Soldering Iron Suggestions

  • Hello,

    I'm looking to get my first soldering iron for the 40h kit among other things, and wondering if anyone can suggest a brand or model that they use and would endorse. I'm willing to spend if its a quality product.

    Thanks

  • Weller makes quality (and appropriately expensive) soldering irons, but I was able to solder together a kit with a cheap (~$30) radio shack soldering iron.

  • If you're into butane, I use (and really dig) the Iroda SolderPro 70K

    here's some ebay listings:
    http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=iroda+solderpro+70

    i don't have shares in Iroda btw

    ;)

  • whoa. butane?!

    what are the pro's of that, aside from the soldering irons being portable,?

  • Well... aside from the biggest detraction of gas-powered irons being their tricky temperature regulation (which one gets used to); portability (a given), the ability to swap out to various tip sizes, torchwork use & heat shrinking are really handy features.

    Not a bad choice for a first soldering iron purchase that would certainly tackle a 40h and plenty 'others things'. I'd recommend practicing a bit before tackling any circuit board projects though, as it can be quite easy to burn things if you set the iron temperature too high.

    Just my 2 cents *shrug*

  • I have a weller, the wlc100 was recommended and has served me very well over the years:
    http://cgi.ebay.ca/WELLER-WLC100-WLC-100-40W-ADJUSTABLE-SOLDERING-STATION_W0QQitemZ220175891500QQihZ012QQcategoryZ46413QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

  • we use hakko 936.

  • If you're into electronic music, or just electronics or general nerdiness, invest in a decent soldering iron. It is one of those things that'll be nice to have on hand for the rest of your life and once you buy it, you don't have to worry about it becoming obsolete or whatever. Buy once and you're done. I must have been though a half dozen cheap soldering irons before I got a Weller. That Hakko looks very nice. Trust me on this. Just buy it right the first time and you'll never regret it.

  • stretta's advice is right on.

    the learning curve is also much more reasonable with a quality iron. cheap irons will leave you frustrated-- think of learning to play guitar on something completely incapable of sounding good.

  • xytronics

    Really good. Really cheap (and no compromises for being cheap - easily as good as some of those > £100 weller irons, which really isn't a great brand these days)

    http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?kw=&tier1=Tools%2c+Fasteners+%26+Production+Equipment&tier2=Soldering+Equipment&tier3=Accessories&tier4=Auto-temp+369+soldering+station&moduleno=61411

  • p.s isnt there something in css you can use to stop those big links from doing that?

  • Is there a name for the smaller tips. Is it just referred as a pencil tip or does it have a number? Probably not necessary for this project but my next one is a doozy of tight small soldering points.

  • weller wes51 here. seems nice enough

    was lucky enough to request it as a birthday gift.. ;)

    I also agree with the philosophy of investing in good quality tools.

    the issue of whether or not they "make 'em like they used to" is largely at our discretion as consumers... whether we want to have a lot of crappy things or a few very nice things

  • Hakko 928 - used on e-bay - super-stable adjustable station with 2 irons one big tip one teeny (I always use the teeny one). And it came with a metal toolbox full of useful stuff - guy was streamlining. I think I paid ~$150 - nothing like what they want for this stuff new.

    That was 5 yrs ago even cheaper now: http://search-completed.ebay.com/search/search.dll?GetResult&sacat=109556&ftrt=1&fsop=2&fsoo=2&sadis=200&from=R10&sargn=-1&sofocus=so&fpos=02472&saprclo=&sabfmts=1&fis=2&fcl=3&sbrftog=1&saobfmts=insif&catref=C6&satitle=Hakko+928&saprchi=&ftrv=1&guest=1

  • Wow, thanks everybody! This is more advice than I thought I'd get. I'm definitely looking to only but one quality iron, and I totally relate to a good product making learning easier. My guitar when I got it used was a bit quirky but after getting it fixed it was so much easier to play and invited to be played. But anyway.. I've noticed all the suggestions so far seem to be paintbrush/pencil style rather than the gun style, I've seen at local retailers I've been checking. Any reason to pick one or the other? I (without experience) think the paintbrush/pencil would be more precise than the gun, but that could always be learned I suppose.

    Voltage/Wattage wise, is there a range I should be looking for if I only plan to be using it on electronic projects? I've seen 140 Watt soldering irons for plumbing or something and that must be overkill..

    I have a feeling I'll be looking fro either a Weller or Hakko iron, as they seem to be the most suggested brands, no offence liam/john-paul : ) . From the two big box retailers in Canada I've checked they seem to only have Mastercraft, Weller, and ColdHeat, which I've heard stories of damaging circuit boards.

    Anyway, I've gotten away from the point.. I'm just wondering about...

    Voltage requirements and the iron style.

    Thanks again, everyone

  • For parts like diodes, ICs etc. it's recommended to not use an iron with more then 35watts. It's nice to have a variable power one though... so you have the power if you need it.

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