Having decided a while ago that if I wanted to build things with SMD components I should probably start using solder paste. I know that in production people get stencils made for their boards, but they don’t seem to be as readily available as cheap PCBs. So, I looked instead at paste dispensers: things which squirt a bit of paste onto the board.

Solder dispenser

Having read lots of random Internet postings about this, there seemed to be fairly clear consensus that a compressed-air driven dispenser was a good thing, particularly if it was controlled by a foot pedal. The basic idea is that when you push the pedal, a measured bit of paste is extruded.

The most common model seems to be the KLT-982A,1 which is available from many sources: I bought mine from a Chinese eBay shop.


The dispenser needs a supply of compressed-air to operate, and following random Internet comments I decided to buy a compressor designed for airbrushes. The AS1862 got a good writeup, so I bought one, and it seems to work well. It’s quite noisy when compressing, but the compressor has a large storage tank so it’s usually silent even when you’re dispensing.

Solder Paste

I bought the paste in a 30cc syringe which holds 100g of paste. There’s a standard fastening on the end of the paste tube, to which the tube from the dispenser attaches.

At the other end of the syringe, you’ll need to attach a dispensing needle3 with a Luer-Lock4 fitting. eBay sells them very cheaply. Somewhat randomly, I picked 23 gauge.5

Connections and tubing

I seem to remember that I needed to buy some tubing to connect the compressor to the dispenser, and at least one connector, but I’ve forgotten the details.