Soldering Irons

Tutorials, tools, techniques, methodologies......
User avatar
bigspider
Noise Person
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:20 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Soldering Irons

Post by bigspider » Sat May 09, 2020 7:53 am

What kind of soldering iron does everybody use? I need to get a new iron and I'm thinking of getting my first somewhat nice one, such as a Hakko.

User avatar
Soloman Tump
Noiser
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:30 pm
Location: Oxford, UK
Has thanked: 112 times
Been thanked: 122 times
Contact:

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by Soloman Tump » Sat May 09, 2020 8:57 am

I'm going to treat myself soon to, so keeping an eye on this thread
Dismal electronics from Oxfordshire
https://solomantump.bandcamp.com

User avatar
NoiseWiki
Wiki Bastard
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:38 pm
Has thanked: 1065 times
Been thanked: 683 times
Contact:

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by NoiseWiki » Sat May 09, 2020 2:17 pm

hakko is good.. I'd also reccomend one that has a digital temp readout and a stand.

User avatar
crochambeau
Noiser
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:21 pm
Location: Cascadia
Has thanked: 133 times
Been thanked: 141 times
Contact:

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by crochambeau » Sat May 09, 2020 4:17 pm

I've been using a Weller WES50 for about fifteen years. Any proper temperature controlled station should fit the bill (and are generally a dream to use in comparison to the plug directly into the wall units that I have used).

I'm planning on scooping another station in case the one I have ever fails, but am probably as wet behind the ears as anyone else with regards to current offerings.

Seriously considering getting a station that also does hot air as I incorporate more SMT into my work, might opt to get a vacuum de-soldering station first though.

Weller, Hakko, Xytronic have seemed decent in the past. I may also take a chance at one of the cheap exotics now widely available..
These users thanked the author crochambeau for the post (total 2):
NoiseWiki (Sat May 09, 2020 4:24 pm) • FAP (Sat May 09, 2020 9:09 pm)
Rating: 22.22%
Is HNW the new MISC?

http://www.rochambeau.net/

User avatar
bigspider
Noise Person
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:20 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by bigspider » Sat May 09, 2020 9:05 pm

Some of the cheap stations seem to have decent reputations, which is one reason I've been having trouble deciding. I read someone somewhere say that Hakko clones are just as good as the real thing if they have good tips on them. I have only ever used Radioshack soldering irons, and I think a good station that is high watt and has a temperature readout would save me so much frustration that it would be worth it.
I could never get my iron to work with a desoldering wick, then one day while I was at a friend's house I used a higher watt generic soldering Iron that I don't even think was intended for electronics and the wick worked instantly.

User avatar
FAP
Noiser
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:50 pm
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 157 times

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by FAP » Sat May 09, 2020 9:08 pm

crochambeau wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 4:17 pm
I've been using a Weller WES50 for about fifteen years. Any proper temperature controlled station should fit the bill (and are generally a dream to use in comparison to the plug directly into the wall units that I have used).
QFT. Don’t even bother with those shitty pen-only type irons.

Hakko stuff is generally nicer than a lot of their competitors’ stuff, but keep in mind the Hakko tips tend to be almost twice as expensive (at least that‘s how it was when I was in school). I ended up buying a Weller partially for that reason. It can also be found much cheaper than most Hakko soldering stations and is beautifully simple, So keep that in mind as well if you’re just starting out soldering.

With all that said, I’d still recommend investing in a Hakko tip cleaner (one with brass coils instead of the standard sponge you get with a Weller): much nicer & cleaner, plus it fits neatly in the base where the sponge would otherwise be.

Here’s some photos for reference:
E0B4CE2B-73DA-46A8-9835-20A66013FE4E.jpeg
1540E5CA-A6B6-4BA1-8C1F-E86280610089.jpeg
These users thanked the author FAP for the post (total 3):
NoiseWiki (Sat May 09, 2020 10:10 pm) • bigspider (Sat May 09, 2020 11:41 pm) • crochambeau (Sun May 10, 2020 3:17 am)
Rating: 33.33%

User avatar
bigspider
Noise Person
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:20 pm
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by bigspider » Sat May 09, 2020 11:47 pm

FAP wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:08 pm
crochambeau wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 4:17 pm
I've been using a Weller WES50 for about fifteen years. Any proper temperature controlled station should fit the bill (and are generally a dream to use in comparison to the plug directly into the wall units that I have used).
QFT. Don’t even bother with those shitty pen-only type irons.

Hakko stuff is generally nicer than a lot of their competitors’ stuff, but keep in mind the Hakko tips tend to be almost twice as expensive (at least that‘s how it was when I was in school). I ended up buying a Weller partially for that reason. It can also be found much cheaper than most Hakko soldering stations and is beautifully simple, So keep that in mind as well if you’re just starting out soldering.

With all that said, I’d still recommend investing in a Hakko tip cleaner (one with brass coils instead of the standard sponge you get with a Weller): much nicer & cleaner, plus it fits neatly in the base where the sponge would otherwise be.

Here’s some photos for reference:
Image
Image
Considering the cost of replacement tips is a great point. Now I'm leaning toward the current Weller model. I'm not new to soldering, but I don't make anything very complex as of now. I'm learning more over time, though, and eventually would like to have something that will be useful for bigger builds.
These users thanked the author bigspider for the post:
crochambeau (Sun May 10, 2020 3:29 am)
Rating: 11.11%

User avatar
crochambeau
Noiser
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:21 pm
Location: Cascadia
Has thanked: 133 times
Been thanked: 141 times
Contact:

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by crochambeau » Sun May 10, 2020 3:26 am

You can also just grab a replacement Hakko "Brillo pad" and slap that mofo on your iron stand.

That said, I have a cat that likes to walk around my work space, and the proper Hakko enclosure minimizes cat hair contamination, and that shit stinks at 700 degrees.
solder_scrubbers.JPG
(those are scope probe wires laying over the worst possible position on the iron. I'm a slob)
These users thanked the author crochambeau for the post:
bigspider (Sun May 10, 2020 3:59 am)
Rating: 11.11%
Is HNW the new MISC?

http://www.rochambeau.net/

User avatar
FAP
Noiser
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:50 pm
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 157 times

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by FAP » Sun May 10, 2020 4:52 am

crochambeau wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 3:26 am
just ... slap that mofo on your iron stand ... cat hair contamination ... shit stinks ... I'm a slob)
There are... no words.





Before croch fills my head with any more, ahem, disturbing images, I'd further recommend getting some flux. This is the kind I've been getting recently:


51jEYyZVq-L._AC_SX450_.jpg
Unfortunately this particular one is out of stock, but the seller/brand(?) sells other, similar "syringe"-style flux for slightly different applications: I'd assume they're basically the same thing, though I can't speak from personal experience.
I was intimidated by them for years since they weren't anything like we used in school, but once I got over that mental hurdle, man, they're great. They last you a while, the tips allow for super precision, and best of all they don't stick: they just help the solder flow, just as they should.

As for desoldering, without investing in a separate dedicated work station, the method that's worked best for me time and time again is using a solder sucker in combination with the soldering iron. You can get one like in the picture below, but I have a cheaper, smaller one that's even better; I got it in a package dealie with some solder wick, another desoldering route (albieta less reliable one IMO). Scroll through Amazon and you'll find all sorts of weird package deals like that.
21Uztiq1dBL._AC_SX355_.jpg
These users thanked the author FAP for the post:
bigspider (Sun May 10, 2020 8:02 pm)
Rating: 11.11%

User avatar
NoiseWiki
Wiki Bastard
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:38 pm
Has thanked: 1065 times
Been thanked: 683 times
Contact:

Re: Soldering Irons

Post by NoiseWiki » Wed May 13, 2020 3:50 pm

FB_IMG_1589340962275.jpg

Post Reply