SMD versus Hole Through

This came as a surprise to me – it is only 1,5 years ago I started doing SMD electronics. My previous experience had only been hole through technology. But, as hole through have so many limitations I decided to jump in and give it a try – the first component I tried was a LQFP48 – a STM32F103CB. After watching some Youtube movies I picked up a trick and soldered it with an ordinary soldering iron – it worked. I started with 1205 components, but won’t use anything larger than 0603 these days.

As I now do a hole through project it serve to remind me of how much easier it is to work with SMD than hole through:

  • To solder a hole through you need to hold the PCB up-side down struggling with components falling off.
  • You have the same issue as you remove them.
  • Components that are easy to remove with Hot air on SMD is a paint on hole through.
  • The largest surprise was however in the EDA – your selection of components and technology is suddenly very limited.

The one advantage that Hole Through have is that things are larger and more people feel comfortable working on it – SMD do require some practice to get right, but it is seriously worth mastering. In sum – SMD is much easier to solder and work with than Hole Through IMO.

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