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#4632186 - 01/12/18 07:57 AM Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion?
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1974
Loc: VA
Looking to get a soldering iron for occasional use around the house, garage, electronics, etc...

I am planning to buy this one : http://www.sears.com/weller-therma-boost...mp;blockType=G3

Any thoughts about it? I am strictly planning to buy from Sears, so any advice from below list would be much appreciated smile

http://www.sears.com/search=soldering%20...p;searsTab=true

http://www.sears.com/search=soldering%20...p;searsTab=true

Thank you thumbsup
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#4632196 - 01/12/18 08:16 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
muddawgs Offline


Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 203
Loc: midwest
I had to get certified in soldering when I worked for 3Com/Usrobotics. I've done more than I care to share. For the links provided I would tell you to go with a Pencil 40w type and get a stand. I would also recommend that you buy some replacement tips. A 25w is tough to work with for general stuff that it sounds like you'll be doing. I use a Hakko for whatever I do now. It's a little more expensive but a great setup.

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#4632212 - 01/12/18 08:45 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
W3DRK Offline


Registered: 05/27/17
Posts: 30
Loc: PA, USA
If you intend to do _any_ electronics work at all, I'd avoid any type of soldering "gun" like the plague. Those aren't temperature regulated and can destroy PCBs in a few seconds.

Do yourself a favor and invest just a little more in a proper soldering station. Even the Chinese Hakko clones are better than an unregulated Weller soldering gun or iron.

Something like this would be great for having around the house:

http://www.sears.com/winado-wina2938-936...p;blockType=G12

Assortments of tips are also available cheap. The plating on the clone tips isn't as good more expensive name brands, but for occasional use around the house they should still last a long time. Ether way they'll far outlast the tip of a glowing red 40W iron.

I suggest a heavy chisel type tip with lots of thermal mass for working on larger things like heavy gauge wires, and a fine bent or chisel tip for PCB tasks.

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#4632216 - 01/12/18 08:48 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11964
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Depend on what you are soldering. Shouldn't be anything HI Voltage around the house with solder joints (other than certain appliances).

My techs use rechargeable battery irons that are great for occasional touchups but not 1/2 hour jobs.

I have a 12 volt iron for car electronics that plug into the cigarette lighter or power outlet in the car.

More Q's: You Build electronic kits or tube amplifiers?

You typically would want a hi wattage gun, for hi voltage lugs from Mains to switch to the tranny.

Do you do any leaded glass windows as a hobby?


Edited by ARCOgraphite (01/12/18 08:53 AM)
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#4632218 - 01/12/18 08:50 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1974
Loc: VA
Thanks, no I don't have anything like hi voltage or glass windows or anything of that sort.

Occasional soldering of electrical wires/connections and mostly that's it.
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#4632224 - 01/12/18 08:56 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11964
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
I would just get a 15 dollar pencil with stand and sponge.

These days most ROHS directive electronics are Pb free. Unless the solder you buy has a fair amount of bismuth in it, it will be high(er) temp melt point than 63/37 eutectic rosin core.
_________________________
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#4632257 - 01/12/18 09:32 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1974
Loc: VA
Thanks bought this pencil : Craftsman Soldering Iron, 45 watt
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#4632288 - 01/12/18 09:58 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
W3DRK Offline


Registered: 05/27/17
Posts: 30
Loc: PA, USA
Be sure to observe that pencil glowing red in a dark room...

Sure Pb-free needs slightly higher temps, 720F is about the sweet spot for that. But there's no need for a 900+F degree pencil. They do that to compensate for low thermal mass of those long crummy tips, but after just a few uses the plating will be completely burned off, exposing the copper to be eaten away by the solder's rosin core.

I've even witnessed one where the Ni-chrome heating element burned through its mica insulation and, because they usually aren't even supplied with grounded cords, energized the entire metal section of the pencil with line voltage.

Honestly, those cheap pencils aren't worth the material they're packaged in.


Edited by W3DRK (01/12/18 10:08 AM)

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#4632302 - 01/12/18 10:17 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2963
Loc: USA
Make sure you tin the tip after every use! Keep that tip from corroding...

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#4632303 - 01/12/18 10:20 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: Reddy45]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1974
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Make sure you tin the tip after every use! Keep that tip from corroding...


Sorry, what do you mean by tin the tip?
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2006 Civic EX 200K/AT
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#4632326 - 01/12/18 10:45 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs

Sorry, what do you mean by tin the tip?


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#4632330 - 01/12/18 10:53 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1974
Loc: VA
Thanks Linctex thumbsup
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2006 Civic EX 200K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 177K/AT

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#4632378 - 01/12/18 11:53 AM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21180
Loc: Orlando, FL
I have a very basic Weller for work that gets the job done.

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#4632396 - 01/12/18 12:48 PM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
dirtymudder Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 106
Loc: michigan
If you plan to solder wires ( like 14-12 gauge house wiring) the minimum you will need is a 140 watt. Smaller wires like 18 gauge speaker wires will be fine with a 100 watt gun. If you think your going to repair,say a circuit board than a temperature controlled unit is what you need. From my experience with house wiring though a 250 watt is a better choice for 12 gauge wires in the house. Most car wiring is of a smaller nature so 100-140 watt gun is good. I have various size guns and irons and temperature controlled units. My personal go to for most jobs is my Weller 100-140 watt gun

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#4632402 - 01/12/18 12:52 PM Re: Soldering Gun/Iron Suggestion? [Re: maverickfhs]
dirtymudder Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 106
Loc: michigan
If your picking Sears, go with this one. http://www.sears.com/search=soldering%20...p;searsTab=true

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