Best Soldering Iron Reviews 2018
A good soldering iron is an essential part of the toolkit of a hobbyist or an enthusiast, as the operation of this tool is very simple. Basically, a soldering iron provides enough heat in melting the solder to connect two parts of any electronic products; thereby, making it useful throughout repair works, installations, home improvement, and many other applications.
Fortunately, the market offers a wide selection of the best soldering irons for anyone who wants to explore the efficiency and performance of such tool. However, the vast selections make it more difficult for any probable buyer to choose the right one, especially for the first time buyers and users.
In order to solve that problem, this article provides you with only the top-rated soldering iron reviews to guide you in learning the most reliable brand names when it comes to these hand tools. Therefore, you are offered with no less than the best deals of soldering irons on the market.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Weller WLC100 Soldering Station|| (4.5 / 5) |
|Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station|| (4.7 / 5) |
|Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station|| (4.6 / 5) |
|Aoyue 9378 Digital Soldering Station|| (4.4 / 5) |
|Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station|| (4.2 / 5) |
|Aoyue 469 Soldering Station|| (4.4 / 5) |
Best Soldering Iron Reviews
- 1 Best Soldering Iron Reviews
- 2 Soldering Iron Buying Guide
- 3 Major Factors to Consider
The first item on the list is the Weller WLC100 Soldering Station with an average rating of 4.5 stars. This could be the best solder station as it includes everything necessary for a novice to start soldering, allowing the user to join metals, create electronic connections, and more. In fact, this kit has been designed with the DIYers and the hobbyists in mind.
Featuring a lightweight and high-grade pencil iron, the Weller WLC100 allows for variable power control, including a cushioned foam grip as well as a heating element that is replaceable. Moreover, this kit features a safety guard holder for added security and reduced user fatigue. The pencil iron also features an ST3 iron-plated and copper tip, ensuring comfortable operation, despite long periods of work.
Hence, rest assured that quality and efficiency are found in this soldering iron for small electronics, considering Weller as a global leader in the soldering industry since 1945. Compared to ordinary soldering kits, the Weller WLC100 has adjustable power controls, allowing the user to vary the power level by turning the knob on its base unit; thereby, choosing the precise setting or level for each unique job.
Furthermore, this soldering kit has a “power-on” light indicator on the base unit while an on–off switch helps the user in keeping the iron from leaving the unit on. An iron stand is also provided in this workstation, keeping the workspace as organized as possible, and an extra sponge tip pad that is used for cleaning the tool after every task. Overall, the Weller WLC100 could be the best cheap soldering station that gives everything necessary for a beginner but comes with a reasonable price tag.
Next up is the 4.8-star-rated Hakko FX888D-23BY Soldering Station, which is a digital solder iron with a blue/yellow design combination. This model is an updated version of the FX-888 model that now boasts more features, including an English instruction sheet. Setup and operation have been simplified through this best budget soldering station.
The simplicity is attributed to the digital calibration and selectable preset temperatures. The password protection is newer while the low-temperature alarm tends to give process control as well as help in the protection of cold solder joints. Furthermore, the Hakko FX888D-23BY features a 30% increased heater output than conventional Hakko models and most ordinary counterparts.
It is highly capable of delivering an exceptional thermal recovery through the T18 series tips, considering the excellent heat conductivity of these Hakko accessories. The overall design of this soldering iron allows a lower temperature, plus a reduced thermal impact and decreased tip oxidation, which usually causes a shortened tip life.
Soldering station reviews also indicate that this product has a rise time of 20 seconds faster than its counterparts, while the tip temperature tends to drop over a continuous operation. Thus, the Hakko FX888D-23BY is capable of reducing the required time in most tasks while improving work efficiency in a dramatic manner.
All in all, the Hakko FX888D-23BY is the best soldering station because of its user-friendly design, small footprint, preset mode, adjustable mode, and a full function iron holder. This soldering station is an epitome of reliability, efficiency, and affordability, all packed in one.
Meanwhile, the Weller WESD51 Soldering Station receives a customer average rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon. Similar to its brother, Weller WLC100, the Weller WESD51 is also a digital station that features an exclusive heater and sensor combo that provides a fast heat-up as well as a quick temperature recovery design.
This is the best soldering iron because of its wireless temperature lockout, avoiding operators from increasing the temperature level higher than the specification for the component or board; thereby, the operator is given a complete control over the soldering process. The overall design also features an automatic power down when there is inactivity after 90 minutes, allowing power conservation and prolonging the tip life at the same time.
The Weller WESD51 station includes the power unit, an ETA tip, a PES51 soldering pencil, a PH50 stand, and a sponge for cleaning the tip. Unlike ordinary soldering products, this particular model boasts a microprocessor controlled temperature between 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 850 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a digital LED display, showing the temperature setting as well as the actual tip temperature reading in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
A credible soldering station review will indicate that the Weller WESD51 is a top-of-the-line soldering station, which has been engineered for a continuous production soldering, while the lockable temperature setting prevents unwanted changes or alterations. This particular model has a slim soldering pen with ETA tip that reduces user fatigue.
It also boasts a specific design that helps protect sensitive components. This UL-listed and cUL-listed product does not only offer a safe way of soldering, but also a full temperature control and precise performance, which every hobbyist or professional is looking for in such tool.
In addition to the list is the Aoyue 9378 Digital Soldering Station, which is a 60-watt, programmable soldering station. Just like the previous products, this one too is ESD-safe; thereby, deserving its 4.4 star average rating from its customers.
The kit includes 10 soldering tips, which provide the user with virtually everything necessary to start soldering different materials. It also features a switchable and configurable iron holder. It boasts a ceramic element that also offers longer life than other brands. The removable tip design is much loved by the users, including the automatic sleep and wake settings. Moreover, this soldering station has a vibration sensor in its iron handle, detecting movement for added security purposes.
There are also two quick jump buttons, allowing the operator to pick the most favorite settings, while the digital thermostat control is switchable between Fahrenheit and Celsius. The 24-volt output of this station helps in the prevention of circuit damage. Aside from its ESD-safe certification, the Aoyue 9378 has a design that is CE and RohS-compliant, making it the best digital soldering station for most operators.
The package includes the Aoyue 9378 soldering station, a 2660 iron holder, and B016 soldering iron. Without a doubt, this station has created a lot of satisfied customers, testifying to its performance and efficiency. The first time users are very happy with this product, including the professionals in the industry, saying that the Aoyue 9378 Digital Soldering Station is one of the best soldering stations to date.
On the other hand, the Aoyue 968A+ is the best hot air rework station with an average rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon. This innovative soldering station features a 70-watt soldering iron with smoke absorber that eliminates unwanted smell and air pollution during the process of soldering different materials and products.
This particular model of workstation has a digital display that shows the precise soldering iron temperature. Also, it includes a soldering iron holder, 10 iron tips, a vacuum pickup kit, and spare heating components for the hot air and the iron. It boasts a digital calibration and an adjustable sleep timer.
A hot air rework station review would say that the Aoyue 968A+ has the best features in the soldering industry. Besides the mentioned features, this workstation also provides a microprocessor controlled element that allows for a precise temperature control and airflow. The microprocessor control also features an exclusive design of a self-testing heating core system that warns the operator whenever there is a breakdown or aging of the hot air heating core.
Additionally, the Aoyue 968A+ provides an automatic cool off setting, leaving the blower on up until the nozzle cools down. This specific design tends to help in prolonging the lifespan of the heating element while ensuring safety simultaneously.
This 4-in-1 and ESD-safe repair station meet the CE and RoHS requirements, guaranteeing safety and efficiency at the same time. All the more, it has an internal airflow gauge and a knob adjustment that are specially designed for the air flow. It is, indeed, a reliable, high-performing, and variable soldering iron station today.
Finally, the Aoyue 469 Soldering Station deserves its 4.4 star rating because it is ESD-safe, similar to the other products on the list. This 60-watt soldering station has a removable tip design with a long-life ceramic heat element. While the soldering does not come in the package, the Aoyue 496 station, an iron stand, a sponge, and a soldering spool holder are included in the kit.
This very good soldering station has more than 50 tip sizes available, which provide the operator with vast selections for specific soldering tasks and requirements. It also features a PTC element for a quick heat-up and a more accurate temperature control.
For the beginners and professionals, the Aoyue 469 really means something, considering the brand name behind this product. Hence, Aoyue is a renowned manufacturer of solid irons with very fair price tags. The power switch of this model from Aoyue is located at the back; thereby reducing user fatigue as the operator does not need to plug and unplug the unit every single time.
The adjustable temperature setting is very useful for different jobs, whether small or big. While the iron tips come in the standard versions, these soldering tips are very convenient when it comes to replacements or variable sizes. The included point tip is highly compatible to most soldering tasks, making it the best cheap soldering iron choices today.
All in all, the Aoyue 469 Soldering Station is a good buy for any first-time user and also a dependable replacement or upgrade for old and worn out soldering units. With its variable temperature setting and other features, a buyer will never go wrong with this high-performing soldering station.
Soldering Iron Buying Guide
After the solder station reviews, it is now time to discuss more things about the featured tool. This section of the article provides you with further information and insights that are related to soldering irons including the basic types and the factors to be considered when shopping for such device.
Keep in mind that different manufacturers tend to produce various types and designs of soldering irons to tackle different jobs. There are certain types that can handle more complex jobs, emitting more intense heat for quicker melting points. Other models allow operators to access small openings while the rest are simply capable of soldering different electronics. So, without so much ado, the following information enumerates and simplifies the basic types of solder irons on the market.
- Soldering Iron – also considered as a simple iron, this type is the most common among all available types. It is very simple to operate with power ranging from 15 to 35 watts, which is enough in handling most electronic repair works. The majority of simple irons are operated at uncontrolled temperatures, which are typically defined by a thermal equilibrium. This is widely used by novices and DIYers in simple jobs that involve computer hard drives, boom boxes, and others.
- Soldering Station – this type, such as the featured products, usually comprise of controlled and/or variable temperatures, electrical power supply, and a display control circuitry, including a soldering head or unit with a tip temperature sensor. A very good soldering station also provides a stand for the iron storage and a sponge for cleaning the tip. Some manufacturers also design additional vacuum pickup tool, hot air gun, a vacuum pump, and other accessories for soldering and de-soldering purposes.
- Soldering Tweezer – this is a specialized type of soldering and de-soldering small surfaced-mounted components like electronics units with two electrical terminals. This type works perfectly on most batteries, capacitors, diodes, and resistors. However, a soldering tweezer highly requires a steady hand control.
- Soldering Gun – the best soldering gun and the most reliable one looks like a cordless hand drill, possessing a wire looped tip, which cools rapidly; thereby, it does not need holsters for storage. The rapid cooling design of a soldering gun also prevents fire hazards, while most beginners prefer this type over others because of its convenient trigger mechanism and easy-to-grip handle.
- Soldering Torch – lastly, a soldering torch is typically powered by propane gas or acetylene, delivering significant heat in a series of short bursts. It is widely used in jewelry-making purposes, melting precious metals like copper, silver, and gold. It is likewise used in culinary applications. However, the extreme temperature levels and safety concerns require the use of flame-retardant clothing as well as flame-resistant areas. Soldering torches are mostly used by professionals and not recommended for the beginners.
Major Factors to Consider
Meanwhile, below are the major factors worth considering when shopping for the best soldering kit on the market, whether through online providers or in-store suppliers.
The main purpose of buying a soldering iron is, perhaps, the most important variable throughout the process. The brand or model you should buy highly depends on your purpose as the most common applications that are related to electronics. For larger and more complicated soldering tasks, choosing one with a higher wattage is the best choice such as those with 200 or 400 watts that are specifically designed similar to a drilling machine but with a trigger for heating the gun.
Multiple Tip Support
Referring to the soldering iron review, you will instantly notice that the soldering tips of every model are said to accommodate different bits or tips. This equates to the flexibility of the tool, allowing the operator to apply the correct amount of heat on various sized objects that are being soldered. Make sure to pick one with such feature for a more flexible and useful soldering iron.
Furthermore, the temperature control setting is also a top priority when choosing the best soldering iron for electronics. Nowadays, many manufacturers provide a digital display throughout their designs that shows the tip temperature while allowing the operator for temperature control during the job. This feature is very useful, especially when tackling sensitive objects as excessive heat could result in damages. So getting a model with an adjustable temperature setting and a digital display are the best choices, so far.
The brand or manufacturer also plays a crucial role throughout the selection process. Remember that the market offers vast selections of this tool, ranging from the unbranded to the branded models. The best soldering iron brand, however, does not always mean cheap, considering the innovations in the designs in order to make the tool more functional and more effective. Shelling out a little more cash on a branded tool can be a lifetime investment, after all. And based on recommendations, the Weller and the Hakko brands are the top picks when it comes to soldering irons.
The best soldering iron for circuit boards could also be the best tool for jewelry making, electronics, and more. Just make sure that you choose a model that can handle the heat requirements for such tasks. Also, it is important to take note of the wattage requirements, ensuring the safe use of this tool.
Besides establishing wiring connections and removing faulty wiring, the best soldering iron station is extremely useful in different ways, you will never run out of things to do as the heating and melting capabilities of the best soldering equipment can simply bring out your inventive side!
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