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Soldering Irons And Stations

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Overview

  • Quick-change tips
  • Maximum heating power
  • Heating rate (high quality soldering irons can heat-up to the set temperature within about 2 seconds!)
  • Stable temperature control under different loads

For all but the lightest of work you will want to choose a soldering station instead of a soldering iron. The station provides a holder for the iron, keeping it in a safe place while you do other work (so you don’t burn yourself!). It also allows to a lighter and higher power iron, as most of the electronics can now be located in the freestanding control unit rather than in the handheld iron.

Brands

Hakko

An American company with a vivid and memorable blue/yellow brand color.

JBC

The creme-de-la-creme of soldering iron brands. JBC makes some of the highest-quality soldering stations, but as expected, this comes at a very high price.

Weller

The Weller brand is associated with quality, second only to JBC. Naturally, their products are generally cheaper than JBCs to compensate.

Hobbyist Range

Hakko FX888D

No quick change tips

Weller WE1010

No quick change tips

Professional Range

Hakko FM203-15

A dual port soldering station. For use with the FM-2027 soldering iron which takes the Hakko T12 range of tips. Note that the T12 range are quick-change, and you start paying more than double for quick-changes tips (versus the T18 range).

Note that that tips are not truly quick change until you also purchase extra Soldering Pencil Sleeves. These are proprietary hand-grips that slide onto the tip. Once each tip has one of these, you can quickly change tips by unclipping the sleeve + tip from the rest of the iron and inserting a new one. These sleeves also remove the need for using pliers or a rubber mat to remove hot tips.

A green soldering pencil sleeve from Hakko. You have to purchase one of these per tip before your soldering iron truly becomes 'quick change'. Image from https://nz.element14.com/hakko/b3219/soldering-pencil-sleeve-green/dp/1676853.

A green soldering pencil sleeve from Hakko. You have to purchase one of these per tip before your soldering iron truly becomes 'quick change'. Image from https://nz.element14.com/hakko/b3219/soldering-pencil-sleeve-green/dp/1676853.

Weller WT 1010

Single port. 95W. 550°C max temp. For use with the WTP90 soldering iron, which takes the XT tips.

Weller WT2010M

Dual port. 75W x2 450°C


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