Recommend Soldering Iron?
Feb 11, 2020 at 11:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

admaciaszek

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All my projects I have used my university's soldering irons and other equipment but As graduation approaches, I'm trying to flush out my own workbench. I have crappy 12$ kit I got off Taobao I've used for larger projects but absolutely too large and unwieldy to work on tint Knowles drivers. What do you use?
As a college student budget is a bit limited so sub $100 used/new prices, please.
 
Feb 12, 2020 at 1:00 AM Post #2 of 19

Raketen

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I use a Weller wes51 which is a decent older style analog solder station, but I've never soldered BAs (sure there's a tip size available that would work though). Hakko 888 seems popular.

Some of the new direct heating style irons seem really nice though, was watching this the other day, pretty nifty, only $70 (apparently there are even firmware hacks for these things... like rockbox for soldering irons lol)

 
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Feb 12, 2020 at 2:29 PM Post #3 of 19

HiGHFLYiN9

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...budget is a bit limited so sub $100 used/new prices, please.
The Hakko FX888D is probably one of the best sub-$100 options out there. The 936 was great as well but now there are plenty of fakes on the market. The FX888D is just a newer version of the 936.

I started with a 936, upgraded to a FX-951, and then upgraded again to the FX-100 over the course of 16 or so years. The used units were still working great when I sold them and they kept a good resale value.
 
Feb 15, 2020 at 9:28 AM Post #7 of 19

tomb

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The Hakko FX888D is probably one of the best sub-$100 options out there. The 936 was great as well but now there are plenty of fakes on the market. The FX888D is just a newer version of the 936.

I started with a 936, upgraded to a FX-951, and then upgraded again to the FX-100 over the course of 16 or so years. The used units were still working great when I sold them and they kept a good resale value.

^ This … absolutely.

I've been using the 936 for over 15 years, now. Dang things never stop working and have more tips than you can shake a stick at. I've used and currently use mine for actual production, with both through-hole headphone amplifiers, DACs with SMD down to 805 and SSOP-28, and cables. I wish it would break so I could try the FX888D, but it won't. Bad thing is, I bought a brand-new, sealed 936 as a spare about 10 years ago when it was on sale (because they came out with the FX888.)

I'm stuck. :frowning2:
 
Feb 15, 2020 at 2:09 PM Post #10 of 19

silverfishla

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I use a Weller wes51 which is a decent older style analog solder station, but I've never soldered BAs (sure there's a tip size available that would work though). Hakko 888 seems popular.

Some of the new direct heating style irons seem really nice though, was watching this the other day, pretty nifty, only $70 (apparently there are even firmware hacks for these things... like rockbox for soldering irons lol)

This is a great soldering iron. I have the rebranded Seed version that I got off of Drop. Heats up quick, digital temp display and variety of tips. It is small and easy to use.
 
Feb 15, 2020 at 10:09 PM Post #11 of 19

Tjj226 Angel

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Find out if there are any local shops that sell replacement tips. If you can find a local shop that sells hakko tips, buy a hakko. If you can only find weller tips, buy the best weller station you can.
 
Feb 16, 2020 at 2:00 AM Post #12 of 19

Propagandist

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A friend let me borrow his X-Tronic Model 3020 so I could make some cables. I liked it a lot. Seemed to be a really good one for $60. Amazon reviews indicate that it has some reliability issues, but it seems like if you get a good one, you're set. I might not recommend it for constant use, but for a spot of solder every now and then, it seems to do the trick.

If you're having trouble justifying the $100 for the Hakko, I'd consider the X-Tronic.
 
Aug 7, 2020 at 11:14 AM Post #13 of 19

rays12

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Oh, we seem to be on the same hunt here. I'm getting into the world of DIY and I'm looking for a decent starter soldering gun. I have some experience soldering but that was several years ago. Are Silver Soldering Kits worth money? Discovered about them here https://diystadium.com/silver-soldering-kits-review/ , but woud like more recommendations before I proceed with buying
 
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Aug 7, 2020 at 12:41 PM Post #15 of 19

HiGHFLYiN9

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What I ended going with is some advice I got on reddit was to get a used metcal. No more fiddling with Temps it automatically adjusts it for your during use. They are really expensive new but check out eBay and Facebook marketplace I got a mfr-2200 for $140

Metcals are very well respected. Typically to get a temp-sensing tip station new is ~$500 or more, so used is much more realistic for hobbyists.

Are Silver Soldering Kits worth money? Discovered about them here, but woud like more recommendations before I proceed with buying.
Silver solder is fine. I like the Cardas version that has silver and copper. If you don't want to spend the extra money Kester 63/37 or 60/40 works perfectly well.
 
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