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Cutting The Component Leads After Soldering

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Cut the excess leads from components

You may want to cut the leads before you solder the joints. This allows you to form solder beads that cover and protect the cut end of the lead wire. It can look neater and is arguably more reliable because the end of the lead isn't exposed but it also means that it's harder to spot any connections that you have missed.

Use small wire cutters

Oh yes, getting stung in the eye by a high velocity component lead is not fun, believe me. Always face the lead away from you and anyone else in the room before cutting. If you don't want to get shouted at for leaving bits of wire all over the floor then hold the free end of the lead as you cut it to prevent it from being launched across the room. We are told nowadays that we should wear eye protecting goggles while doing this work and they have a point.

Safety tip hold lead while cutting
Hold your fingers over short leads
Drawing of components with short leads
Mistakes are fixable some easier than others

I must know loads by now then because I've made more than my fair share of mistakes over the years. Especially the embarrassing episode of the exploding power supply but that's a story for another time.

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