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"cold heat" soldering irons

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 14, 2005.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Has anyone used one of these? Do they actually work? Would they appropriate for "reasonably sized" (say, 18 gauge) wiring?
  2. Taken from a guitar forum I visit...

    Again, this is not a personal experience of mine and this guy could be off his rocker, or maybe he got a lemon.

    Just a fair warning.
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I remember reading bad reviews on a website, maybe amazon? maybe thinkgeek?
  4. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    nonsqtr, you're an engineer right? (I seem to remember from some other thread)

    Think about how these things work. It might work, it might not, but you know for sure it's not going to work well. It just doesn't have enough power to heat up large wires and melt the solder.

    It's your call as to whether you get one or not, but I'm skeptical about things like this.
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Thanks for the input, that's what I needed to hear. I'm not hip to how those things are supposed to work, that's why I asked. I'll just stick with the traditional Weller. Thanks again. :)
  6. I bought one for my friend as a joke. Once, he tried to use it to install a mod chip in his playstation 2, and it totally didn't work. The two prongs must both be in contact with the thing that you're soldering, so it's useless for any kind of work that requires precision. It works, but it's worse than the most bargain bin soldering iron at melting solder. However, it does have a nifty white led on it to light the area that you're working on. If you want to solder, definitely go with the traditional soldering iron, but if you want cool sparks and LED illumination, go with the cold heat.
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I bought one, it didn't work well. I returned it. I bought another one a few weeks later desperately hoping it was just me not knowing how to use it. The concept is so great. It still didn't work well, so I returned it. I recently acquired a Weller. Yeah, so I have to plug it in and for a few seconds for it to heat up. It works perfectly.

    The Cold Heat solder iron is not that great. Does it work? I suppose so, but not very well at all. Do not waste your time. I see you already came to that conclusion, but I wanted to share my personal experience.

  8. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I have one. It works great for single conductor wire, and surface mount type soldering. However, It if very inefective on braided or multiple strand wire. And the tips are very fragile.
  9. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I've seen these things before...

    ...if it sounds too good to be true, it must be...
  10. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    whats the reason for getting one of these things? do they turn on with metal contact and get hot immediatly?

    I use an 80 watt pencil ($25) and it works GREAT. I plug it in and give it a few minutes to get hot, or 10 min to get REALLY hot and go for it.....
  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Cold heat soldering irons work by creating a low voltage, high amperage current that will easily heat up small wires enough to melt solder. That is why they don't work well on larger wire. The larger wire doesn't have quite the resistance needed to create the heat needed to melt the solder. Same principle behind an arc welder, or a wire fed welder.
  12. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    If they worked all that well they would be great. For major projects a regular iron is obvioulsy fine. But for fixing that one lead that came loose on a pot right before rehearsal, no-one wants to get out the soldering iron, heat it up, solder, wait for it to cool down and the put it away. these things are battery powered and nearly instant heat and cooling. That is if they were everything that they were meant to be.
  13. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've got one. With a wire larger than a hair, it's pretty lame. Like jrthebassguy quoted, there were all the indications of it happening with nothing. I bought it...I figured, what the hell, worst case scenario; I'm out $20. I guess I'm out $20. The wire stripper that came as a "free gift" works pretty good tho. I guess I'm out. $12.50. :rolleyes:

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