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soldering irons

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AdamR, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
  2. marcinski


    Jun 21, 2006
    chicago, ill
  3. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    40 watts is fine for heating the back of pots. I prefer a chisel tip, though. You can buy different tips for them.

    You're looking for rosin core solder.
  4. I have a $7 Radio Shack iron. Cant remember what solder I use, the label is gone, but its very light guage. Keep a tin of flux handy and it works well. I can fix a leaky pipe or my bass if need be. :D
  5. MilkyMcMilkMilk


    Dec 17, 2008
    that's the one I use, I like it a lot.
  6. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    That's the same one I use, too. Works great. Be sure to get some different tips. Only a couple bucks a piece.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I bought Passinwind's old Hako when he upgraded. Used to use elcheapo's and Rat Shack... Never knew what I was missing...
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Yep, good little station, 60 watt might be better if you are doing a bunch of soldering, but if you are just doing guitar elctronics, that is plenty, and Weller will last you a lifetime
  9. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    I use the same iron, I believe. If it's the same one, it already comes equipped with a small chisel tip (which I prefer, too). It suits my needs well: Electric bass/guitar and analog synth repair. 40 watts is enough with 60/40 rosin core solder unless you plan to solder all day every day.

    I also suggest a cleaner such as this: http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-Solderi...357192183&sr=1-1&keywords=Solder+iron+cleaner Also, read the instructions or google about tinning the tip of the iron.
  10. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Ohmygawd I borrowed a Weller soldering station from work a while back and burnt out the tip (just the tip) and it cost me $40 to replace. Yikes.

  11. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    Oh - Almost forgot. You'll also need a desoldering wick or bulb.
  12. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    Get some rosin core solder.
    Make sure to avoid acid core solder (it's for soldering pipes and will eat your electronics up).

    You probably want some desoldering wick.

    Also, even if you've got rosin core solder, you need flux. Liquid or paste flux should be fine, but make sure it's for electronics and not plumbing, some of that stuff has nasties in it.
    The key to fine soldering is judicious amounts of flux.
  13. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    There's nothing wrong with that iron, but I wouldn't recommend it either. Even though there is a control its not a true temperature controlled iron, the knob just controls the voltage to the iron - you can do the same thing with an extension cord and a dimmer switch for less than $3. For $75-$80 you can get a Hakko fx-888 which will be MUCH nicer and easier to use, or you can pick up a Hakko clone for around $50 - either one of those would be a great choice and you'll be much better off in the long run. I used cheap irons for years and didn't think too much about it, but I picked up a Hakko a couple months back and couldn't be happier. Like 4mal said, I never knew what I was missing.
  14. Bought an OK Industries SA500 dirt cheap on eBay a while back. January is a great month for used stuff. Just the same, take time to nail a great rather than a good deal.
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The Weller is OK, although 40W is a bit on the low side IF you need to solder anything other than small-gauge guitar wiring. I bought a Hako used, but it took a while to find an affordable one. Ebay seems to be low on them right now, but they will show up soon.

    A solder sucker (small vacuum tube tool) and rosin core solder are needed. I don't have a lot of luck with solder wick.
  16. DieterVDW


    Sep 19, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    I also bought a cheapo soldering station a while back.
    But just a while ago I bought this dirt cheap:

    A butane gas powered soldering iron. Perfect for me!
    Takes up a fraction of the storage space and works perfectly!

    And you can also use it for making créme brulée! :hyper:
  17. nsh50a


    May 11, 2004
    Columbia, MO
    The Hakko's are pretty nice. If you're wanting something similar for slightly less I rec the Aoyue http://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-937-Dig...id=1357224236&sr=8-28&keywords=soldering+iron
    I've had mine for a couple years after I started building pedals and it is fantastic. If you're just wanting to solder pickup leads though (not needing it for precision work or close to sensitive electronics), a cheap $5 iron from harbor freight will be sufficient.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

  19. I got this iron as a Birthday present this year, I'm a second year electronics engineering student and I have to use irons pretty frequently in my field, and the Hakko fx-888 is the best Iron I've used for the price. It competes against many irons that are way more expensive. I love mine!

  20. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Those Hakko irons are nice, but are twice the price of the basic Weller station. For working on guitars, the Weller is just fine. Plenty of power, too. When I had that Weller, I never had to turn it up past half way for guitar related tasks.

    Light years better than a crappy little Radio Shack iron, too.

    If you want to make a habit of breaking out the soldering iron more than every once and a while, investing in something with genuine temperature control, like the Hakko could makes sense, though.