What Is The Best Type Of Reflow Soldering Machine?

When choosing the best type of reflow soldering machine for your needs, there are a few factors you'll need to consider. These considerations include what components you'll be working with, the sizes of those components, and the number of joints you need to make. Capital Equipment Exchange of McHenry, Illinois, is always available to answer your questions on our products and services.

Each type of machine has its unique pros and cons, so it's necessary to understand what each one can offer before making a decision. In this article, we'll compare convection vs. infrared vs. vapor phase reflow soldering machines, so you can decide which type is right for you.

What Is Convection Reflow Soldering?

Convection reflow soldering is a process that uses forced hot air to circulate the components and heat them to the required temperature. This machine is often used for soldering more significant pieces, providing more evenly distributed heat than other methods. Convection machines typically have a top and bottom heating element and a fan to circulate the hot air.


  • It provides more evenly distributed heat than other methods.
  • You can use the machine for larger components.


  • It's not as effective for smaller components.
  • It can be slower than other methods.
  • Airflow can cause component movement.

What Is Infrared Reflow Soldering?

This type of reflow soldering uses infrared lamps to heat the components from above. The machine is typically used for small-scale projects for cost savings and ease of use compared to other machines. Further, infrared machines use infrared lamps to transfer heat to the components, melting the solder and bonding the components.


  • Businesses can use it for smaller components.
  • Heating is faster than with other methods.
  • It's typically less expensive than different types of machines.


  • The machines aren't as effective for larger components.
  • It can be more challenging to use than other methods.
  • Infrared light can cause component damage.

What Is Vapor Phase Reflow?

Vapor Phase Reflow is a type of reflow soldering that uses heat transfer through a vapor wave, typically composed of solvents, to solder electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCBs). Companies can use this process for both leaded and lead-free alloys.

The main advantage of vapor phase reflow over other methods, such as infrared or convection reflow, is that it can provide more uniform temperature control. This can benefit you when soldering delicate components or those with a large thermal mass. You can also use vaporwave reflow in a "lean room" "environment, and you won't need a forced-air system.


  • It provides more uniform temperature control.
  • You can use it in a clean room environment.
  • There's a need for a forced-air system.


  • It can be more expensive than other methods.
  • It requires special equipment.

So, which type of reflow soldering machine would meet your manufacturing needs? It all depends on the types of components you need to solder, the sizes of those components, and the number of solder joints. A convection reflow soldering machine may be your best bet if you're soldering large parts. On the other hand, an infrared reflow machine may be a better choice for small-scale soldering. And if you need more uniform temperature control, vapor phase reflow could be the way to go.

Are you looking for used reflow ovens or SMT machines? Capital Equipment Exchange of McHenry, Illinois, has the industry's largest selection of quality preowned equipment. We have a variety of machines to choose from, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. And because we buy and sell equipment nationwide, we can offer you highly competitive prices.

Contact us today for more information on the best type of reflow soldering machine for you or information on any machines in our inventory.