Introduction: How to Create an Adjustable Soldering Iron

Recently my old soldering gun spoiled. I open the casing and try to repair, but I think the problem is the heating element, which is not repairable. So, its time to get a new soldering tools. After some research, I bought an Antex branded 25W soldering iron, at price of RM70. Initially, I am thinking of getting a 18W or 16W Antex, but what they have there at that time is 25W, and I simply take it.

After I power it up and do some testing, I found out that the 25W is a bit over heat compare to my old soldering gun. I am a bit regret about choosing 25W, but I don’t think I can return it back because I already power it up and the colour changes of the heated tip is very obvious. So, I decide to add a dimmer to the soldering iron to make it adjustable.

Step 1: Using a Dimmer to Adjust the Power

To enable the adjustable power for soldering iron or soldering gun, you will need a dimmer (any home lighting dimmer will do). For me, I get an UMS 6600S Dimmer Switch from an electrical store. The wiring instruction do state that the max power supported by the dimmer is 600W, so, my 25W shouldn’t be a problem for the dimmer.

Also, you will need a box for the dimmer as a protection to the wiring. You can this kind of box (I am not sure what it is called) in a normal electrical store.

Step 2: Cut Small U-Shape at the Box

From the pictures, you can see that I do cut a small U-shape clearance for the in and out wire. I do it using a cutter, you can try to use a drill (maybe you can drill holes for in and out wire), and please be careful while doing this.

Step 3: Wiring of the Dimmer and the Soldering Iron

Now, proceed with the wiring according to the Wiring Instruction. Simply replace the Lamps with your soldering Iron.

Step 4: Completed Adjustable Soldering Iron

The complete adjustable soldering iron.

Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions or better solution.