[hackspacebristol] Soldering iron recommendations?

John Honniball coredump at gifford.co.uk
Sat Jan 9 09:16:15 UTC 2016


On 08/01/2016 22:17, Libby Miller 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?

In general, for PCB soldering:

Avoid the "soldering gun", which looks a bit like a power drill, with
two electrodes on the front

Avoid anything butane-fuelled. Stick with electrical power

The "thermally balanced" or non-temperature-controlled iron
was popular when I was doing this sort of thing in the 1970s, but
we have much better types now. Keep a big one around (60Watt)
with a big tip for soldering great big tags and wires.

Choose a temperature-controlled iron with a separate base unit,
which may double as the stand. Either digital or analog temperature
control on the front is fine.

Good brands are: Antex, Weller, Hakko, Aoyue and the Rolls-Royce is
OKi (formerly Metcal). Metcal irons used to sell new for TWO THOUSAND
POUNDS!

Don't forget to select some fine tips (the one supplied with it may not
be to your taste). Also get some tip-cleaner (little pot of grey paste)
and some brass shavings (also for tip-cleaning). If the stand has a
sponge in it, keep it wet (preferably with distilled water).

-- 
John Honniball




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