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Can I buy a soldering station used? Or is there a huge benefit to new irons? Answered

I was wondering whether there was anything to look out for if/when buying a soldering station (hakko fx888, auyoe, weller, something of the like) on ebay or craigslist? I don't really want to spend a ton of money and was thinking I could save a little by going used. Thanks!


I found an unbiased website review on purchasing a soldering station. They discuss things you should consider (like the availability of tips) and they review stations by brand. Check it out, there's some good information there. ;)

If you don't mind me asking... what kind of budget were you hoping to stay within?

I was hoping to stay within a budget of about $50-60, and with the Hakko FX888 running at about 80 and the comparable weller at $100, they're a little out of my range. Either that, or this http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-937-Digital-Soldering-Station/dp/B000I30QBW/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1329639731&sr=1-1 which has supposedly good. Not sure about tips though. That's why I was leaning toward the hakko

The Aoyue does have some very good reviews. One person says that the tips for the Hakko 936 fit on the Aoyue 937 (if that helps).

I looked around some more, and the Best Sellers on Amazon can be found through this link. There are a few deals in the price range you're looking to stay at such as (#2), the Weller WLC100 for $39.59. One that is slightly more expensive, but has some phenomenal reviews, is the X-Tronic 4010 (#8). It comes with 10 soldering tips, an extra ceramic heating element and a magnifying lamp for $69.80, so the extra $9.80 may be worth it just for the tips...


6 years ago

If the tip/s are used then it's is a poor deal.


Sorry, let me clarify. If I were to find a good deal that included tips, etc. would/should I worry about the circuit being damaged or some other unseeable problem? I know basically what I need, just not sure where to source it without spending my life's savings ;) Thanks for the responses.

Heating elements can die. But are unlikely to do so.
In my life only two elements quit working ;-P

You've never had the delight of an "Antex" iron then.....

No... Never had an "Antex" iron, big UK company ?

Yeah, they were the only UK game in town until the Chinese arrived, the alternative is Weller.

The Chinese units are a lot more reliable than Antex.

The best irons I know of, but which don't come in electronic sizes are "Zeva" - they last forever.


As has been said, whatever you buy, make sure you can source bits easily.
As for the makes, I'm not familiar with the  others but I've been using my Weller soldering station frequently for the last three decades!

I think the more recent ones have an external temperature control, but my iron uses different bits to set different temperatures (using Curie effect). 
I use 2 different size bits for working with 'proper' 60/40 solder and a higher temp bit if I really have to work with the new stuff.