I remember when I got my first mini-xlr I bumped it and accidentally soldered a wire on at an angle! Whoops. Then when I tried to fix it the tiny metal pin fell out. A good rule is to buy two or more just to be safe.
A $10 pair of "Helping Hands" from Amazon is useful and it even includes a magnifying glass. A vise is handy too.
Using a Wal-Mart $5 soldering iron is a bad idea too! I need to invest in a good one. Lately i'm so sick and tired of soldering though. I keep saying it's "fun", but to me it's about as fun as raking the leaves..
I'm just glad I learned how to solder.
The Sennheiser Cardas plugs are much easier as long as you use the flux they give you.
I love Mogami because no sleeving is required. Just some heat shrink tubing near the Y-split for dual entry connections.