Soldering Iron advice?

Hello,
I'm shopping for a new soldering iron and I was hoping for some advice or recommendations. I'm a professional auto tech, and do plenty of soldering there, but I'm getting back into electronics stuff for a hobby. My butane iron is fine for work, but I need a better iron for boards and the like.  Do you think its too early to get a temp control iron? Would a nice stand alone iron suffice for now? I'm not afraid to spend some money on a nice station but $100 is around the max I could budget now. My tool guy at work deals with Weller, so that would be convenient for a tad pricier set up.

I'm greatful for any advice or help, and hope to have a project on here soon.
Thank you


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milsorgen7 years ago
Do what I did, grab a Well 40 watt but instead of waiting for your fine tips to oxidize from the heat grab the stuff for this while your out as well...

Ended up costing me $12 since I couldn't find what he called a Romex connector in individual servings. I ended up with a 5piece bag of 3/8" Clamp Combination Connectors made by Halex.

www.instructables.com/id/10ish_DIY_Variable_Temp_Soldering_Iron_Controller/
Mrlzeppelin (author) 7 years ago
I ordered the weller wlc100 through my Matco guy last week. I'm hoping it'll show up this week. I solder a prototype board for my Ipod radio project today, and burn the bejezus outta my finger tips with my butane iron a few times.
I have the one that guy rec'd. Works good for me, but I'm not doing too much soldering yet. I think if you pair it with a solder sucker, etc. you'll be ok. I don't like the spring loaded ones that caitlin rec'd because mine always seem to break at the thread with one too many pumps.
caitlinsdad7 years ago
Well, from your budget, allow for a set of "third hands/magnifying glass" contraption - you can make your own, some finer needlenose pliers, finer wire cutters/strippers, a solder sucker for desoldering - I like the spring loaded metal tube pump, a real heat gun for heat-shrink tubing, and maybe a bunch of alligator clips-clamps or hemostats.

It is always nice to start out with a good soldering station if you can get one.  The Wellers are designed well and are balanced so they are more comfortable to use.  If you start working with more sensitive parts like IC chips, you have to keep an eye out if your iron gets too hot and unplug it every once in a while if not temp controlled.  I make do with a 15/25 watter but I don't do enough soldering to justify a real workstation.  Good luck.
guyfrom7up7 years ago
http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-Soldering-Hobbyist-Yourselfer/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1261196792&sr=8-3

great and great price