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How to buy a soldering station? Answered


I've been looking around for a soldering station but I'm not really sure how to decide which to get? I will be using it for general electronics soldering. Also, I may want to repair stuff by replacing the broken components. I'd like a soldering station over an iron and I'm thinking about $50 or under. What temperature range should I be looking at? Should I consider a good solder iron like a Weller?

Thanks

Discussions

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iceng

7 years ago

I use three irons and a gun.
If you repair stuff, sometime burning it crisp with a HOG just feels good :-D
Then run of the work-bench circuit soldering an adjustable work station
is great. You Don't need a temperature indicator ( waste of $$ ).
If you solder frequently you will remember the dial position that works best
for a job !
Finally a low watt tiny tip princess iron for SMT and some Inderal you may
know it as Propranolol ( musicians take it before a performance )
I take it to solder 15 mil pitch.
A gas iron is also handy if you have a trailer or boat.

Hope this helps you,

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phillyjiceng

Answer 7 years ago

What is a HOG?

Also, do the soldering irons have the ability to replace the tips?

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icengphillyj

Answer 7 years ago

I'm on an iPhone,
A HOG is a big powered Iron.
If I can not buy spare solder tips at the same time
I won't buy the iron EVER !!

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orksecurity

7 years ago

If you're not sure what to get, I'd suggest going with a good iron rather than a soldering station. I've never felt a need to upgrade over my old Ungar iron (from before Weller bought Ungar -- usually using the 25W element). But I admit I don't attempt to muck with surface-mount components; if that's your interest, a more precisely temperature-controlled iron might, or might not, be worth the money.

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phillyjorksecurity

Answer 7 years ago

I don't really work with SMDs but what if I want to move around an sufrace mount resistor, etc?

Would you recommend the Weller Irons? I seen some in the Jameco catalogs but are they good quality? It's hard to tell these days since everything seems to be made in china.

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orksecurityphillyj

Answer 7 years ago

Weller and Ungar used to be the makers with the best reputation, at least in my experience, though Weller was aimed a bit more at professional/manufacturing use and Ungar was aimed more at the hobbyist/toolkit/occasional market.

I haven't heard anything to change that opinion, but it's been a long time since I shopped.

Generally, if Jameco stocks it, it's a good value for the price, wherever it was manufactured.

I'm not sure a soldering station actually makes working with surface mount components significantly easier. You'd have to ask one of the other guys about that.

Adjustable temp -- and stabilized temp -- is indeed an advantage of the workstations. (And I agree that the knob calibrations are sufficient indication unless you're doing something especially picky)