Frogbro DP-SS02 Desoldering Pump – Review & Teardown
Yes, “Frogbro” is a brand of products from Hangzhou Frankever Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer/supplier of a variety of generic electronic products. And why would they matter here is because recently we got our hands on their DP-SS02 desoldering pump, or a solder sucker as it is called in some parts of the world. But what’s so special about it, must be some generic desoldering pump right? Well, if you have ever done the hunting for the “best” desoldering pump out there, you might have ended up selecting the Engineer SS02; the Japanese-made desoldering pump which is one of a kind. While the SS02 is costly, the DP-SS02 is a cheaper and the closest clone you can get. So in this post, we will review the DP-SS02 desoldering pump and see if it is any good.
Features & Specs
The DP-SS02 has the following features and specifications according to the manufacturer.
- Heat-resistant and flexible Silicone nozzle allows closer placement to the soldering iron tip, therefore achieving better suction and better solder removal.
- The compact design allows easy one-handed operation.
- Self-cleaning shaft allows high productivity of continual work without clogging.
- Withstands direct contact with soldering iron (max 350 °C).
- Heavy-duty Aluminium body.
- High-tension spring.
- Low maintenance cost, owing to spare tube, only required for replacement.
- Cylinder capacity: 9 cc
- Dimensions: 20 mm cylinder dia and 153 mm length.
- Weight: 52 g
In the Box
- 1 x DP-SS02 Desoldering Pump
- 2 x 45 mm long Silicone replacement tubes
Build Quality & Ergonomics
The DP-SS02 is similar in looks and function to the SS02 from Engineer. The body and other metal parts are made of Aluminium. The remaining parts are either made of rubber (such as O-rings) or Silicone (nozzle). So the selection of materials is excellent. But the overall fit and finish don’t match the original SS02. But that is to be expected considering the price of the DP-SS02. The problem with the build quality is that the moving parts such as the plunger and the plunger release button are made with larger tolerances (higher error margins). That makes both the plunger and button way too wobbly in their operation and ends up literally grinding the metal parts together when they move. After a few operations, we could see how much the surfaces were worn out. Other than the wobbly plunger mechanism, everything else has acceptable quality including the spring and the machined threads on the body parts.
The ergonomics are the same as the SS02 pump. The overall compact size makes it easy to hold the pump in one hand and the short plunger is within the reach of the thumb, making it suitable for one-hand operation. The plunger release button is also at the right place that you can operate it with your thumb.
If you have ever used the original SS02, you know that it is extremely smooth and consistent in its operation, thanks to Japanese engineering and the lower tolerances used for machined parts. It would be hard to believe if it didn’t become a fidget tool for you! Compared to that, the DP-SS02 is not that smooth, mainly due to the wobbly plunger mechanism and the release button. But still, you will have no trouble using it. The suction is very good with DP-SS02 because of the well-sealed Aluminum body. If you try to close the nozzle and try to compress or release the plunger, you can feel the power of the suction. Since good suction is what a desoldering pump needs more than anything else, the DP-SS02 clearly wins in that department. The quality of the Silicone nozzle provided is excellent. They withstand temperatures in the range of 300 °C. So it won’t melt or deform after prolonged use. That’s much better than the plastic-made nozzles used in most other desoldering pumps. We wonder why manufacturers keep using plastic on their nozzles even when they know that it’s not going to withstand the soldering temperatures and perform terribly.
The pump also has the capability to eject some of the sucked solder material out of the tube if you compress the pump to its maximum. A desoldering pump is only part of the solution for separating soldered joints. A solder wick does a great job of removing excess solder from an SMD PCB. A desoldering pump is best when you have through-hole components to remove or want to clear plated through holes. Maintenance of the DP-SS02 is also easy. You need to regularly clean the inside of the pump and apply light grease (lithium-based is best) to improve performance. The Engineer YouTube channel has a great video on this, which is applicable to the DP-SS02 as well.
There is not much to teardown. All parts are either machined, press-fit, or screwed. Both ends of the Aluminium cylinder are machined metal pieces that you can remove by unscrewing. It can be a little difficult to do especially if your hand is sweating or has oil. The seal is made of Aluminium with an O-ring around it. It fits tightly inside the cylinder thus achieving good sealing. We could not remove the plunger from the top end and see the inside of the locking mechanism. It will probably require some brute forcing to remove and we are not sure if we can join them back once we take them apart.
The original Engineer SS02 is not available everywhere. Adafruit sells it for USD 17.5 which is around INR 1400. DigiKey India sells it for around INR 1600. But if you add shipping and taxes, the SS02 can cost anywhere around INR 2000 to 3000 per piece. The currently listed price of the SS02 at Amazon is INR 3270. That can be quite some money to spend on a desoldering pump, especially when you only have occasional use. So what does the Frogbro DP-SS02 cost? The pricing from the official page is USD 5 per piece for an MOQ of 1000 pcs. $5 is an excellent deal considering that DP-SS02 delivers similar performance (good suction) as that of the original SS02. But we bought the DP-SS02 for INR 1199 (~USD 14.8) from DRKStore which is the only distributor of DP-SS02 in India at the time of writing this. We don’t know what the original landing cost is, but the DP-SS02 is more affordable than SS02 right now. Also, the selling price of a product does not always depend on the production cost. First, the product has to be available for you to buy that for any price. If you were to ask us for a desoldering pump recommendation, we will either give you SS02 or DP-SS02, because they are the only good ones that deliver the type of performance. No other products can match that yet. AliExpress also has similar products listed for various prices and one of them only costs INR 800 and looks similar to the DP-SS02.
The DP-SS02 is a good investment in a tool, especially if you are an electronic technician who has to desolder many components in order to fix an issue on a board. Even though most modern PCBs use SMD components, there are still parts that use THT. If you want a compact, good-quality, serviceable and well-performing desoldering pump, then you can definitely consider buying the DP-SS02.
- Frogbro DP-SS02 Product Page
- Buy DP-SS02 Desoldering Pump – DRK Store
- Engineer SS02 – Product Page
- Engineer SS02 – Adafruit
- Engineer SS02 – Digikey
- Short URL to this page – https://circuitstate.com/dpss02r