When to Use Male Headers

Male headers are the simplest type and generally ship with any board that uses them. 

Use male headers if you want to build your project into a breadboard - solderless or permanent. They are also used in conjunction with female headers if you want to stack your boards together.

They are standardized in size at 0.1" spacing, with a few exceptions, so in general you can use any header with any microcontroller, FeatherWing, or shield.

Adafruit even stocks them in fancy colors! 

Cutting Male Headers to Size

Most Feather boards ship with the correct size of header already included. If you need to cut these down, it's pretty easy to do. Use a pair of flush cutters to carefully snip the plastic right between the pins. 

It's also possible to "break" these to size like a kit kat bar, but this is generally less accurate and you'll sometimes miss and get the wrong number of pins -- so always double check your count.

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

Soldering Male Headers

Prepare the header strip:

Cut the strip to length if necessary. It will be easier to solder if you insert it into a breadboard - long pins down

Add the breakout board:

Place the breakout board over the pins so that the short pins poke through the breakout pads

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).

Solder the other strip as well.

You're done! Check your solder joints visually and make sure they all look shiny, and that nothing is bridged.

Now What?

From here, you can connect your board to a breadboard for prototyping, or plug it in to a board that has female headers or stacking headers soldered on. 

It's also possible to solder a FeatherWing directly to the other end of these pins if you're looking for the tiniest possible package for your project.

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

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

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