• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Soldering Irons for Beginners

#2
Good idea Dire_R/C!
I'll second that!
I have wasted money on three different soldering irons not knowing what to by, too small, too big, too hot - destroyed my last buy form the hobby shot by getting an 80W (that they recommended to me.). Still don't know why the tip just ate away my guess is its getting too hot..???
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#3
I would like to recommend the Weller I just bought to anyone looking for an iron. I've had a bunch over the years and this is my favorite to date. When I can get around to it, I'm going to do a review article I like it so much. You really can't go wrong with anything Weller anyway but here's a link.

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WPS18M...1229&sr=8-1&keywords=weller+soldering+tip+wps

It heats up fast, cools quickly, it's light, has a good pencil type grip and lets you get closer to the work so if you're shaky like me it won't matter as much. It has an led that turns on when it has power and changes color when it's hot which happens quickly. It also has a white led that shines on the work. I love it.
 

Dire_R/C

Junior Member
#4
Thanks for the input Ak Flyer. I'm just getting into the electric side of the hobby and I'm eventually going to have to solder motor connecters to esc's and esc connectors for batteries. A how-video would be most excellent!
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#5
I don't have any decent video equipment but I'll see if I can help on my week off. I actually have some soldering to do, I'll try to get some pictures. I bet there's a bunch of youtube videos though if you look hard enough.
 

Johan

Senior Member
#9
Wow that is cheap for a temperature controlled station!

In labs I worked in, they almost always used Weller stations, very durable, reliable, but also quite expensive (but then again: if they last a lifetime who cares).

NOTE: no recommendation in this post

I just cleaned up my dads (at least 35 years old) ERSA soldering iron. The tip and shaft were all black, the grey and blue plastic had turned yellowish (resin?).
Now it is all crisp again, wattage might be on the high side for modern electronics though (30 Watts), but maybe just right for ESC/Motor power connectors) ...

ERSA.jpg
 
Last edited:

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#10
Good idea Dire_R/C!
I'll second that!
I have wasted money on three different soldering irons not knowing what to by, too small, too big, too hot - destroyed my last buy form the hobby shot by getting an 80W (that they recommended to me.). Still don't know why the tip just ate away my guess is its getting too hot..???
I've had issues with tips eating away also. My thoughts are it's from leaving the iron on for too long without cleaning the tip. I have since made a cleaning station out of an aluminum muffin tray and some stainless steel scrub things. Works great and the tip keeps the temp better than using a sponge. Works as good as the $20 model they sell at the Shack and it cost me all of $3 to make.
 

OutcastZeroOne

Fly, yes... Land, no
#11

zev

lumpy member
#13
an electrical engineer friend had an extra one of these, which he gave to me. (well, actually it was the ec2001, but I cant find that on ebay. they are very similar)

compared to what I was using before, MAN, this thing is awesome. it gets up to temp in like 20 seconds, and will stay there all day.

whatever soldering iron you get, make sure it comes with a base. don't wanna burn down your house.
 

IBeHoey

The Warranty Voider
#14
As everyone has already said, you really can't go wrong with a Weller. Like having a quality power supply, paying a little extra to get a good quality iron will pay off down the road. Also, there's no shame in picking up a used iron off of ebay. You can find several really nice adjustable Weller irons, many come with spare tips from $50-$100.

I wouldn't really recommend this for a beginner, but since we're on the subject of soldering irons. Several years ago I was in need of a hot air smd rework station, being low on money I decided to gamble on a Chinese brand I'd never heard of. For $160 I picked up an Aoyue 968++ rework station, and wow, it ended up being money well spent. It comes with an adjustable 70w pencil style iron, and an adjustable hot air reflow gun (great for swapping out smd leds or for heat shrink). I've been using it daily for the past 6 years and it's still going strong (I'm still on the original heat element too). I don't normally recommend Chinese soldering equipment, but the Aoyue brand has done alright by me.

One last thing, a quick tip. If you want to extend the life out of your soldering tip, when you're done for the day, and before you shut down your iron, always leave a small glob of solder on the tip. This will help protect the tip from oxidizing. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to work with an iron that won't take solder. :D
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#15
One last thing, a quick tip. If you want to extend the life out of your soldering tip, when you're done for the day, and before you shut down your iron, always leave a small glob of solder on the tip. This will help protect the tip from oxidizing. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to work with an iron that won't take solder. :D
I wish I knew this from before. My tip is completely dirty and won't work as well as it did before.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#16
I wish I knew this from before. My tip is completely dirty and won't work as well as it did before.
Take some steel wool (or sharpening stone) and scrape off a patch of the oxidized surface, then re-tin. Try to keep the patch flat. Only scrape/re-tin the very tip of it (the size of a match head or smaller).

The tarnished metal radiates less heat, and will channel more heat to the tinned patch. It's not much of an effect, but it always makes me feel like I'm getting the best out of my iron.