On the other hand, I have consistently good results with the "virgin" metal solders, so I am happy to pay the extra expense for quality solder. I've been a huge fan of Canfield's 60/40 solder for many years and consistently get good, clean, shiny solder lines using their product. During my last visit, the good folks at Anything In Stained Glass recenty suggested another brand to me: Victory White Metal (or VWM on the label).
I used VWM on my most recent panel and was very pleased with its performance. It stays nice and shiny and doesn't appear to have any impurities at all. It melts quickly, and I was able to get my desired texture into the solder for the tree trunk with very little effort. I'm going to continue working with VWM for a while (until I run out of the two pounds I purchased) and go back to Canfield (because I have more of that in the studio) to see if I notice a difference. I suspect I won't notice any appreciable difference and once my existing stock of Canfield is used up, I'll likely be switching to VWM for good. Why? It's cheaper than Canfield brand but performs just as well. Depending on where you buy it, one pound of Canfield solder will cost between $19 and $24 while VWM solder costs between $12 and $17. When I started, a pound of solder was around $6 and we thought that was high! I may not like the higher costs today, but I understand it. In the past 15-20 years, the cost of fuel has gone up significantly - this directly impacts the cost of every good and service. The increased fuel costs impact both the delivery of the raw materials and finished product as well as the production of the finished product. The cost of the raw materials to produce solder have also increased, so naturally the price will go up. So for hobbyists and stained glass professionals alike, anything reasonable we can do to cut back on expenses is a good thing. Personally, I'm not willing to cut quality, so finding quality supplies at lower prices is a big deal!
If you work in stained glass too, what solders have you used and what is your favorite?