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What advantages/disadvantages do gas soldering irons have over conventional (i.e. electric) models? Answered

I was thinking about getting one of those SolderPro irons, they're cheap, have lots of funky tips and seem to be dual use - i.e. i could use it as a hot air blower and a portable soldering iron.  The '70 looks nice, especially with 100 minutes of use on a full tank.

I've got a cheap temperature controlled (i assume, it's got a dial so you can vary the temp, but stupidly no actual numbers so i can have yellow or dark red heat =P) station at the moment which works but takes an age to heat up.  We've got Weller units in the physics labs at uni and they heat up within 30 seconds which is amazing by comparison.

Would it be worth getting a gas iron?  I was considering getting one to try some surface mount soldering, but will the temperature control - or lack of it - be an issue? 

And finally, what tip would you recommend getting for SM work?  It comes with a conical tip, hot air, knife and a flame tip.  I was going to get a 3mm chisel if i ended up buying one.

Oh and this will be for PCB/stripboard/general electronics soldering rather than jewellery or anything else.


Good variety of tips too: http://www.nimrodeuropedirect.com/?opt=cat&id=Tips

Cheers guys,


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