Confused about soldering tips for guitar wiring work

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by krm27, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. krm27

    krm27 Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    I decided to tackle some DIY guitar mods, learning to solder and all that. I bought a soldering station from Circuit Specialists, here:

    It has adjustable heat, the price seemed good, and I read some positive reviews on it. However, the tip that came with it is super sharp and pointy, and I had read some articles suggesting 1/8th inch chisel tips for guitar wiring work. However, I bought such a tip and it turns out that it's not compatible with my soldering station.

    The one that comes with the station has an long (about 1 inch) metal cylinder affixed to the tip. When you attach it to the soldering iron, this hollow cylinder slides over something white and kind of soft (filament?). A tip without this hollow cylinder won't work. Here's a link to a pic of it:

    I had assumed soldering tips were all pretty much the same. Now I'm worried I got a soldering iron with a unique and proprietary tip so that I can only buy new tips from that one manufacturer. I've been searching online for articles on types of tips, and searching for "slip on" tips and such, but I have not seen anything that looks the same. But maybe I'm not using the right terminology?

    I'm hoping some one versed in using a variety of soldering irons will be able to look at this tip and tell me pretty quick if its a generic type of connector or, alternatively, if it's something weird and proprietary. And if it's generic/common, what terminology is used to search for tips with this kind of hollow cylinder connector.


  2. AbstractLunatic

    AbstractLunatic Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Kinda looks like a re-branded station. Perhaps a Weller tip would work? FYI, the provided 0.8mm chisel tip is a very good tip for small work.
  3. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Connecticut, outside of Hartford
    The white thing is the ceramic heating element. Since it's a Hakko 936 copy, there's a decent chance that the Hakko tips will fit, though some copies have heating elements that aren't quite the right size and they'll fit too loose or too tight. You may just want to buy the tips from the same place you bought the iron from as they'll fit properly...but they'll probably not be very good tips.

    1/8" will work for guitar wiring, but that's a pretty large tip. That would be great for the back of pots, and maybe even a trem claw if that station has good enough thermal recovery. Tips are cheap. Get a 1/8", and then a couple of smaller ones as well. I usually take the conical tips that come with the iron and toss it out as I've yet to find a good use for them.

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