A soldering iron works to generate heat and transfer it to objects such as pads, circuit boards, wires, and transistor leads. This could be upwards of 800-degree heat. When the surface of the object becomes properly heated, solder is put on the area using a hot metal tip. Soldering tools come in irons as well as soldering guns. The soldering guns are only used for repairing objects that are denser and not for a circuit board that has delicate wires and components that will be damaged by the metal tips used for soldering.
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What is Solder?
Solder is a metal alloy material that is put into a tube shape, and then it is rolled up in a spool. The tube itself has what is called “flux” in it. The flux will alleviate any oxidation on the surface of the object being soldered. If you are performing soldering on electronic components, you can only use a rosin-flux solder which is acid-free. Acid flux is only used for plumbing soldering jobs. Most solder has a lead element included in the metal, but lead-free solder is available to buy. The lead-free solder is not as easy to heat, and it is possible that you may only get the best results with lead-free solder if you use a soldering iron that is of the best quality and usually a bit more expensive.
What are the Benefits of Using a Soldering Iron?
- Deters warping -the metal alloys associated with solder prevent warping and melting, so they will keep the original shape of the solder over time.
- Electrical current – Solder bonds electrical connectors together when electricity is present in the object being soldered. Since solder is metal alloys, it will conduct electricity.
- Lower heat threshold – Soldering can be done at a far lower heat threshold than welding (only 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
- More than one electrical connection – if you are doing a soldering job on a circuit board then creating a solder bath on its surface will create multiple connections without the solder adhering to the surface of the board but only to the wire components.
- Unskilled “skill”- In order to solder, a certificate of learning based on a particular skill is not needed; you can simply watch a YouTube video that gives specific directions on how to solder anything from jewelry to plumbing.
Here’s what we think are the Ten Best Soldering Irons on the market in 2020
Our Top Pick Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station – Temperature Settings Control – Built in Solder Holder
If you’re looking for the best value for money soldering iron as well as one that is reliable, robust and well built then you can’t go wrong with the Weller WLC100.
This high performance analog soldering station can produce up to 900° F which mean that there isn’t many soldering projects you can do with this soldering iron.
It comes with an adjustable temperature control which varies power from 5 watts to 40 watts. The lightweight pencil grip comes with cushioned foam to improve accuracy and comfort while using it for long durations of time.
It also comes with:
– Weller certified ST3 iron plated soldering tip for long life and consistent performance.
– Built in soldering holder to safely rest your pencil
– Cleaning sponge to remove unwanted residue from soldering for next time use
The Weller WLC100 is also UL Listed which means it has been tested and meets independent safety standards. It’s ideal for professional use as well as a great soldering iron for hobbyists.
This is a five-piece soldering kit that comes with five different types of metal soldering tips for a variety of solder repairs from electronics to thicker items. It is a 60W, 110V soldering iron which means that if you put the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then it will equate to approximately 7W. This iron, with a steel-silicone handle, heats up very quickly and the heat is very precise at an accuracy of roughly plus or minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Each metal tip is designed with four holes for maximum ventilation and cooling.
LEXIVON Butane Soldering Iron Multi-Purpose Kit – Cordless Cordless Soldering Iron – Self-Igniting Adjustable Flame 7-Tip Set- Pro Grade 125-Watt Equivalent (LX-770)
One of the bestselling cordless butane soldering irons on the market, the LEXIVON LX-770 comes with a 13-Piece accessory set which enables you to use it in a varied range of applications with electronic self-igniting trigger and a flame locking button.
It’s precise, high-quality and adjustable in every job you undertake with controllable flame from 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ with working high temperatures up to 2400° F and up to 1100° F while using with soldering tips.
Suitable for professionals, hobbyists and DIY jobs.
CHECK PRICES ON AMAZON
Probable the best professional soldering iron on the market, the NEW Aoyue 866 is a first when it comes to having features not previously available in this price range. Currently it is the only machine with an external temperature probe, which as most professionals would know is critical in a reflow process.
The Aoyue 866 station comes with:
– Pre-Heater and hot air gun
– External Temperature Probe
– 60 Watt Soldering iron with Silicone Cord
– Hot air gun holder with full articulating arm for full board coverage
– Soldering iron holder made of Aluminum and with sponge and brass coils for cleaning the tips
– Spare Heating Elements for the Hot Air Gun and the Soldering Iron
– Vacuum Pickup Pen, 10 Soldering iron tips
– Power cord
CHECK PRICES ON AMAZON
Under multiple types of repairs, this soldering gun held up to certificate test standards and exhibited the flexibility that it can perform multiple tasks and still provide maximum safety. It comes with five stainless steel soldering tips, solder wick, rosin, 2-piece tweezers, a sponge for post-cleaning, additional six-piece tool kit, and a case to organize it all. The metal soldering tips have optimal resistance to acid-alkali and exhibit exceptional thermostability. With the addition of silicone in the hand grip, you have maximum security from heat, scalding, and minimization of static.
BEST BUDGET SOLDERING IRON – GREAT FOR HOBBYISTS
This soldering iron model is styled for optimal comfort with a grip designed with a soft handle and ease of use. It is an eco-friendly product and can be used on a variety of soldering jobs for electrical components, jewelry, chipboards, and even intricate watches. For maximum security, there is a soldering iron stand that will help you avoid accidental spillage that could lead to injury or fire. The kit comes with a steel pipe style soldering iron for quick heating, five different soldering iron tips (metal), wire, and the soldering stand. It also puts out 60 watts of power.
Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit 60W 110V-Adjustable Temperature Welding Soldering Iron with Tool Carry Case
The Tabiger Iron creates great heat dissipation because of the steel-pipe style with a temperature range of up to 842 degrees Fahrenheit. This iron is unique because the manufacturer uses the chip fixed resistor instead of the color ring resistor, so it will heat up in less than 3 minutes. The kit comes with a soldering iron and power cable, five metal tips, solder, wire, a plastic and aluminum alloy desoldering pump (solder sucker), a post-cleaning sponge, and a case. This is a model that is best for electrical repairs.
There is no need for a soldering station for this model, you just plug this iron in and use it almost immediately. It used the chip fixed resistor instead of the color ring resistance which Vastar claims creates a better soldering result. The heat dissipation is very good and the soldering iron can be used for a variety of repairs including electrical, any home repairs and even hobbies such as wood burning designs. It comes with the soldering iron, a pocket solder tube, five metal tips, a desoldering pump, tweezers that deter static, and a stand for added safety when in use. It heats up quickly to the standard 842 degrees Fahrenheit as well. Be careful not to apply excessive solder when using this iron for best results. You may also experience some initial smoke that is emitted from the metal tip when you use it the first time.
This model has environmentally friendly soldering wire that is lead-free, so it is non-toxic and designed as an anti-pollutant material. It will heat up to the standard 842 degrees Fahrenheit, and each of the metal tips is designed with three holes for better heat distribution. If you are working on a soldering job for an extended period of time, this model has a rubber handle that has been designed with an anti-skid rubber for just these type of projects.
The kit comes with a soldering iron that is good for soldering as well as welding jobs, six metal tips, solder, lead-free wire, desoldering pump, a safety stand, sponge for clean-up, and a case for carrying all these components. This is a multi-functional soldering that works well with home repairs, electrical jobs, and wood-burning designs.
Whatnot Widgets 12 Piece Electronic Soldering Iron Kit 110V 30-50W Range over 900 degrees Fahrenheit
This model is unique in that it will heat far greater than the average soldering iron at 932 degrees Fahrenheit for some welding projects. It comes with only three metal tips(conical, bevel, and chisel), soldering iron, solder, wick, desoldering pump, iron stand, tip cleaner, solder wire pen, and additionally a helping hand tool that has two alligator clips and magnifier for help with small, detailed projects. All these components can be stored in the hard plastic tool case that is included. Because it is one of the most complete kits that you can find on the market today, it can be used for a multitude of solder projects including computers, amps, arts and crafts, wood burning, as well as electronics like cell phones, gaming components, speakers, televisions, and even model trains and toys.
BEST SOLDERING IRON FOR PROFESSIONAL USE
Hakko Digital Soldering Station –FX951-66, T15-D16 Soldering Station with T15-D16, 1.6 mm Chisel Tip, Blue
Hakko make exceptional, heavy duty soldering irons and this model is no different. It’s easy to use and comfortable. This iron comes padded around the handle and is designed with ergonomics at its core. It’s a soldering station that is capable of generating temperatures of 896 degrees Fahrenheit and is fully controlled digitally via a digital calibration system, which makes heat adjustments to your soldering iron simple and easy.
Also with the Hakko you get a ceramic heating element the gives quick heating as well a fast thermal recovery, which is very important in soldering tasks.
Summery of Features
- Superior heat transfer and thermal recovery
- Lockout key card to prevent unauthorized or accidental temp settings
- Low temperature alarm, auto shut-off after 30 minutes of non-use (Sleep function)
- Sleep mode functionality when used with the fh200-01 iron stand
- Soldering iron (fm-2027) uses quick-change composite tips – t15-d16 included free
Pros of the Hakko FX-951-66
- It’s displays the temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit to make it easy for people who work in both measurements.
- Temperatures are pre-set which makes adjustments easy to do.
- Protection from cold solder joints with a low temp alarm to give you that added control.
This iron can be plugged in and used up to a temperature of 842 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has ceramic-designed internal heat in the iron for rapid heating. It comes with 5 metal tips, tweezers (an ESD-10 and ESD 15), desoldering pump, tin wire tube, an iron stand, and a leather bag to carry all the soldering parts. It also comes with six tools for soldering projects to assist with cutting, hooks, and scraping among other uses. It even includes a needle to clean the holes in the tips that may become clogged with solder. With ventilation holes in the steel piping, the iron will cool down quickly. With the additional six tools, it makes this a versatile soldering iron kit for projects ranging from LED lights, delicate computer work, loose wiring, televisions, jewelry, drones, and working on RC car parts.
This soldering iron has all the bells and whistles and then some for a complete soldering station. Its heat range is 392 degrees Fahrenheit to a maximum of 896 degrees Fahrenheit. It is designed with an ergonomic grip that is heat resistant. This is an iron that has a unique technology which the manufacturer calls “Magic Temp.” This means that it has an actual sleep timer after ten minutes of non-use for additional safety. It is accurate within 3 degrees Fahrenheit, (which can be switched to centigrade by flipping a switch), which is exceptional for any soldering iron, and it can be purchased with a 220V capability in other models from this manufacturer. It also has an automatic cool-down design and a 55” power cord. Included in the station are a stainless steel iron holder, solder holder, a tip-cleaning brass sponge, and a flux cleaner which is exceptional for any kit. It is promoted as great for all levels of skill from beginners to experts—and the best part is it is actually reasonably priced for the number of components in this product.
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