Which soldering iron?

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Which soldering iron?

Postby MCGA » 2019-1-12 @ 03:03

I want/need one for hobby work. I've only soldered wires, but now I have electronics that need some soldering love.

I'm going to be replacing a SDRAM in my Genesis, the cartridge slot in my second Genesis, the Voltage regulator in my second Sega Master System, and then eventually recap my old motherboards and replace the realt-time-clocks where needed. And there are lots of Raspberry Pi projects I'd like to dabble in, so I'm hoping I can get a decent iron that lasts.

I'm thinking of this one:
KSGER T12 Soldering Station

Or this one:
Zeny 937D+

I'm trying to keep everything( solder, flux, etc. ) under 80 bucks.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2019-1-12 @ 03:57

well... they are both junk.

get a hakko 888. it will last a lifetime.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ANZRT4M

alternative, well WES51

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BRC2XU

these are the only two you need consider on the low end. I like the hakko better (I have the 888 analogue), but these are equal.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-12 @ 05:07

For SMD stuff, especially removing the old chips, you really want a hot air rework station. It makes removing the old stuff super easy as well as works a treat if you want to reflow stuff.

Mine is the older version of this one... mine has buttons to change the temp instead of the knobs. I've had it for a few years and it hasn't given me any problems at all.

If you are in the US or want to get it quickly:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2in1-862d-SMD-Soldering-Iron-Hot-Air-Rework-Station-LED-Display-W-4-Nozzle-110V/223320550286

If you don't mind waiting or are elsewhere.. maybe shipping is still free?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/862D-2in1-SMD-Soldering-Iron-Hot-Air-Rework-Station-Desoldering-Repair-110V/382713961141
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby MCGA » 2019-1-12 @ 07:42

I like the price of the combo station. :happy:

And to show my ignorance, would the hot air be good for removing pinned(legged) chips/slots?

And what's that tool that has a handle with two wires sticking out of it like a fork?

And I keep on reading to get a Hakko-- and from practically everyone. And the price isn't really that much more. I should probably bite the bullet and spend more.

Blah! This is why I'm torn. I might end up using a soldering iron every month, or only once a year. Which is why I'm not sure how much too invest. :exclamation:
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby Procyon » 2019-1-12 @ 08:54

Depends, if it's just a one of project get a cheap one, if you want to buy just one soldering iron for the rest of your life I suggest to get one from the established brands like Weller for example.
The higher price usually pays back just for the pleasure to work with good tools and reliability, trust me I have bought at least 4 cheap soldering irons because they all broke.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby sf78 » 2019-1-12 @ 09:59

I had one of these for over 10 years, never had a problem with it:

https://eleshop.eu/aoyue-936-soldeerstation.html

Just recently switched to this one:
8786d.jpg


If it works for 3-4 years then it's money well spent. In this price range it really doesn't matter, you'll get your moneys worth.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-12 @ 19:40

MCGA wrote:I like the price of the combo station. :happy:

And to show my ignorance, would the hot air be good for removing pinned(legged) chips/slots?

And what's that tool that has a handle with two wires sticking out of it like a fork?

And I keep on reading to get a Hakko-- and from practically everyone. And the price isn't really that much more. I should probably bite the bullet and spend more.

Blah! This is why I'm torn. I might end up using a soldering iron every month, or only once a year. Which is why I'm not sure how much too invest. :exclamation:


Do you mean through thew hole stuff? If so, I guess you could.. it would work and be able to heat up the board enough to melt the solder.. but not sure I would want to heat the board up that much.

For through the hole stuff, if it is just a resistor or capacitor, I just use a regular soldering iron. You can take out one leg at a time with resistors, etc.. for capacitors, I heat up one leg and tilt it so it pulls one leg out part way.. do the same to the other and then back and forth until it comes all the way out.

A better way is to use a vacuum pump powered desoldering iron. I actually bought a vintage 2-in-1 station a while back that only had the vacuum desoldering gun part and I must say it works way, way, way, way, way better than any of those lame plunger or bulb type solder suckers. I will use that from now on for even 2-legged components as it pretty much sucks all the solder out of the holes and then the part comes out of the board really easily.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby MCGA » 2019-1-13 @ 05:01

OK, that makes sense. I noticed people using the hot air for newer projects and it really did seem to make it much easier with the really tiny stuff. I would like a vacuum pump, but the price is more than I want to invest. I was going to use a solder wick, which I've seen peeps like that 8-Bit guy use.

I'm going to start with a cheaper one with the blower, so I can tinker with this stuff to get used to it. And if I find myself going full out on soldering, then I'm going to buy a Hakko next. I found a cheaper Hakko model, but when I add in the holder and cleaner, it's a better deal to just pay a bit more for the FX model.

I have a another question showing how little I know about this stuff. What's with the various names? I see the same model number on lots of different brands. So with 8786D, I see a few variations on Amazon. And I noticed the 936,937, etc.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-1-13 @ 07:26

Chinese clone manufacturers have been making those for years (with varying quality). They're generally better than a non temperature controlled station, but not as good as the real thing.

The T12/T15 clones have the advantage of being compatible with genuine Hakko tips. I have one that I actually like better than my FX-888D.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby Anaxagoras » 2019-1-13 @ 13:22

Sorry if this thread is not the right place to ask this question.

Which accessories do you use in your soldering jobs? For example to hold pieces. :confused:
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-13 @ 19:14

Anaxagoras wrote:Sorry if this thread is not the right place to ask this question.

Which accessories do you use in your soldering jobs? For example to hold pieces. :confused:


A "helping hand".

Do a google search for:
helping hand soldering

I just use one from Harbor Freight with 2 claws and a magnifying glass but there are better ones out there.

For holding very small SMD components in place, I just use a dental style pick or similar to keep the component from being blow away with the hot air gun.. as in, I just place it on one side to form a sort of wall. I don't actually hold the component down with anything as when using a hot air gun, the piece will just move into the correct place automagically once the solder melts.

For reflowing large SMD chips, I use no clean flux and run some in between the chip and the board to before reflowing the solder balls with my hot air gun.

For easier stuff, I just use paste type flux. Makes the solder flow like it should and also helps transfer the heat.

Also make sure to tin your soldering tip or else you will have a bear of a time doing anything.
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Re: Which soldering iron?

Postby GigAHerZ » 2019-1-13 @ 19:23

cyclone3d wrote:A "helping hand".


"Third hand" is a term, which works very well for searches. :)
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!
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