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Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:25 am
by rubber_jonnie
I currently have a relatively cheap dual purpose Chinese solder/hot air station.

I really like the hot air side, but the soldering iron side is a bit meh. I did have a Maplin iron that I'd had for 20 odd years, which was temp controllable and great to work with, but unfortunately it got knocked off my workbench, broke the iron, and even after getting a replacement, it seems like the base unit has a problem :(

So I've been using the iron part of the dual unit, and though I've got some new tips coming that will hopefully help give it a bit of new life, I'm kind of decided I really want to get a new iron.

I have low, medium and higher cost option.

Low - Duratool D00676
Medium - Hakko FX888D
Higher - Weller WE1010

Has anybody got any experience of these three units as I'd like to make an informed decision?

I have to say I have a Duratool de-soldering station and it really has been a great piece of kit so far, so I am liking the look of the D00676 as the Hakko and Weller are considerably more expensive.

The main problem with the Duratool is size, as my workbench is small, which inches me towards the Hakko. The Weller seems to be somewhere in-between.

So I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what to do, so any advice welcomed :)

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:42 pm
by DoG
I use a cheap KSGER T12 soldering iron. Slanted tip, often drag soldering my stuff. Really happy with that. Since I have never used a top of the line soldering iron I can't comment on them or if they are worth the price. I don't solder that much that I can suffice the price for one.

So I don't have any info or advice on the three you listed above.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:51 pm
by exxos
There is a similar thread here viewtopic.php?f=35&t=338

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:59 pm
by Maximilian
IMHO the HAKKO is probably the best of the list(but it's ugly), for high end i would go for JBL.

The tips are important and you can get a lot of different ones for the HAKKO.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 1:04 pm
by rubber_jonnie
exxos wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:51 pm
There is a similar thread here viewtopic.php?f=35&t=338
I did go and look, but things move on so fast!

Also found this in the meantime: https://cpc.farnell.com/duratool/d03323 ... TIQAvD_BwE

Which I'm liking the look of right now, been very happy with Duratool stuff.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:19 pm
by PhilC
Another vote for the KSGER T12, cheap, small and so far works really well.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:31 pm
by PaulJ_2.0
DoG wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:42 pm
I use a cheap KSGER T12 soldering iron.
This.

Anyone that doesn't own one is missing out. I almost prefer it to my FX-951 and certainly over the FX888D.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:09 pm
by tzok
I also vote for KSGER T12 or similar Quicko T12-952, but basically anything with a direct heating (tip and heater are integrated) would be a good choice.

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:17 pm
by rubber_jonnie
Ok, so in a bit of a switch, the tips I ordered yesterday arrived early evening (Thanks Amazon Prime!) and I am shocked at the difference it's made!

The iron in my dual rig is now responding much better to temperature control than it ever did with the included tips, and even the thin tips in the new pack are getting proper heating all the way to the end. For a £7 packet of tips (There are 10 of different sizes and profiles), I am really quite surprised the difference it's made, enough so to give it another chance.

I was able to easily recap my A1200, even where space was tight, by switching tips and tweaking the temps a bit for the thinner tips. Solder melt was way better, and much more controllable.

So,it get's a reprieve for now, but thanks for all of your help and ideas, and I guess that my next H4 build is going to be the real tester for it. if it comes out of that ok, then I shall keep it a few more years and upgrade then.

Thanks again all :)

Re: Soldering iron recommendations

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:29 pm
by tzok
Duratool D00676 is more or less the same you have. The 900M system is really bad, with Xytronic tips is kind of ok, but not worth it. For less than £30 you can buy a Chinese T12. Until you try it, you won't believe how much better it is...