Pyropen vs. Jr. vs. Portasol

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I've heard good things about the Pyropen Jr. with regard to SMT rework. Anyone know what the real differences are between the three Weller models (Pyropen, Pyropen Jr, Portosol)?

I know the specs are very slightly different (max temp, time), but does anyone have practical feedback on how good they are for SMT soldering and rework?
I use my venerable Portasol with a fine tip for SMT. Perhaps a temperature controlled iron is technically better, but I hate having to deal with power cords on soldering irons.

The Pyropen and new Portasol have a classy piezoelectric ignitor instead of a flint sparking wheel like my old Portasol. The Cooper Tools website does a terrible to nonexistant job differentiating the two products. The Portasol appears to have a higher power range.
Thanks morsel.

Have you tried using the hot air attachment? (maybe this was what you meant) This was what really drew me to the pyropen/portosol. Getting shrink devices with >5 terminals up without something simulating a hot air pen is rough!

I really like my tempco station but the portability would also be nice when I'm reworking something big like a PSU.
Hi Tiroth,
I have used the Pyropen hot air attachment for years for servicing of smd equipment, and they work really well if you use additional liquid flux, and are careful with temperatures.
These chew gas, so running cost can be high, but the hot air attachment is much superior to a standard iron for removal and final resolder on smd boards, especially larger LSI ic's.


There was a thread here recently detailing using a fish tank pump to push air through a conventional desolder tip assembly - cheap and effective according to the poster.

Heh, I actually have one of those fishtank "pens" under my table here. I've used it to solder, but could never manage to get it hot enough to rework despite trying different kinds of fill.

Should I get the small (1.5mm?) hot air attachment in addition to the supplied 4.7mm?

Thanks a lot--your practical experience is exactly what I was hoping to hear.
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