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Soldering Iron

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Alan Gordon 431/05/2020 11:28:10
85 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Guys, looking to get a new soldering iron. Looking for 30w plus and used for small jobs. I would also like to have available replacement tips. There are a few on the market but no indication whether replacement tips are available ! any recommendations would be appreciated.

clogs31/05/2020 12:19:59
528 forum posts
12 photos

just buy what ever is most affordable and conv.......

pretty much all mine come from car boots.......even new, if it gives trouble bin it ......

got a monster for €10's but the wire needed replacing, can almost boil a kettle.....hahaha......

they r cheap enough as throw away's......which goes against the grain...!!!!!!!....

Speedy Builder531/05/2020 12:46:33
2010 forum posts
141 photos

I was very disappointed with my ANTEX 15watt iron (replicable tip), it came with a cable more like an anaconda snake - far too stiff and inflexible especially when the workshop was cold. By comparison my old Henly Solon 25watt (30 + years old has a beautifully flexible lead, tip held in by a small split pin. - Progress !

Edited By Speedy Builder5 on 31/05/2020 12:48:04

Steviegtr31/05/2020 12:58:17
avatar
1234 forum posts
115 photos

Weller have a good name in irons. You may find the 30w iron a little big on small jobs.

Then there are the gas refillable ones of which some are quite good. But not cheap.

Steve.

Douglas Johnston31/05/2020 13:03:03
avatar
689 forum posts
34 photos

I bought a Hakko soldering station a year or so ago and like it a lot. Not cheap but warms up very fast and is the best soldering iron I have had.

Doug

Nick Clarke 331/05/2020 13:04:43
avatar
779 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 31/05/2020 12:46:33:

I was very disappointed with my ANTEX 15watt iron (replicable tip), it came with a cable more like an anaconda snake - far too stiff and inflexible especially when the workshop was cold. By comparison my old Henly Solon 25watt (30 + years old has a beautifully flexible lead, tip held in by a small split pin. - Progress !

Edited By Speedy Builder5 on 31/05/2020 12:48:04

Many low voltage irons come with silicone mega-floppy leads and you used to be able to buy these as replacements for mains powered irons as well. I bought a couple years ago and have only needed to fit the first to the iron I keep in my tool case (I use a temperature controlled low voltage iron on the bench)

These don't seem to be available any more, but the cable itself is from eBay. So I suggest the answer might be to change your cable from the PVC (aka anaconda) standard one.

Regarding the Solon, the ideal tool for replacing diodes in Lucas ACR alternator diode packs was a 65Watt Solon, heated up on the bar of a 2 bar electric fire for a bit of extra oomph!  

 

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 31/05/2020 13:08:03

Ed Duffner31/05/2020 13:30:32
800 forum posts
91 photos

I have a combined iron and hot air station, a WEP 898BD. I've used it for standard through-hole soldering and some SMD soldering (68020 CPU - QFP80 package) and similar. The hot air nozzle is nice to use for heat shrink (rather than using a naked flame) as well as helping desoldering.

Ed.

Michael Gilligan31/05/2020 15:01:17
avatar
15768 forum posts
689 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 31/05/2020 12:46:33:

.
I was very disappointed with my ANTEX 15watt iron (replicable tip), it came with a cable more like an anaconda […]]

.

The very early versions had a beautifully flexible, very small diameter, black lead

... When I bought a new one with the ceramic element [about 35 years ago] it came with a horrible white figure-of-eight cable crying 2

MichaelG.

Andrew Johnston31/05/2020 15:45:59
avatar
5517 forum posts
648 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 31/05/2020 12:58:17:

Weller have a good name in irons. You may find the 30w iron a little big on small jobs.

+1 for Weller. I've got a dual 80W iron with digital temperature control. I use it for components down to 0402 (1mm x 0.5mm) and fine pitch ICs.

I've still got my 15W Antex iron. I really liked it and used it for many years for home electronics. I bought the Weller for professional use. My Antex iron has a small (~4mm diameter black power lead) and was bought from an old school TV and radio repair shop in Bedford in 1971.

Andrew

speelwerk31/05/2020 15:58:50
366 forum posts
5 photos

The new Weller irons I have also have a very stiff lead with an outer shell which develops splits when you wind it around the handle to store it. On the older ones you can replace the lead easily but with the newer it seems Weller do not want you to do that and made it a very fiddly job. Niko.

Robert Atkinson 231/05/2020 16:20:59
avatar
651 forum posts
16 photos

What sort of "small jobs"?

If electical / electronic I'd recommend a temeperature controlled iron in the 30-50W power range.
My personal choice has been Weller for over 30 years. Always liked the TCP series where the temperature is set by a alloy pellet with the correct curie point at the end of the bit. I don't like the new two part tips though.

Problem is decent ones are expensive and a lot of the cheaper ones are cheap nd nasty.

Robert G8RPI.

Alan Gordon 401/06/2020 07:32:28
85 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks guys, good information

John Hall 703/06/2020 21:30:51
56 forum posts

Have a look on YouTube at the TS 100 12v soldering iron...something else...👍

Peter Spink03/06/2020 23:06:31
avatar
92 forum posts
37 photos

For electronic work Weller was always the favourite make but a bit pricey.

I've had one of these LINK for some time - been very pleased with it and a reasonable price.

Ergonomically poor for me but easy to split the units up and have the stand seperate on the left (with a weighted base) and the power unit to the right.

Martin W04/06/2020 00:37:23
844 forum posts
29 photos

I use a virtually identical soldering station as Peter's but bought from CPC see this link. I have had it for many years it has been reliable, famous last words, and the bits seem to last as well. Use it for electronics, general soldering and for a period it got extended and heavy use as I built/rebuilt an amateur dramatics lighting system, pre DMX days, which meant there was a mass of joints to be made. There are/or were many bit variations from fine point to much heavier tips plus the temperature can be set at the press of a button to suit various solders and minmize heat damage to components or substrates. Normal disclaimers re vested interests.

HTH

Martin

AJAX04/06/2020 00:38:06
37 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 31/05/2020 16:20:59:

What sort of "small jobs"?

If electical / electronic I'd recommend a temeperature controlled iron in the 30-50W power range.
My personal choice has been Weller for over 30 years. Always liked the TCP series where the temperature is set by a alloy pellet with the correct curie point at the end of the bit. I don't like the new two part tips though.

Problem is decent ones are expensive and a lot of the cheaper ones are cheap nd nasty.

Robert G8RPI.

I still use mine regularly. It's the 40W version if I remember correctly, bought secondhand and still going strong. I did replace the leads for silicone as I like the flexibility.

AJAX04/06/2020 00:41:20
37 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 31/05/2020 15:01:17:
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 31/05/2020 12:46:33:

.
I was very disappointed with my ANTEX 15watt iron (replicable tip), it came with a cable more like an anaconda […]]

.

The very early versions had a beautifully flexible, very small diameter, black lead

... When I bought a new one with the ceramic element [about 35 years ago] it came with a horrible white figure-of-eight cable crying 2

MichaelG.

I have about 40 Antex soldering irons at work. Nearly all of them have the flexible silicone leads. Just choose it as the slightly more expensive option when ordering. They are decent soldering irons, very rarely fail and parts are available.

AJAX04/06/2020 00:43:41
37 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 31/05/2020 12:58:17:

Weller have a good name in irons. You may find the 30w iron a little big on small jobs.

Then there are the gas refillable ones of which some are quite good. But not cheap.

Steve.

Depends on the tip used, and the person using it. I find my 40W Weller good for nearly every job I do.

Bill Davies 204/06/2020 01:11:07
190 forum posts
11 photos

I recognise speedy builder's problem with cold pvc leads. Antex also provide their irons with silcon leads, which remain flexible when cold, and are not damaged by accidental contact with the hot tip. Over time I have replaced my irons with these versions. The leads are also available separately. No connection, just a happy customer.

Bill

Geoff Theasby04/06/2020 08:42:05
613 forum posts
17 photos

Antex for me! I have used an x25 and its successors for years, Not temperature controlled, but good soldering technique helps. The only trouble with the Henley Solon (HSOC, anyone?) is removing the bit. Yes, the split pin, but the copper bit is held in an aluminium carrier and they can be the very devil to separate.

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