Soldering Iron

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
thirdline
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Soldering Iron

Postby thirdline » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:58 pm

Can anyone recommend a good quality soldering iron for around £50 - £60? One that is useful for fine electrical work such as decoder wires. I’ve been buying cheaper ones and you get what you pay for, the damn things either fail or fall to bits.
I’ve noticed that some irons are for lead free solder, not sure what that’s all about either.
Any advice would be most welcome.
Thanks,
Mick.

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End2end
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby End2end » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:33 pm

WELLER all day, everyday. Rock solid piece of kit with many 'bits' available.
Good second hand bargain.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Weller-WTCP- ... SwqTVgL9uq
Mine was roughly £85 second hand and has never let me down.

I don't make brass kits so do not need any temperature control. I've wired not only my model railway but also many recording studios and editing facilities in the West End with this. :)
Thanks
End2end

Edit: Just for completeness, here's the manual - https://www.manualslib.com/manual/11418 ... tml#manual
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Bufferstop
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:00 pm

Lead free solder requires a higher temperature. The only place the hobbyist DIYer needs to be involved with it is soldering copper pipes for drinking water. Otherwise you are free to use traditional leaded solder for your own work. Don't let shops/retail depots tell you it's banned.
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Flashbang
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Flashbang » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:16 pm

Always opt to use Lead Content solder = 60/40 and a Antex 25 watt iron will always solder wire to wire or wire to rails correctly. :D
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Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

thirdline
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby thirdline » Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:57 pm

Thanks guys for the advice and info, much appreciated.
Regards,
Mick.

Mike Parkes
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Mike Parkes » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:05 pm

Would recommend Antex rather than Weller IME

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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Ex-Pat » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:55 pm

Never had a Weller, but perfectly happy with Antex.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:27 pm

I'd say Weller for full time heavy use, or should that be abuse. Antex for a little more precision but will last you forever if properly looked after. That's my opinion based on owning and using both, the Weller I used at work out on the patch and it got some stick. Including the heinous crime of cooling it down under the tap when I was pressed to get on to the next job.
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End2end
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby End2end » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:39 pm

Also, no matter what iron you settle on ALWAYS use a soldering iron stand and keep the tip clean with a damp sponge.
Thanks
End2end
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Ironduke
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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Ironduke » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:01 pm

thirdline wrote:I’ve noticed that some irons are for lead free solder, not sure what that’s all about either.


You don't need to use lead free solder but manufacterers do use it, so your new iron needs to be able to cope with that. i.e. get a soldering station that says it is suitable for lead-free solder. You can solder to lead-free solder join using leaded solder though.
I would choose a soldering station with a controllable tempurature.

I also have a butane gas soldering iron. Mostly I use the "hot-air" mode for shrinking heat shrink tubing. It's also good for reflowing the solder on surface mount components on PCBs.
Regards
Rob

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Re: Soldering Iron

Postby Paul-H » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:44 am

In this day and age, if looking for a new soldering solution, its worth looking at the T12 type of Iron, much better heat control and regulation, easy tip changing, lots of low cost replacement tips, and each tip comes with its own built in heating element and sensor so they last longer.

There are lots of T12 options available from not much money to expensive professional devices from Hakko and from soldering stations to all in one units.

Paul


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