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Old 29th December 2007, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Gun or Iron?

As I prepare to embark on my first tube project (guitar amp) I feel that my soldering equipment is inadequate. I have a 25 or 30 watt iron that I have used and cursed for years. I have always had trouble getting the joint to heat up enough in a reasonable amount of time.

I am looking at getting something more powerful especially for use on larger items like tube sockets and ground connections. It appears that both irons and guns are available in the 60 watt range. The iron is of course more agile but the gun has the advantage of instant on/off.

My inclination is that although a gun would be handy to have the iron is probably more practical. What sayest thou?

mike
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Old 29th December 2007, 01:05 AM   #2
Colt45 is offline Colt45  Serbia
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a good iron is pretty much instant too. Throw out that $9 radioshack iron.
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Old 29th December 2007, 01:09 AM   #3
kuroguy is offline kuroguy  Germany
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My biggest iron is 40 watts and it is pleanty hot. In fact, sometimes it is too hot and I revert back to me 25 and even 15 watt irons. I wouldn't go over 40 watts. Get one with a good stand and relax while you let it get nice and hot.
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Old 29th December 2007, 01:34 AM   #4
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I use a 25 watt Weller iron on all electronic projects, and it is hot enough and works well. Guns are better for heavy wire soldering, such as household wiring, etc.

A word of advice from my own experience; cheap, imported pencil irons are junk. Buy a Weller or Ungar , keep the tip clean, tight and well tinned and you won't have any problems. A soldering station with adjustable heat would be even better, but costs more.
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Old 29th December 2007, 02:23 AM   #5
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Guns can be good for soldering chassis grounds where you need a lot of heat quickly to heat the area enough to take solder. Otherwise use a good iron of about 40 watts or so. I agree with the comment about rat shack irons, I gave up on those a long time ago A good tip is to use some large aligator clips on heat sensative parts as a sort of heat sink to protect the part.
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Old 29th December 2007, 02:23 AM   #6
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi,

You might want to review this thread from just two weeks ago: looking for a soldering iron

Good luck!

Regards//Keith
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Old 29th December 2007, 02:24 AM   #7
PRNDL is offline PRNDL  United States
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I have a cheap iron from Radio Shack that has had tons of use (and abuse).
It does take a while to warm up for the first solder, which is true of almost any iron.

I've thought of getting one of these, although there are several similar ones.
http://circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7501
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Old 29th December 2007, 02:32 AM   #8
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I'm probably an exception to the rule because I use both types. For many years, and still to this day, I use the Weller 8200 dual heat gun (100/140 watt). In fact I own several of them. And one D550 (240/325W) for that industrial strenght job.

And for small work like PCBs I use the Weller WTCPN solder station. This is the one with the magnet on the tip to control the temperature. Different heat ranges are determined by the tip itself. This is the one I use the most.

And I agree with tubewade, Weller and Ungar are the ones to have. Everything else is second rate.

Victor
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Old 29th December 2007, 03:55 AM   #9
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Ungar!! thats the brandI have! I was trying to peice together the scratched off writing earlier to figure out what brand it was. A neighbor gave it to me and I have been using it for quite a while, nice iron!

Anyways thanks for putting that name out there
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Old 29th December 2007, 07:35 AM   #10
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Hmmm. maybe I can improve things a bit with just a decent tip. Might be worth a try since so many of you do fine with lower wattage irons. If that doesn't work I can look at a better iron.

mike
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