Can anyone recommend a good soldering iron?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Roodboy, Mar 4, 2005.


  1. Roodboy

    Roodboy Supporting Member

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    I am trying to get the nerve up to start using a soldering iron. I plan on starting small like installing my own pickups, then maybe some rudimentray pedals like a EH LPB clone, and working my way up to eventually building my own 18 watt clone.
    Howver, I have the skills of a monkey and have never soldered anything ever. I noticed on the Allen amplification site it was suggested to use a 30w- 40 w temperature controlled soldering station, these looked to me like they were around $140.
    I was at Home Depot today and saw a 40w soldering iron for @ $15.
    I would appreciate any suggestions as well as websites and/or books for tips on soldering technique.
    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Hakko 936-12 temperature controlled soldering station. Bought one for work and home a couple years ago. They've been great. They heat up in about 20-30 seconds and i'm still on the original tips with both of them. I had wellers before these, but they always had problems so i had to try something different. They were $59 when i got mine, but they've gone up about 20 bucks. However, at $79 i'd say they're better than the wellers i paid twice that for.
     
  3. baald

    baald Member

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    +1 for the hakko. love mine, had it about 5-6 years. before that, always was using wellers at work. i prefer the hakko. great price too.

    baald
     
  4. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    Where did you buy the Hakko?
     
  5. Roodboy

    Roodboy Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like the hakko for me.
     
  6. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C The Original Racketeer Gold Supporting Member

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    I use a Hakko as well.
     
  7. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Where did you guys buy the Hakko irons? None of the amp supply places sell them and I'm looking for a reliable seller.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  8. pokey

    pokey Supporting Member

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    I bought my soldering station here, they had the best price for my weller- don't know about the hakko pricewise, but they sell them and they shipped fast w/ no problems.
     
  9. scottl

    scottl Member

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    Thanks dudes! I just got my Hakko 936-12 yesterday! Great iron!

    $79 and it got here in one day since the business is near me.
     
  10. Kevan

    Kevan Member

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    I have a POS Radio Shack station that I've used for years, but recently got a ColdHeat soldering iron. TOO COOL! (Literally...)

    It's a different way of soldering, but once you have it down (takes 5 minutes to get the technique right), it's great. No more 'hot spots' on clear coat, no more blisters on fingers, cordless. It's a great invention.

    $20 at Radio Shack, or you can go to ColdHeat.com.
     
  11. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    That looks really cool, but I don't like that it doesn't plug in to the wall.
     
  12. spaceboy

    spaceboy Member

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    ... why so? just cos of paying for batteries or what?
     
  13. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Honestly, I can't really give a decent reason. I guess I just like knowing that its got a constant supply of power.:D
     
  14. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    Okay, this is the land of Two Rock Signatures and Divided by Thirteens, what are you guys doing with Hakko irons? Yecccchh! The Hot Rod Deluxe of soldering irons. Passable but...

    In a word, METCAL.

    Like a great amp, once you try one, you'll never go back.

    http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bin/scripts/product/5635-0059
     
  15. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    Hakkos are great irons. For any of this amp work. I've had
    mine about 7 years now. I like the slim hand piece too.

    WELLER IRONS?

    I've had nothing but problems with my wellers. Two melted
    down on the bench. The very High dollar rework station
    is barely functional. Bummer.

    Metcals are great too, however, I'm not doing 12 layer
    mil spec boards.

    $79.00 for a temp contolled iron is great and the Hakko
    that I have has lasted. : )
     
  16. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Whew! $636 for a soldering station? Damn!

    Just a lowly Weller (don't remember the number on it) user here; 3 years on the iron, new tip every year and good to go. Also have a Weller 8200 gun; no issues again.

    If and when I need a new one, I'll check into the Hikkos; never heard of them before!
     
  17. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    Also look at Xytronic. Nice light handpiece. Bought one of their rework stations and a hot air station 6-7 months back and couldn't be happier. No more stuck tips, corroded junk, or failing heaters.
     
  18. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    Now we find the GAS limit. A Melancon or Thorn is one thing, but a $600 soldering iron is too much. :D

    Seriously, the thing I love about the Metcal is that due to the unique nature of how it works, it doesn't really care about the thermal mass of what you're soldering. The tip is only for the thermal contact area, not to make up thermal mass when contacting something that sinks a bunch of heat. With the Metcal, the heat seems to magically appear when needed. So you can go from a 1/4W resistor on a PC board to a ground lug on a chassis with the same tip. Really amazing. The same near infinite thermal capacity makes them great for production soldering. The only problem is the cost of the tips with operators who don't bother to take care of them. In which case Weller tips are cheaper to stock. I've worked with assembly lines using Weller, Hakko, Hexacon, Pace and Metcal. I have had a few Wellers go out but overall, they're the standard of the industry for a reason. Hakko undercuts them a bit on price but doesn't perform as well. Reliability is similar. These are for the $100+ production soldering stations. I have less experience with the small plug in irons.
     

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