FAQ


A. By passing a safe, low voltage, high amperage current through a resistive material we are able to generate an intense heat that can be controlled and localized. The heat that is being generated can then be efficiently used in a wide variety of soldering applications.

There are three key components of resistance soldering:

  1. a specialized step-down transformer that will generate the appropriate current
  2. a resistive material to generate the heat
  3. the ability to complete an electrical circuit


A. Here are a few of the immediate advantages you can expect to see.

  1. Resistance Soldering is a faster, more efficient soldering method than irons or torches.
  2. There is no warm-up time needed. Heat is instant and localized.
  3. Handpieces cool extremely fast, reducing the risk of serious injury.
  4. There are no open flame hazards to be concerned about.
  5. You will have lower overall operating costs because;
    • Extra solder is not needed for pre-tinning Electrodes.
    • Electrodes generally last 2-3 times longer than traditional Soldering Iron tips.
    • You will need less flux, because it is more thoroughly activated during soldering.
    • Soldering will be more consistent and the improved quality will mean less rework.
    • The faster and more efficient use of current during actual soldering lowers consumption.
  6. Resistance Soldering Handpieces are generally lighter than irons, reducing operator fatigue.
  7. Thermal damage to heat sensitive components will be minimized.


A. American Beauty® resistance soldering products are proudly made in the USA and have proven themselves in industrial settings for over 50 years. We offer the widest selection of handpieces and electrodes, the best technical expertise and assistance and the safest and most durable power units. We understand and appreciate that you are often paying a higher upfront cost for this type of soldering system and therefore we work very hard to help you realize all of the benefits and savings involved with resistance soldering.


A. Most soldering applications can be performed using resistance soldering equipment, especially when you need to bring the intended joint to temperature rapidly to avoid thermal damage to surrounding components.


A. Yes! The output voltage of all American Beauty resistance soldering equipment is low voltage AC Current. Unlike soldering irons, the elements and electrodes are only being heated during use and cool down quickly.


A. Although we do not subscribe to UL or CSA marking services, our resistance soldering products have been tested by independent product safety facilities to allow CE required self certification markings.

  • Power Units have been tested to be in compliance with the Standard for Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances – Part 1: IEC 60335-1 (1991-04), 3rd Edition, UL 60335-1, 1st Edition, and CAN/CSA-E335-1/2E-94.
  • Handpieces have been tested to be in compliance with the Standard for Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances – Part 2: IEC 60335-2-45 (1996-04), 2nd Edition, and CSA-E335-2-45.
  • Power Unit Transformers have been tested to be in compliance with the Standard for Safety for Class 2 and Class 3 Transformers (UL 1585, 4th Edition) and the Standard for Isolating Transformers and Safety Isolating Transformers (IEC 742, 1st Edition)


A. When making your purchase, it is always a good idea to buy a unit with a higher maximum wattage than is required for the current task in order to;

  1. Keep you from over taxing the power unit.
  2. Give you a wider working range (dial down the output for applications that require less power).
  3. Allow you to venture in to other applications which may require more power.

If you have any uncertainty regarding which wattage power unit is right for you, contact us with details of your application before you buy, and we will advise you as to the proper system to solve your soldering needs.


A. No. Soldering iron tips need to be tinned to assist in the transfer of heat into a solder joint. Electrodes (because of their resistive properties) generate heat within the solder joint. In fact the electrode materials have been specifically chosen because they do not readily accept solder.


A. Electrode breakage is usually due to the use of excessive pressure during the soldering application. It is important to remember that only light pressure is required to conduct the current needed to generate heat. Adding pressure does not increase the heating efficiency! If the level of heat being generated is diminishing, it is usually due to the build up of oxidation, or contamination on the electrodes surface. A light abrading with a fine grit emery cloth should solve the problem. If excessive pressure is required to aid in the assembly, you may need a handpiece with a larger diameter carbon electrode or a stainless steel electrode for the job.


A. You can do this quite easily, using your always handy, multi-meter, with the function dial set to read AC voltage.

  • Disconnect the handpiece from the power unit, to allow access to the output receptacles or bolts.
  • Make sure the power unit is plugged into the footswitch and the footswitch is plugged into an active AC power outlet.
    Do not actuate the footswitch just yet!
  • Turn the power unit on and turn the voltage control knob to the maximum setting.
  • Place the multi-meter test probes into the output receptacles or onto the output bolts on the front of the power unit. With AC voltage there is no positive, or negative current to be concerned about.
  • Actuate the footswitch and check the reading on the multi-meter to verify the power unit’s output.
  • Adjust the voltage control knob to confirm power unit’s ability to control voltage.


A. You can do this quite easily, using your always handy, multi-meter, with the function dial set to read AC voltage.

  • Ensure that the handpiece is properly connected to the American Beauty® power unit. If your handpiece connects to the power unit via taper pins, make sure that each pin is fully seated into the receptacle by turning them in a clockwise direction while applying pressure.
  • Make sure the power unit is plugged into the footswitch and the footswitch is plugged into an active AC power outlet.
    Do not actuate the footswitch just yet!
  • Turn the power unit on and turn the voltage control knob to the maximum setting.
  • Place the multi-meter test probes onto the adapter portions of the handpiece. (Portion of the handpiece that holds the electrodes or elements. With AC voltage there is no positive or negative current to be concerned about.
  • Actuate the footswitch and check the reading on the multi-meter to verify the handpiece’s output.


A. When ever you are operating an American Beauty Resistance Soldering power unit at 50% of its available output, or higher, you will need to cycle the unit so that the idle time is equal to, or greater than the active time. For example, if your power unit is set to 50% and it takes ten seconds to solder a joint, you will need ten seconds or more of idle time before soldering the next joint. This is to ensure the power unit is not over taxed and to help keep the handpiece from over heating. You should periodically check the handpiece and cabling for any excess accumulation of heat.

You should never run the unit continuously on any setting for more than 20 seconds.


A. A resistance soldering system is only as good as its point of contact. Copper itself has a low level of electrical resistivity therefore making it quite a poor material for resistance soldering. Our electrodes are made from stainless steel and then copper plated. This allow the electrical current to travel with a low level of resistance down the electrode until it passes through the steel, getting instantaneously hot.



Resistance Soldering Technical Handouts