The 10 Best Soldering Fume Extractors
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in March of 2019. Although many people assume that metals, especially lead, create dangerous fumes when soldering them, it's actually the smoke produced by the flux that can be the bigger worry. Fortunately, you can avoid potential negative impacts on your health by using an extractor, which keeps your lungs safe by way of a fan and, usually, a filter. Plug one in while you're working for clean air. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 04, 2020:
This time around we've refreshed our list with a few new options and a couple specialized models as well. The most typical design for a fume extractor is simply a small computer-type fan with an enclosure and a carbon filter, and the Kotto Fume Remover is a relatively recent example that provides a nice medium between quality and price. If you want whatever's most affordable it's hard to beat the Kulannder Handy Carry, but if you don't mind paying slightly more for extras such as a metal enclosure or a carrying handle the Kotto Fume Remover is a great selection.
While the box design is the most common we've also featured a few choices with more positioning possibilities, namely the Kotto Smoke Absorber and the Kulannder Table Absorber. The former features an articulated hose and the latter simply attaches a box model to a three-joint swingarm, but for all intents and purposes both provide the same benefits. The major advantage of these designs is that they allow you to place your extractor directly above your soldering project area, which naturally makes it easier to catch smoke since it floats upwards anyway. Selections that simply sit next to your workspace can still be plenty effective, but getting them placed in such a way that they can pull the fumes away from your project can take some fiddling and often requires putting them on top of something.
We also added the OrangeA Utility Blower as a specialized option for those who are dealing with a lot of fumes in a poorly ventilated area. Unlike most purpose built soldering fume extractors, which suck smoke through a filter and recirculate the air back into the space, this blower removes the smoke entirely by venting it through its hose and then outside a door or window. While this choice is very effective it's definitely not for everyone. It's on the more expensive side and is louder than most other options as well, but those who are dealing with heavy fumes and wouldn't mind adding a new tool to their arsenal should definitely consider it.
April 24, 2019:
For the most effective fume extraction, an activated carbon filter is generally necessary, so we looked at models that provide this feature; top choices include the Hakko Bench Top and the Kulannder Handy Carry. The former is more expensive, but it also offers greater positioning options and a beefier power cord, making it the better choice for regular use. For even stronger protection, we added the Edsyn Static-Safe Fuminator, but it's more costly still, so it may not be the best bet for the casual hobbyist. If you make a living from your tools, however, it may be worth the investment. Finally, after some consideration, we decided to add one option without a filter, the Baoshishan Absorber, which clips on and takes up very little room. Consider this model if you work with solder only rarely, have limited space, or need its ability to operate as a fan.