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jfuller8400

Soldering Iron Recommendation

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a good soldering iron? I need to get something a lot better than the el-cheapo one I currently have now.  Multiple tips and variable temps would be good.

Thanks!

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Many of have solder work flow stations. Multiple tips very affordable depending on what you need.

Depending on what you are soldering you may be able to get away with the pre soldered bullet connectors. They are low heat and only need a heat gun.

JR

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This thread might be helpful.

 

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I still have my ancient Weller WTCP (c1970) with interchangeable tips. Each tip has a temp number  (6,7 and I think there were some 8's) and a tip shape.

For general wire, I use the 7 widest chisel tip.  For components, I use the chisel tip that matches the space/contact.

Note: This model existed long before surface mount and sub 1/10 lead spacing.

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Really depends on how serious you are going to get on soldering.  If all you are going to do is put together 1 or 2 boards, a cheapo adjustable iron with a decent tip like the Weller is all you need..  

On the other hand, if you are going to be doing heavy duty stuff, including removing bad parts (rework), you need to step up your game a little.  I personally now use a Aoyue 2703 rework station.  The iron heats fast and is rock solid.  The fume extractor is excellent (boy I miss the smell of solder).  The de-soldering gun is AWESOME.  You will NEVER go back to wick or cheapo vacuum suckers again! 

My only 2 beefs are the tip cost and that it needs a switchable vacuum port.  You have to disconnect the iron and then connect the de-soldering gun (or vice versa) by pulling off the tube.  Tips are in the $14/ea range - which is good and bad.  Its good because the tip contains the heater cartridge so when you replace the tip you basically get a new iron.  But it's bad because you'll probably wear out the tip long before the heater itself goes bad.

Yes, it hurt to write a $300 check for a soldering station.  But if money is no object, Hakko is the way to go.

If I remember, I'll bring my station with me to expo.

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Get one that gets hot.

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Personally i use a Weller rework station it's a bit pricey over a grand but well worth the money

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Thanks for all of the suggestions.  I ended up going with the Aoyue 2703.  I really like the idea of having a heat gun integrated into the station.  

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It's a fine station, and I use mine a lot.  I think you will really like it too.

FYI:  Don't just plug it in and turn it on.  There are some setup steps you need to take including removing a shipping screw from the unit (at least mine required it).  

The secret to using the desoldering gun is the solder on the board.  You should always use a little bit of flux before desoldering.  Then if you still can't seem to get it all out of a hole, add more fresh solder - that will 'refresh' what is already on the board making it easier to melt and remove.  Then try again.

If you need new tips or other parts, SRA has been excellent for me. https://www.sra-solder.com/

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Thanks for the tips, Mike.  I had heard about the mysterious "red screw" that needed to be removed and also about tinning the new tip.  I also learned that I've been using 40/60 solder rather than 60/40 solder (doh!).  Oh well, it's a learning process.

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So I got my new soldering station but now I think I need a larger workbench!  😄

 

workbench.thumb.jpg.e4a08788fb5b416b99a2769d1a525777.jpg

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I'm working on that part.  As soon as my older son moves out, this room (originally a "family room", but currently his bedroom with a little corner for my desk), will get stripped down to bare walls.  New paint, carpet, re-do the lighting, air conditioning, and some electrical.  I will have about 8 - 10 feet of workbench along one wall!  Get to set up most of my ham radio stuff too...

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 9:58 AM, TheDucks said:

I still have my ancient Weller WTCP (c1970) with interchangeable tips. Each tip has a temp number  (6,7 and I think there were some 8's) and a tip shape.

For general wire, I use the 7 widest chisel tip.  For components, I use the chisel tip that matches the space/contact.

Note: This model existed long before surface mount and sub 1/10 lead spacing.

LOL, ARE you saying the people that own a WTCPR  and  a WTCPN are old ??? LMAO !! guess I fall into that category... (even have the DE-soldering head adapted to the WTCPN).

Greg 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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On 6/8/2019 at 1:08 PM, jfuller8400 said:

So I got my new soldering station but now I think I need a larger workbench!  😄

 

workbench.thumb.jpg.e4a08788fb5b416b99a2769d1a525777.jpg

OMG !! a plasma cutter !!!! :)

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59 minutes ago, a31ford said:

LOL, ARE you saying the people that own a WTCPR  and  a WTCPN are old ??? LMAO !! guess I fall into that category... (even have the DE-soldering head adapted to the WTCPN).

Greg 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

I bought mine after I got out of the Navy in 73.  The sponges keep wearing out and I don't know where the metal tip tray (insert) went (way too many moves over the years).

So Yes. That makes me old as well 😛

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