt the solder at one leg at a time, and then wiggle wiggle until the joystick eventually came free. Took a very long time to do.

Before I tackled the second PS5 controller, I decided to do some research on ways and means to do de-soldering, and I ended up buying two things:


And I have to say that both of these have been excellent.
First I used the Hakko desoldering tool, which makes it really easy to get rid of most of the solder, but the joystick is still stuck in the small amount of solder that is left. Then I used the chip removal allow, which has a really low melting point, so it’s really easy to keep all 14 points hot enough to stay molten while you remove the joystick. Then you just use the desoldering tool to remove the remaining alloy. Super easy!

Now, the desoldering tool is a bit of a luxury at $315, and you can do the same thing with a regular solder sucker, so I don’t know if I recommend that unless you have some money to burn. Of course, I also didn’t pay full price for mine… It turns out that you can buy it for almost half the price on Ebay directly from Japan. Allegedly, the Japan version is a lower wattage and meant for 100 volts instead of 120 volts, but a lot of people seem convinced that they are in fact the same tool, and using the Japanese version in the US should just work. (That is what I’m doing, but please do not blame if it doesn’t work for you.)

Anyways, I highly recommend the chip removal alloy is for de-soldering things with many legs/pads, and it’s very reasonable priced.


I use a combination of sucker and wick. I’ve found the wick works best when slathered in flux.