[hackspacebristol] Soldering iron recommendations?

Tom Gardner tggzzz+hs at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 01:57:26 UTC 2016


I have one of these, but I only paid half price :) And had to faultfind it
:(
http://uk.farnell.com/tenma/21-10130-uk-eu/rework-station-900w-220v-uk-eu/dp/2062633

It is a rebadged Chinese thing, so alternative tips and hot air accessories
are easy to buy on fleabay. The only thing I haven't been able to fnd at a
reasonable price is a "hollow tip" soldering iron tip which is apparently
ideal for for drag soldering SMD devices.

It works well enough for me, but I'm sure if you pay a lot more money
you'll be able to get something that is better in some way or other.

On 9 January 2016 at 01:07, adam armfield <adamairmailed at yahoo.com> wrote:

> there is an antex combined solder/hot air station that maplins sell at £50
> off rrp
>
> http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/antex-760rwk-50w-mains-solder-station-n75ds
>
> those 2 nozzles are the only ones they do - i asked about big square ones
> for chips, man at antext pointed me to some square rework tips for a
> soldering iron (not sure if it's the one above ) - datasheet attached
>
> All the best Adam
>
>
> On Saturday, 9 January 2016, 0:26, Tom Gardner <tggzzz+hs at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> I’d like to buy a decent soldering iron for soldering components onto circuit boards and other bits and pieces. Does anyone have any recommendations?
>
> That will depend on what components you want to solder, and how much you
> have to spend, and how long you are prepared to wait to get a bargain.
> If you are not soldering professionally, then the requirements are far
> less stringent that people would have you believe. The quality of your work
> will be almost certainly limited by your skill, not by the tool.
> OTOH, if you are soldering professionally, then familiarity with using
> your tools is the most important factor, followed by an iron that allows
> you to have repeatable results. What's your budget :)
> Different classes of components:
>
>    - through hole semiconductors and passives
>    - surface mount devices
>    - thermally big joints
>
> For PTH on a 0.1" pitch, I managed without any problems for 40 years with
> a 25W Antex iron (and a red hot poker on a gas stove for thermally really
> big stuff :) ). That is perfectly adequate.
> For SMD, that is inadequate. For SMD you need a range of tips and a
> variable temperature iron - which is much cheaper than a temperature
> controlled iron. Get a small round tip (<=0.8mm) for fine work, and a
> chisel tip for drag-soldering.
> Note that if you need to use two different tips on components on one
> board, then you will waste a lot of time swapping tips. Seriously consider
> getting two cheaper irons, having a different tip on each; and you'll also
> have higher availability because the probability of both irons failing
> simultaneously is lower.
> SMD boards are best fabricated using the sand-in-saucepan method (see the
> hackspace wiki) or a reflow oven (Hackspace has one, but I haven't used it).
> For SMD rework and/or soldering the odd component, you will eventually
> benefit from having a hot air gun, but that's outside the scope of your
> question.
> If you are soldering things that are thermally large then you will need a
> higher power tool (unsurprisingly), but equally important is the thermal
> mass of the tool itself. You can - to a limited extent - use a smaller tool
> if you run it at a higher temperature.
>
> Be aware that there are a large number of Hakko clones sold on fleabay,
> and some of them are apparently internally dangerous.
>
>
>
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