- Soldering irons
First of all dont get a cheap gas iron, you cant control the heat anywhere near well enough and with modern lead free solders you need higher temps but with good control otherwise yould burn everything. get a cheapish electric on from maplin and youll at least be able to control it to some extent. soldering properly requires skill and practice so i wouldnt go in on something you actually want to start with. get an old cd player or what ever and practice. laminate construction and component size have a part to play and will dictate what you need to use in terms of tips etc. for desoldering i personally prefer wick rather than suckers but its up to you.Posted 4 years agodvatcmarkMember
Don’t get gas. I would recommend the 15w one from Maplin for small electronics like the PiPosted 4 years ago
As an occasional dabbler and having both electric and gas ones in the garage, the electric one gets used every time.
One of the down sides with the gas ones is that there is an exhaust from the burner that can do proper damage to your surroundings / whatever you’re fixing.
Gas is great for fixing stuff outside: like on the car.
My 2p’s worth.Posted 4 years agojon1973Member
Just need one for a couple of small jobs (breakout kit for a Raspberry Pi + whatever I end up doing with it). Don’t want to spend a fortune. Seen a cordless gas one in Aldi, are these worth a look?
Any recommendations? I guess a kit would be nice with everything I need to get started.
ThanksPosted 4 years agoandylMember
I keep a roll of proper solder just in case.
The maplin 30W model (yellow) is decent as a general purpose iron. Cheap replaceable tips and feels okay in the hand.
I picked up one of their ESD variable temps ones for an experiment and was impressed for the price at it was on offer for £40. http://www.maplin.co.uk/60w-professional-lcd-solder-station-with-esd-protection-511927
The iron is cheap feeling but it’s because I grew up using dads professional weller ones and it’s only £9.99 for a replacement iron.Posted 4 years agoIanMunroMember
when you say proper solder you mean the solder that now cannot be used in almost all electronics
You need to add to the end of that sentence ‘used in almost all electronics that is commercially sold’ 🙂 I’m guessing that the OP isn’t planning to go into commercial production. The chances of them getting a lead-free solder that wets as well as a leaded one is slim. And thus the chance of producing a decent joint if you only occasionally solder is also slimmer.Posted 4 years ago
Also lead-free is more toxic to use as the fluxes in them have to be far more aggressive.
For home use it has no plus points. For commercial use it has no plus points either. It’s just you’ve no choice but to use it.chiefgrooveguruMember
This would be way overkill for you but we bought a Xytronic LF2000 for work and it’s a joy to use, especially as we have to use lead-free solder. Bit life is so good that it’ll work out cheaper than our previous solder station in about a year. Just an FYI for anyone that’s wedded to Weller and Antex. We’re soldering some big high current (20A+) components so need all that power!Posted 4 years agoRichPennyMember
Lead free solder was the devils work when launched, probably better now. I think you can still use leaded for rework in commercial electronics. Do remember lots of noise about the increased melting points for lead free more than negating any environmental benefits.
I would stay away from gas irons and lead free if you can. Maybe pick up an old fixed temp weller from ebay?Posted 4 years agoCaptainSlowMember
Lead free solder is fine, if you know how to solder properly it isn’t an issue.
If you’re just doing a couple of small joints using thin wire to PCB a cheaper leccy iron will be fine. If you’re likely to be doing more than that and soldering leads onto larger pieces such as the back of a pot then get an adjustable iron or a high wattage iron, for that, the hotter the betterer.
Any iron (small tip) can be used for SMD prototypes if you know what you’re doing but for ease, you cant beat using the proper system.
I’m working on the assumption this is not for SMD and that you can just go borrow one?Posted 4 years agoFuzzyWuzzyMember
I bought one of these http://www.maplin.co.uk/40w-soldering-kit-399593 when I needed to replace some capacitors in my TV. I was surprised my cack-handedness didn’t melt everything within 10ft, even more surprised when the TV worked again afterwards. Soldering iron seemed OK although seemed more hassle using it + the supplied solder than I remember from my school days.Posted 4 years ago
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