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What's a good soldering iron?

Me and my dad have a really crappy soldering iron. It has a really messy tip, it heats slow, it has a short cord, and it is clumsy to hold. We were wondering what to look for if we were to go to Fry's or Radio Shack to buy a new one.

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There are some tips about how to choose the best soldering iron here: http://www.soldering-store.com/soldering_iron_reviews.html
There are some reviews of most common soldering irons in the USA here:
www.soldering-store.com/
Sandisk1duo8 years ago
most hardware stores have smoldering irons, i got a $5 20w soldering iron at wal-mart
Lowe's $13 Weller with 2 tips and x-acto attachment
guyfrom7up8 years ago
bam
http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100-Soldering-Station-Hobbyist/dp/B000AS28UC/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1228098840&sr=8-1

get it quick, it's on sale, a great price, a great brand name.

also get tips while ur at it, they are like 4 bucks each, each one will last you a LONG time, so get a variety, such as really fat chisel, and really fine conical.
caitlinsdad8 years ago
Whatever you get, make a good soldering stand for your iron. On a wood or metal base, it should have a funnel like spring to put the iron in and protect you from the hot tip. You should also have a spot for a damp sponge to wipe the tip with the burnt on flux. Expensive Weller soldering stations have these features along with temperature control.
Do not get a coldheat. They are absolutely horrible.
YummyPancakes (author)  Weissensteinburg8 years ago
So I've heard.
110100101108 years ago
for electronics : sharp point tip with ~30 W power for more massive crafts : more power and i think point tip is still the best get earthed tool (i electrocuted enough times from those cheap 2-contact plug irons) to keep the tool in good condition : cover its tip entirely with red-core solder as soon as it heats up for the 1st time dont let the hot tip to come in contact with water or moisture
Gjdj38 years ago
I agree with GM and Weissensteinburg. Avoid coldheat!

As for a good iron, RadioShacks irons are good just because they're cheap. They work pretty well, but the tips wear down fast. Other than that, they work great for what they cost.
By the way, Weissensteinburg is not lying.
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