Moving from through hole to surface mount components – how difficult can it be?

I have seen quite a number of people ponder on moving from through hole mounted components to surface mount – so how difficult is it?

Pro through-hole:

SPI on PCB

Through hole mounted microcontroller with some discrete surface mount parts.

  • Through-hole components are bigger, one can actually touch them with bare hands
  • Through-hole fits bread board ideally – no way to put chip components there

Pro surface mount:

  • SMD are cleaner. Being so small one is less likely to handle them with bare hands (no grease, less oxidisation)
  • SMD are easier to re-solder as the pads play it nice, when removing through-hole is pain
  • Surface mount components leave backside of PCB clean, nothing to cut there

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