Desoldering stations, rebuild Hakko or buy new? Offshore? Hakko etc.?

I am trying to decide what to do and could use a little guidance in deciding what direction to go. Most of my repairs are still thru hole, mostly double sided PTH, and I would like to use a de-soldering station rather than wick, which has been working but is cumbersome and potentially dangerous for the boards.

I have a Hakko 470-2 station with 802 handle, all in pretty good condition, well used in a commercial environment but maintained. It's been sitting for 10 years now and I pulled it apart for a complete maintenance checkup and found it needs a few things. The pump needs new vacuum flappers and filters, both still available and cheap. The 802 handle needs filters, probably a new nozzle, maybe a new cartridge holder, the little rubber accordion bit on the trigger seals but looks about ready to crack open and is discontinued.

1. So I can buy $50 worth of stuff and hope everything still seals and sucks correctly as my first choice.
2. Keep the 470 station but buy a new handle, what is compatible and is it worth it to go this route?
3. Sell the 470 and look for something else.
4. Buy the Hakko FR-301 system and get on with it. :D
5. Buy an offshore knockoff Aoyue etc?

Recommendations and or some guidance would be greatly appreciated.



2004-01-11 11:01 pm
If option 1 works for you, why not? I spend a lot of time with multi-layer / 2oz boards. My 470 simply doesn't have the power to work with these. The 301 works well, but you need to stop and clean it very regularly. The 301 eats tips. I'm neurotic about powering it off when not in use.
Thanks for the replies.

I did a little more research yesterday and found a good number of consumables are discontinued for the 470, heater element, some of the mechanical bits that could wear out, so I think I may just bite the bullet and get the FR-301. I like the idea of having the pump right in the handle and not having the loss of suction in the lines from the base unit.

I may still investigate the offshore units as I now have some time to consider my options. The critical board repair has been taken care of for now.

About five years ago I broke down and bought a Hakko FR-300 de-soldering gun ($300). Until then I used a variety of braids and suckers; if I could pull a cap off the board within ten minutes and still use the cap and the board, I thought the results were satisfactory.

After getting the FR-300, my standards have changed. When you learn how to use the gun you can, literally, de-solder a bunch of components, then turn the pcb over and the components will fall out - no damage to the components or the board. If you're going to be doing any amount of pcb soldering, the first thing to buy is solder, then a soldering station, then a de-soldering gun.

audio king

2014-09-06 3:28 am
I was not sure if this type of machine would suit my needs/style,so I went with the least expensive option that I could find.

I did a lot of research beforehand,and the Hakko FR-300 (or was it 301?) seemed like the perfect choice.Except for all of the negative reviews I kept coming across re reliability and the need for constant cleaning.Oh,and the ridiculous prices Hakko demands for (most) replacement parts.

So,in 2017 ordered one of these through Amazon, supplied by SRA.
Price was around $205 at that time,and replacement parts costs were laughable.Mind,it has been in almost continuous service since then and has been flawless.Other than consumables,such as filters and springs,nothing else required.Most consumables interchange with Hakko part numbers.

Aoyue 474A++ Digital Desoldering Station for Thru Holes
From my experience, you have to keep it clean, otherwise it will clog up. It is very expensive, but, given my level of use, it’s worth the cost. I never worry about desoldering or pcb damage. Not sure about maintenance expense. You’ll find that you need more than one nozzle and they are stupidly expensive - like $25; and you have to buy a cleaning rod for each nozzle size. But the filters last a long time and, I think, I got 4 for $10. I wasn’t happy to buy one, but now that the expense is behind me, I’m happy not to worry anymore.