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Old 28th December 2010, 03:33 PM   #1
maurycy is offline maurycy  United States
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Default Which soldering iron/station to pick?

I am looking to replace my aging Radio Shack 25W soldering iron. I only do very occasional work like repairing my kids toys, some soldering of audio equipment or speaker cables every few months or so. No heavy duty jobs. I already own a stand so I was looking at getting just 25-30W iron but then I came across some inexpensive stations so now I need help deciding which one to buy. My budget is $50.

This is my first choice:

Weller WP25 soldering iron

Some soldering stations that also fit my budget:

Circuit Specialist soldering station (Hakko clone?)

Weller WLC100 soldering station

Thanks.
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Old 28th December 2010, 04:01 PM   #2
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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also look at availability of good replacement tips

I have a nice mains voltage Weller W61, and its getting harder to get tips
next time there might not be any
the best iron I have had
but sure could use a control station

25watt, is that really enough ?
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Old 28th December 2010, 04:17 PM   #3
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check the pawn shops. I got a used wes51, just the wand and psupply. for 28 dollars. it works fine, had it 6 mos.
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Old 28th December 2010, 05:38 PM   #4
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Stretch your budget a bit and get the Hakko 936. These will last a lifetime and it does make a big difference using a good quality station.
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Old 28th December 2010, 05:53 PM   #5
nezbleu is offline nezbleu  Canada
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I have one of the BlackJack SolderWerks BK2000 stations from Circuit Specialists, which I think is virtually identical to the CSI one you are looking at. It is excellent, no complaints, works well, heats fast, nice fine tips. I ordered extra tips when I got mine, it comes standard with a conical tip and I prefer the small chisel style. Spend the extra money on some good solder, extra tips, etc.
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Old 28th December 2010, 06:28 PM   #6
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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I like Metcal/OKI a lot. Buy them used on Ebay or they are too expensive. Cartridges are in the 20-30USD range from Digikey and elsewhere. I do mostly SMT soldering on 0603 and smaller parts.
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Old 28th December 2010, 07:10 PM   #7
maurycy is offline maurycy  United States
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Thanks for replies and suggestions. Unfortunately, with my budget I need to stay within the choices I have listed in my first post. With such limited soldering jobs I do, I just can't justify $100+ soldering iron/station.
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:36 PM   #8
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There are loads of Hakko clones if you look around on ebay. Especially for the 936 station. I got a Quakko (yeah no lie that's the name) 936 with 20 tips for I think $49.99 shipped a while back. Shipped from China so it took 3+ weeks to get here but the damn thing is a tank. I have used it to solder loads of stuff. It worked well enough to melt solder into a bundle of 6 12G wires (all wires were around 10ft in length).
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:45 PM   #9
wahab is offline wahab  Algeria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurycy View Post
I am looking to replace my aging Radio Shack 25W soldering iron.
Weller WLC100 soldering station

.
This one seems a good choice, as it s adequate for a wider
range of soldering joints size/mass..
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:53 PM   #10
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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anyone tried to use one of the small gas iron, pyropen or whatever they are called ?
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