Solder Fume Extractors: How to Choose the Appropriate Model

The questions below are designed to help you decide which solder fume extractor is the best fit for your particular application:

What type of soldering are you doing?

  • Hand Soldering
  • Wave Soldering
  • Reflow Soldering
  • Production Soldering
  • Maintenance Soldering
  • Pipe Soldering
  • Mechanical & Aluminum Soldering
  • Resistance Soldering
  • Stained Glass Soldering
  • and More…

The type of soldering being performed by the operator directly determines the size, filtration media, and air volume that the fume extractor will require in order to be effective. Certain applications can release more fumes or may be spread out over a larger surface area; this requires a more powerful fume extraction unit. Sentry Air Systems offers a wide variety of solder fume extractors, including Series 100 options (with the lowest air volume rating), and Series 400/450 options (with the highest airflow rating of up to 950 CFM).

This question also determines whether or not you may need features like ESD-Safe Fume Extraction. For those working on applications that need to be protected from Electrostatic Discharge, such as electronic soldering on PC boards, this feature may be a primary requirement as you search for a solder fume extractor.

How big is your workspace? How is it set-up?

The size and arrangement of your work area is an important factor in determining which fume extractor to choose.

Do you work on a benchtop? If so, can your workspace accommodate a fume extractor? [Sentry Air’s smallest benchtop solder fume extractor has a footprint of 6.25” L x 8” W x 8” H, shown below].

If this doesn’t sound like a good option for you- other options include:

Wall-Mounted Fume Extraction– These units are mounted to the wall and hover over your work area. An example of this is the Sentry Air Model 200 Sky Sentry Fume Extractor as shown below.

Floor Fume Extractors– These units sit on the floor and extend to your work area via flexible hose. An example is the Model 100 ESD-Safe Stainless Steel Solder Fume Extractor, shown below.

Benchtop Hoods– Fume Hoods come in a variety of sizes (Sentry Air’s Fume Hoods range from 18” to 70” in width) and can provide a contained area on your workbench or perhaps on a stand beside your work area. For increased containment, benchtop hoods are a great choice.

For Solder Pot Fumes- For those working with Solder Pots, it’s important to consider the elevation that you will require during your application. The Sentry Solder Pot Sentry is adjustable up to 8.75″ H.

How often do you solder?

Do you solder 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? Or do you solder for a half an hour once a week? The amount of time spent soldering should be taken into consideration when choosing an appropriate fume extractor. Extractors with more powerful fans and larger filter media should be selected if soldering is performed on a frequent basis.

How many operators are soldering?

Is there one or multiple operators soldering? If there are multiple operators or soldering stations, you may want to look for fume extraction units that equally share air volume through separate self-supportive flex hoses. Sentry Air offers Dual Operator, Quad, and larger Multiple-Station Units.

For information on the Hazards of Solder Fumes, visit this blog entry.


For assistance in choosing the right solder fume extractor for your unique application, please contact a Sentry Air Systems Applications Specialist at 1.800.799.4609, email us at sales@sentryair.com, or fill out this form to receive more information.