When to Use Female Headers

Female headers make it easy to connect two boards together.

If you want to stack a Feather and FeatherWing, or to attach a LiPoly backpack charger onto an ItsyBitsy or Pro Trinket, female headers make this easy. Use female headers on the bottom board and male headers on the top, and they'll plug right in.

If your project will be built on a breadboard, it may be easier to use Stacking Headers. If you just want to stick the boards together and go, female headers are the best choice.

Cutting Female Headers to Size

Most of Adafruit's Feather boards ship with the correct sizes of headers. If you need a custom solution, sometimes you need to trim down a female header to fit. 

Wear eye protection when cutting header parts. Often pieces fly through the air and could injure someone if not careful.

Carefully count out how many pins you need on the female header. Go to the next pin in line and grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it straight out.

Take your flush cutters and snip through the plastic header right through the gap you just made. You may need to file down the edges of the header for neatness, but often these cutters give a pretty beautiful cut.

Soldering Female Headers

Tape In Place

For sockets you'll want to tape them in place so when you flip over the board they don't fall out.

Blu Tack or other removable putty works well also.

Flip & Tack Solder

After flipping over, solder one or two points on each strip, to 'tack' the header in place

And Solder!

Be sure to solder all pins for reliable electrical contact.

(For tips on soldering, be sure to check out our Guide to Excellent Soldering).

You're done! Check your solder joints visually and continue onto the next steps

This guide was first published on Nov 04, 2020. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Female Headers) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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