Soldering iron - need a new one

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  1. YY1

    YY1 Well-Known Member

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    So my trusty decades old not sure of the name brand but worked like a champ soldering iron gave up it's ghost a few months ago.

    Well, really the tip got too badly distorted to use.
    I thought I'd just put on a new tip, but it wouldn't come out and I broke a drill bit off in it.

    Anyway, I went to Lowes or HD and bought a 30 watt Weller brand iron with LED work lights.

    JUNK. Won't get #18 wire hot enough to melt solder from the other side.

    Really?

    What can I get under $50 that's good?

    I do some small electronics from time to time so ESD and no current through the tip friendly is a plus.
     
  2. Sahara

    Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Under fifty could be tough. Much like you my trusty iron cratered a few years ago. All of the ones I bought were junk, to the extent that I had to keep a propane torch handy to heat the iron enough to melt solder. Never did find a good one, until...
    The local phone company shut down their regional shop. They threw away literally tons of equipment, and gave me choice of what I wanted.
    I got several bins of vintage semiconductors worth probably a hundred grand or so that I use to build guitar amps and pedals. And they gave me two brand new industrial soldering stations. Variable power, digital temp read out, yada yada...
    Without them I don’t know know what I’d do.
     
  3. themechanic

    themechanic Oklahoma is OK FBBO Gold Member

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    • themechanic

      themechanic Oklahoma is OK FBBO Gold Member

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      Entertaining reviews here:


       
      Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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      • tonysrt

        tonysrt Well-Known Member

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        I have Weller soldering gun from the 60's and it is rated at 100 Watts. I also have a dual heat with a 100 & 150 Watts. That low wattage rating was the reason you couldn't solder anything.
         
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

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        How the F do they keep selling 30W irons if they don't work?

        They even had 25W irons on the same rack!

        Interestingly, I'm fairly sure my old iron was originally a phone company item.
         
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

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        So I couldn't wait and how do you like that, impulse bought that Vastar iron from ebay for 15 bucks and free shipping before even reading the replies.

        Nice to know those reviewers gave it an honorable mention.
         
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

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        Actually it's a slightly different model with a temp indicator and selector.
         
      • kiwigtx

        kiwigtx Trendsetter Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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        :rofl::rofl::rofl: What language was that? Keep your dickinavice. :rofl:
         
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        • jamie

          jamie Well-Known Member

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          I have the Milwaukee soldering iron. I really like it and use the batteries on a couple other tools too.
           
        • Photon440

          Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          20-30 watt soldering irons are a needed item for delicate work. Soldering electrical components such as diodes and circuit boards can ruin things in a hurry if there is too much heat present. But for wiring, I like about 100 watts. For sheetmetal work, the propane heated tip comes out.
           
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          • Chargerjase

            Chargerjase FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Its the old story, you get what you pay for. Sounds like you need two. One for finer work which is less wattage, and a more powerful one for heavier work. BTW, x2 on Milwaukee. I have the battery one and its ideal for field work. For my bench top, I have an ERSA brand which is German. Had it since the 80's and it still does a fine job.
             
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            • Beekeeper

              Beekeeper It’s a disease without a cure! FBBO Gold Member

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              • JimCoronette

                JimCoronette Well-Known Member

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              • Mike67

                Mike67 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                • themechanic

                  themechanic Oklahoma is OK FBBO Gold Member

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                  You should see what's inside your sodder iron.


                   
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                  • themechanic

                    themechanic Oklahoma is OK FBBO Gold Member

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                    Canadian
                     
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                    • 1 Wild R/T

                      1 Wild R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      I have two of these, useful great for field work... But tend to eat consumables & the local electronics supply house shut down years ago so I have to order parts on line ahead of time.....

                      I also have a soldering station that I use for bench work...
                       
                    • Mike67

                      Mike67 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      I love mine I seem to have better flow and control than I do with it....I order 90% of my stuff on line nowadays anyway...lol!
                       
                    • moparedtn

                      moparedtn Ed on the Ridge FBBO Gold Member

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                      I've had one of these most of my adult life (40+ years or so).
                      They used to be the mack daddy at one point. This one still works fine:

                      s-l1000.jpg
                       
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