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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?




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,


What is a HOG?

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

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 !!


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.

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.

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)