1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Dont Ever Buy a COLD HEAT!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Linas, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    This solderer is a piece of S*IT!! My mom had baught it for crafts and i gave it the test run, and it gave me the absolutly hardest time soldering the pickups and the pots. This thing is just junk. SO DONT EVER BUY A COLD HEAT, YOU WILL BE DISAPOINTED!
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I have to TOTALLY disagree. I bought one and find that it solders beautifully. Clean and precise

  3. patrickshofner

    patrickshofner Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Central Kentucky
    In the 6 months that I worked at RadioShack last year, I sold several and always heard positive feedback. People seemed to like them quite well.
  4. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    Got any tips on how to make better use of it?
  5. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I got your back on this one. The thing ate batteries like candy and never really got hot enough to solder anything. Get an electric iron. Or, there is a battery powered (non cold heat) one at Home Depot that is not great but fine. On top of everything else, I broke two cold heat tips in a weekend...and the carbide tips are $10 a piece. One of my all time worst purchases.

  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    They're good if you need to solder one thing up high once every few years. But if you've got a bench, get yourself a Weller.
  7. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    I have to agree I got one to solder some pots, and let me tell you it's the biggest peice of junk. I couldn't even solder pots right. I hade to go by a regular soldeing iron, and when I did I finished all the pots and wiring them to the pick ups, in like 20 minutes. COLD HEAT IS A PILE OF JUNK.
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    My girlfriend just bought me one... hopefully it'll work well, just so I don't have to tell her that I'm replacing her gift with something that doesn't suck. I was pretty skeptical of them when I first saw them advertised. My first soldering project is coming up, so I could really use this thing to work out.
  9. +10000
    If you do enough electronics to justify it, a Weller station with adjustible temperature is the ONLY way to go.
  10. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    Don't hold your breath. I went got got a 40 watt iron for like 9 bucks and it work 10,000,000,000,000,000 times better than the cold heat one.
  11. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I have a cold heat, I'll agree that it is not a good all around sound iron, there are some instances where it does work well though. It works well if you are working with reasonably small solid conductor wire, it also works well for small component soldering (resistors, caps, diodes, etc), but that's about it. It really doesn't work well with stranded core wire which is the norm for bass electronics. Just because it doesn't work that well for your specific application doesn't mean that it is a total POS that no one should buy.
  12. Yeah, I got one from Costco and brought it back. Went to the Shack and picked up an iron and a bunch of accessories for the same price and am much happier with that rig.
  13. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004

    funny, i have one, and absolutely love it
  14. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've always thought it looked like a toy, but I'll confess that I've never actually used one. Unless you're doing something where the cordless feature is a real plus, I say stick with a traditional iron. A temperature controlled station is totally worth it, I think, even for occasional solderers.
  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'm not sure if I do enough work to justify having it, but my Weller station is the shiznits.
  16. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    If you want the best solder joints and be able to do the best wiring that you can, even if you don't use it a lot, the Weller is the best. For quick fixes, the Cold Heat is fine. It is not marketed to people who rely on soldering for their livelihood. It is a useful tool to keep in the utility drawer when you need something soldered. I have used a Cold Heat and it worked well with a simple re-solder of a wire to a lug on a pot. I wouldn't use it to rewire a bass or repair an amp, but if a wire comes loose on a gig, not a bad tool to keep in the gig bag, just in case.
  17. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I saw the Cold Heat commercials and was skeptical. I used to have a job doing electronics installs like security, audio visual, communications, etc... We always used butane soldering irons. They work great for car stereo installs too. I pack it in my tool kit so I can fix a cable or whatever at a gig. It runs on that Ronson aerosol butane and one can lasted me over a year. Costs about 25 - $30.
  18. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    I am skeptical too, so skeptical that I'll keep my Weller WTCPT bench iron and the assorted Wellers in my travel kits.
    The only battery powered portable I have used is made by Wahl is is quite good as long as you don't need to heat up a large area, like the back of a pot.

    The Cold Heat looks real problematic to me...
  19. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    If you want portable and cordless then get a Weller Portasol. There are also a few cheaper butane units around that don't suck. Most of them use special catalytic tips. Just be sure to grab half a dozen tips if you get one. They don't last forever, or even for a while if they see regular use.

    Also, if someone was trying to solder ground wires to the back of a pot with a Cold Heat, then they might have been missing the point. The CH is probably equivalent to a 5w iron.

    Remember, more wattage doesn't equal higher temperature, it equals higher thermal capacity. Higher wattage irons transfer more heat to the work, and that means they don't quench as fast. That is why a 15 watt pencil iron can be trouble on a high-mass part like a pot casing or a chassis.
  20. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    We went through a ton of Wahls at the electronics shop where I used to work, when they first came out. I agree they are great little irons, very handy, quite a few joints out of a charge, tip heats and cools reasonably quickly.

    The problem we had was that the batteries would die and refuse to hold a charge in no time at all. Funny thing is, the distributor's rep kept taking them back and replacing them in warranty, all the while saying, "You folks are the only ones having this problem..."

    When it came time for me personally to buy a portable iron, I didn't need the battery grief. I went the same way as BbbyBld -- I bought a butane-fired one. Works great and 100% reliable so far.

    As for the Cold Heat, I haven't used one and can't comment other than remark on it doing heavy jobs. One soldering implement will not do every job you need to do, unless all the jobs you need to do are very similar. Just as you wouldn't haul 4'x8' plywood home in a convertible (though I've seen it done, that was good for a laugh), you won't have much fun if you try to do heavy work with a low-wattage iron.

    I have a 7W "Princess" cartridge iron for fine work, a 15/25W switchable for regular component work, a dual-heat Weller gun for big stuff, and a BernzOmatic torch for soldering plumbing and other really huge jobs. Plus the little butane iron for when portability's required. All of that was accumulated over a matter of years, but they pretty much all get used depending on what job I'm doing at the moment.

    So, slam the Cold Heat if it's truly a crappy piece of equipment... but try to be fair and don't fault it for not handling larger jobs than it's intended for. (And if you feel the advertising implies it can handle those jobs, go after sales and marketing and corporate greed, not the iron. ;) )