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Old 16th February 2008, 04:16 PM   #11
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That Aoyue looks like a Hakko 936 knockoff, down to the model number.

I have a Hakko 936, and I've used some Wellers and Metcals. The 936 and the WTCPT both come in around $100, and they both have a wide selection of tips. $100 is a lot of money, but if you solder a lot, having a good iron makes a world of difference.

I'm a bit suspicious of the quality of the Aoyue-types, but < $40 is pretty tempting.
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Old 16th February 2008, 04:45 PM   #12
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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I have the Quick 936A, which is a knockoff of the Hakko again.... have nothing but good things to say about it, and it was only a bit over $30....

Takes a few seconds to heat up, tips are about $1 a piece, with a wide selection available, and is home calibratable...
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Old 16th February 2008, 05:10 PM   #13
zlast is offline zlast  United States
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Default solder station

I have owned one of the circuitspecialist CSI-STATION2A for a couple years (digital readout is GREAT), and love it. Heat very quickly, comes with a tip fine enough for about anything (except some surface mount). My only complaint - and this applies to ANY solder station, is the default tip is a bit small for tinning large areas. Plan to get a "plug in" 60 watt iron to make my dedicated tinning iron and save my adjustable for actually soldering in components. Whatever you get, get a few extra tips and heating elements and you should be set.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7307
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Old 16th February 2008, 05:21 PM   #14
JHelms is offline JHelms  United States
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I use the circuit specialists CSI-2900. I have tried numerous models from them as they are only about 5 miles from me & also have had numerous stations in the $250 range and this is the bad boy you want PERIOD. Performs 10x better than many others costing 5x more. Notice in the pic how close the handle is to the tip, it is PERFECT for detailed soldering work. It has quick change tips that pull out and slide in place. You can change tips hot as well with the pad they give you. The tip selection and quality is fantastic / the tips seem to last forever!!

I use this little model in my automotive led swapping business and generally make about 150-200 solderjoints a day / 3-4 days a week for almost 2 years now and never have had an issue.

Another bonus is from the second you power it on, she is ready to use in about 8-10 seconds.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/8396

Here are the tip selections, I use the LF-12D & LF16D the most.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/level.itml/icOid/8398


It makes the more expensive weller WLC200 seem like a bad joke, and my old weller wesd51 sits in a box now in the garage, HATED that iron.

I do not think you can get a better iron setup for the money period.
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Old 16th February 2008, 05:45 PM   #15
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Call me old fashioned, but the Hakko 936 is a great soldering station, and I can't see buying a cheap knock-off of a good design. What kind of reward is that for a job well done? I've seen many problems with the older Weller stations, and for the money they should have done better. Maybe the newer ones are more reliable, but again, it's that reward thing. Pretty much sums up how I'll vote in the next election too.
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Old 17th February 2008, 03:42 AM   #16
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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http://www.tequipment.net/Hakko936-12.html

You will never regret this one, especially at this price!

I don't regret it!

Lots of Hakko tips for dirt cheap on eBay too: http://search.ebay.com/search/search...ips&category0=

Good luck!

Regards///Keith
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Old 17th February 2008, 12:08 PM   #17
OzMikeH is offline OzMikeH  Australia
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I had the old rounded shape Hakko 936 for a while, loved it. Awesome iron with some VERY fine tips available and great heat flow. Nice grip and feel, the handle got a bit warm but the silicone cover helps a lot.
I had to get rid of it after a couple of years, the ceramic heaters are too fragile for out and about use. a 1m drop onto a hard floor and it usually breaks.
For bench use they are fine, as long as the cord is too short for the tip to reach the floor.
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Old 18th February 2008, 12:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzMikeH
Get a 40W magnastat Weller. The base is a WTCPT and you can get a million different tips for them.
The magnastat Weller iron gets my vote too (I use a WTCP 51). Puts to shame some soldering stations costing many times more.
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Old 19th February 2008, 01:41 AM   #19
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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The best iron I know of is the Metcal, the Wellers aren't even close. Extremely fast heating and temperature control in its own league, they use RF heating of the tip (patented, alas). But Metcals cost hundreds of dollars and tips are expensive, too, unfortunately.

For the next step down I'd vote for Hakko 936, a tolerable compromise.
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Old 19th February 2008, 01:49 AM   #20
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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METCAL hands down... big bucks... but I score them on ebay for about $80. Consider them "professional".

Otherwise the Hakko would be my choice.
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