Thru-hole or surface mount?
Are you trying to salvage chips for later re-use, or repair
For thru-hole, I prefer a good power desoldering unit. I'm using
the Pace ST-115 at both home and work. Excellent unit.
For surface-mount, there are a number of rework stations available,
none of which are particularly cheap. At the low end, you have the
convection-heating (hot air) units, such as Hakko and Madell. At the
higher end, you're still doing convection, but the units are better
built (A.P.E., Pace, etc.)
At the top of the line for surface mount are the infrared rework
stations. I've never seen one sell for less than in the high four-figure
area, and new ones have price tags that rival luxury cars or small
Now, with all that said: I do also use desolder braid. However, its
main use with me is cleaning off surface-mount pads, or component holes,
prior to replacing said component.
Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute
(Known to some as Bruce Lane, KC7GR)
-- kyrrin a/t bluefeathertech d-o=t calm
"Salvadore Dali's computer has surreal ports..."