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Other What soldering iron?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bloody_Pete, 26 Feb 2011.

  1. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    As the title says, I'm looking for a soldering iron. I've currently got a rubbish one I got free with Real Robots magazine (who remembers that?) and it's not temp controlled so if you use it for more than 10 minutes it starts to smoke.

    Currently I don't have a budget, I just want something decent for a decent price :)
     
  2. JY_OC_HX

    JY_OC_HX New Member

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    Hey bloody pete. are you bothered if its gas powerd or electric. Are you going to be soldering any sensitive components that may be affected by noise of a mains soldering iron.
    I have one of these and as its gas powered it is easy and comfy to use because theres no wire to get in the way. Bit pricey but very highly recommended. you also get a sponge, solder sucker and 3 heads. one is a soldering tip, one is like a braising attachment and the other channels a steam of hot air through approx 1mm nozzle.
    You just adjust the bottom of the iron to adjust the amount of gas that flows to the burner, this alters the temp
    http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=4335984&cm_vc=av_uk

    This one also looks quite good.
    http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=4335978
     
  3. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I prefer a nice controlled electric one, as I will have to adjust the temp when doing my robotics.
     
  4. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    If you can afford it, stick with Weller and Antex. Best two brands in the world. A nice temp controlled 25 or 30 Watt (depends what you're using it for) should set you back about £60.

    Edit: Didn't read you full post about Real Robots. I started building my Cybot and got quite far, but that thing chewed batteries waay to fast, and i couldn't afford it anymore. I reached the part where you give it sensors so it can navigate a straight or curved line. Pretty cool.
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2011
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  5. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Weller WHS-40 is all the soldering iron you're ever going to need. Get a "long life" tip straight away and it'll last for ages. I've had mine for 7 years I guess, and it's still going strong.
     
  6. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Agreed Weller is the best I've got 4 of different sizes one being 40 years old now and still works as good as it ever did
     
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  7. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I know what some of my next bursury is going on then... :p cheers guys :)
     
  8. PhoenixTank

    PhoenixTank From The Ashes

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    HA. I remember and still have mine. Repaired a scart cable with it once, but otherwise never used.
     
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  9. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    i use something similar to this mainly because i use mine almost every day and need to get replacement elements from time to time.
     
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  10. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    That looks almost identical to a Weller iron i used to have. Didn't have the station though.
     
  11. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    I've got an ancient Weller one with a station. The earliest PAT test sticker on it was from 1988!
    The engineering department were chucking it out, by the looks of things because the temperature control gubbins had fallen out. So instead of a dial it just has a hole.

    Very nice though, heats up quickly, great tip, holds temperature, free :D

    The only bad thing about it is that it doesn't fit in to my tool box very well!

    So, anyway, I like Weller irons. Get one with a nice fine tip and look after it.
     
  12. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    sorry if i misunderstand this, but you do know you can fully control the temp of butane soldering irons too, right?

    ive been using THIS DANDY for about 2 years now and i really enjoy it. it heats up almost instantly (even high powered electric ones ive used take a minute or two). and its great for getting into tight places with the lack of cord. being an auto tech, cordless is a godsend for me, but i use it for PCs alot as well. it also has an attachment for heating heat shrink without leaving soot on it.
     
  13. Oggyb

    Oggyb Mutant

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    REAL ROBOTS! My youth!!
     
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  14. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I do proper robots now :p


    I just wanted an electric one as it gives better control so if I need to use it for fine electronics I can :)
     
  15. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

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    The better question is, what are you going to be doing with it?

    If you aren't soldering anything super sensitive, then just get a cheap one. Especially one of the "instant hot" irons. I have one of those, as well as an old $5 always-on 12w iron and they both work just fine. I've never killed any components. Granted I haven't ever soldered anything really sensitve, but I have assembled my fair share of basic circuits, radios, etc with them in my time. I've also done a couple of board repair replacing blown caps as well as repairing a couple of old LED displays and digital clocks for cars with them (including replacing some ICs).

    Now if you do a lot of soldering, or are going to be soldering something senstive, go temperature controlled all the way. Gas powered is the best if you need to avoid anything that could be remotely effected by AC current.
     
  16. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I was a real robots subscriber! Built the whole robot but stopped when they released the second robot, ~25 issues from completion of the whole series I think.

    Anyway, among others I've got a 30W Antex temp controlled iron which was the first one I ever bought (actually, my dad bought it for me). It's now over 10 years old and has never needed anything other than new tips - and if you get the Antex ones they don't need replaced all that often either! I've never needed to put a new element in it or replace the flex - It's still the first iron I reach for out of the tool box, although I invested in a Metcal rework station a few months ago and prefer to use that if I'm working at the bench in the workshop. For on-site jobs though, the Antex is unbeatable.

    I would stay away from gas irons if possible - they seem good and are pretty handy, but they don't heat joints as well as electric wand type irons because they can't provide the same constant thermal power (wattage) as the likes of a 25 or 30W Antex electric wand.
     
  17. Blarte

    Blarte Moderate Modder

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    a soldering what ? ... Whats happend to electricians tape and chewing gum?
     
  18. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Those were the days :thumb:
     
  19. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Hey guys.

    Just thought I'd poke you again. Took your advice, been looking at Weller (my Uni's labs are full of them) and Antex stations. This is the Weller I'm looking at, while this is the cheapest Antex on Onecall. Any thoughts if the Antex is £60 better than the Weller?
     
  20. Deders

    Deders New Member

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    Sorry to hijack this thread, I only need a simple answer but it got me thinking, does anyone know if I'd need a more specific soldering iron for soldering silver soldier? and what about flux?
     

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