Best Soldering Irons – reviews and buyers guide
Soldering is a process used in electronics, plumbing and metalwork, or for the likes of creating jewelry. Soldering consists of joining together two metals (often wires) using a filler metal, or a ‘solder’, into the joint. The solder used is an alloy that has a low melting point—lower than the adjoining metals. So, soldering is a process that is required during a number of procedures, and using the best soldering irons could help you in carrying these out. Electronic soldering joins wires and electronic components and circuit boards using solders. Soldering is also used to repair electronic appliances and circuits etc. It is used in creating jewelry where pieces of metal are joined together to create a bond that is invisible but permanent. This can, in fact, be one of the most satisfying and creative activities for those interested in jewelry creation or for anyone who likes to get creative and design things. Thus, soldering is an essential skill used in quite a few procedures and therefore a useful skill to develop. It may appear to be tough, but it is quite easy and quick to learn. All you need to do is experiment with simple tools and practice the art and you are good to go! So below we will present to you our top soldering iron pick for those looking for value for money.
Our Top Pick:
Weller WLC 100
The different types of soldering stations:
If you are interested in using a soldering station for your work as an electronics expert or a jewelry maker, you aught to choose the right type for the job at hand. Whichever type you decide on buying, it should fit whatever tasks you will mainly use it for. There are several different options, as outlined below.
Pencil Soldering Irons that connect into the wall socket and do not feature adjustable temperatures.(beginners)
Adjustable Pencil Soldering Irons are a lot like the Pencil Soldering Irons but with adjustable temperatures.
Cordless Irons, These come in handy when you need to transfer them from place to place for your work.
Soldering Stations are made up of two parts: the base and the soldering iron. The base comes with holder/stand, cleaning sponge and a temperature dial to help in adjusting the temperature.
Soldering Irons come in various types, as above, but there are certain features that need to be taken into consideration before making the decision to purchase.
FEATURES OF A SOLDERING IRON
You should select a soldering iron that comes with 30 watts power at minimum. Soldering at lower wattage requires longer time to heat up and also means that it wont be as effective at maintaining the temperature.
Different kind of soldering tasks require different temperatures. So, selecting one that comes with temperature control makes your job easy – and means you won’t have to buy more than one station for different jobs.
The tips of the soldering iron must be replaceable and the iron must be adaptable with a variety of tips. This is because different jobs require different tips with different sizes and shapes.
A holding stand holds the hot iron and thus is a necessity for you when you work.
Some other good options for your consideration are listed below:
THE HAKKO SOLDERING STATION is one of the top soldering irons which contains everything you would need in a soldering station. This iron heats up very quickly and maintains the temperature throughout. It also has temperature adjustment and a digital display, a cleaning sponge and a stand. It comes with 7 tips.
TABIGER SOLDERING IRON KIT is perfect for beginners. It comes with quite a few accessories. It comes at an affordable price. This kit comes with a 60W soldering iron with adjustable temperature, cleaning sponge, stand, 5 tips and anti-static tweezers. It also has a special case to hold the instruments.
X-TRONIC SOLDERING IRON STATION comes with a 75W soldering iron, a strong stand, and also accessories like solder roll holder, brass sponge tip cleaner and a cleaning flux. This iron also comes with a digital display.
BEST PORTABLE SOLDERING IRON comes at an affordable price and is much better than other regular soldering irons that come in the same price range.
AOYUE SOLDERING STATION comes at a 60W iron and is compatible with different tips. As the pencil is lightweight, it is easy to use. It comes with a little LED that shows when the station is on and blinks when it heats up. It comes with a cleaning sponge, a holder for the iron and also a solder spool holder.
WELLER 40W SOLDERING STATION is one of the best sellers at Amazon and comes with an on-off switch with a power-indicator light and a temperature control knob. The iron comes with a cushioned foam-grip that makes it easy and comfortable to hold it while working. As it comes with a replaceable heating element, you can use it for a long duration. The stand that comes with it can hold your iron and cleaning sponge. It does take more time to heat up. Also, its tip is slightly thicker for use in smaller electric components. Replacing this tip with a thinner one is the solution.
THE SOLDER, and the best type to work with is 60/40 lead or tin.
SOLDER WICK soaks up the molten solder and can be used to clean the excess solder.
CLEANING SPONGE is used to clean the tip of the iron while working.
TIP TINNER is used to clean the tip of the soldering iron.
DIAGONAL CUTTING PLIERS are used to trim the leads after soldering.
HELPING HAND is used to hold the components while soldering.
FLUX PEN has contents that help in the flowing of the lead-free solder.
SOLDER VACUUM PUMP helps remove the solder left behind when de-soldering.
SOLDERING MAT is needed to protect the surface of the workbench.
Soldering is a skill that can be grasped quite fast if practiced frequently. Using the best soldering iron and also the various accessories listed above helps not only an experienced solderer, but also beginners. Hopefully after reading this article you are better equipped to take up a great new hobby in electronics.
Here’s a great video on soldering: