What’s a good soldering kit for small electronics work?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by skiltrip, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Clark GriswoId

    Clark GriswoId Supporting Member

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    I used this one for about 2 years, but i upgraded to the Hakko 888. if you are serious about the hobby, the Hakko is a nice piece of kit.
     
  2. Lung plunger

    Lung plunger Member

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    It'd be a hobby in my case, just to keep myself busy and out of trouble. I'm a tech in real life though, and realize the importance of good tools. Cheap tools can be a headache and a quick excuse to bail on a nice hobby.
     
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  3. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    It's no Hakko, and not what I'd recommend for professional use, but this Weller copy sold by Parts-Express is durable and reliable, in my experience. I've used one on general guitar stuff for 5+ years, and only had to replace the tips. Currently on sale for $14 makes it even more attractive.

    Larry
     
  4. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Not sure how a knob becomes scientific. I bought the Hakko 936 years ago. One word of caution though, change the tip out frequently; if the tip and shaft part get fused together, a new wand is $75!
     
  5. Lung plunger

    Lung plunger Member

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    With a dial that goes from 1-5, which temps correspond to a specific number or location on the dial. As a beginner, I could see myself either having too much heat or not enough to smoothly melt solder.

    Example: When I first started brazing with an oxygen/acetylene setup, I burnt a lot of holes in copper tubing or didn't get it hot enough to where the silver solder didn't flow right and ended up looking like a pile of birdsh..t (embaressing). I'd hate to do that with pedal components.
     
  6. Pick'n'strum

    Pick'n'strum Member

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    Lots of people love Hakko and Weller. If you're looking for a bit more budget-friendly station, I love my X-tronic 3020. If you plan on purchasing one for the long term, I'd recommend one with a temp gauge.

    One thing that took me a long time to realize is that the solder itself makes a huge difference. I recently switched to Kester 44 and won't go back.
     
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  7. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    You'll have to spend a lot of money to get one that accurately displays the tip temperature. The best thing to do is get familiar with your station; you'll soon have a good feel of where to dial it in at, based on the job. Start on the low side!
     
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  8. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    I love the basic utility of the Hakko 936
    BUT (there's always a but)
    I think it was designed in the pre silver-solder/RoHS/REACH rules.
    The 936 has a max temp of 480 C which is just over the 450 C that many silver solders need, which means you have to run it flat-out to be RoHS compliant. This isn't a big deal for the US home hobbyist, but it might be for someone living overseas or wanting to just use the non-lead-stuff and reduce their exposure.

    That's about my only complaint on the 936, and it isn't limited to the 936 by any means.
    Folks, when considering a soldering iron, look at the temp of the solder(s) you want to use, the thermal mass (SMD vs Strat wiring harnesses) and the temp range of the iron. Also, make sure you can get replacement handles and tips for the next 10 years. That will eliminate a lot of the 'options' out there.
     
  9. Starshine

    Starshine Member

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    I've built hundreds of pedals and rewired probably a dozen guitars with an old X-tronic soldering station with temperature set by a knob. I'm sure the more expensive options are nice, but I've never felt the need for anything better.
     
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  10. makerdp

    makerdp Member

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  11. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    I just stick to Kester 60/40 .021 and have 0 issues.
     
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  12. Viking999

    Viking999 Member

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