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  1. #1

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    Default Soldering Iron Question

    is a 15 watt soldering iron adequate for most diy/kit building-electronics applications? thanks.
    Last edited by laotzu61; 06-17-2013 at 02:19 PM. Reason: soldering mispelled in title
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  2. #2

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    No, a low wattage iron is more likely to ruin whatever you're working on. I would look for a 40 watt or an adjustable temp iron from Weller.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    or an adjustable temp iron from Weller.
    That's the ticket.
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  4. #4
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    This is the low power iron I recommend if you don't want to invest in a full station; and it does make a difference.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=372-112

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    Quote Originally Posted by laotzu61 View Post
    is a 15 watt soldering iron adequate for most diy/kit building-electronics applications? thanks.
    I have a 30 watt "pencil" with a fine tip I use for most circuit boards, and an adjustable 0-50 watt for crossovers etc. A 15 watt is ok for VERY fine work, but it's very limited in what it can do. You'll spend more time waiting for things to heat up, and like other have said, you can damage certain components with prolonged heat.
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  6. #6
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    I have seen the adjustable Wellers locally for like $33.
    I think they are 0-40 watt IIRC.

    The Weller WES-51 is the best I have used, and roughly $99?
    Once you buy it you will never have buyers remorse.

    You might get away with doing the smaller stuff, with a 15 watt if you clean and flux everything and use good solder.

    I would definitely be looking for better tho!

    Edit:
    They are 5-40 watts!

    Weller wlc-100:
    Around $35.


    http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/we...FXRo7AodpDcApg
    Last edited by pepster; 06-17-2013 at 07:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    My Weller adjustable station is great, and I spend less time waiting for the iron and the components to heat up. The stations are also much easier to use as the electronics aren't in the handle.

  8. #8
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    I use the WS-51 and it may not be in the OP's price range but I strongly suggest you stretch you budget.
    Well worth it, extremely capable tool!

    I went through several other types before this one (going on 2 years).
    Never looked back, sweet piece of equipment.

    About $100.

    The Hakko's have a great following/reputation also, never tried one, but a simple search will reveal the feedback.


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    I've been using the WS-51 for about 4 years now and still love it.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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  11. #11

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    thanks, guys. the wc-51 is the one i'm snooping at. the wes-51 in the future. thanks again.
    Last edited by laotzu61; 06-17-2013 at 08:10 PM. Reason: wrong iron
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post

    Sorry, typo, I have been using the WES-51 (prolly the same Zingo mentioned) and love it after 2 years.
    You'd have a hard time getting it out my shop!

    Excellent always, with everything I have thrown at it (Large speaker cables. large shielded grounds/drains, thick spades, car audio which gets pretty large, ect. ect.).

    Its the real deal, hard working tool for tweaking, cables, whatever, worth every penny!
    Last edited by pepster; 06-17-2013 at 08:48 PM.

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    http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/we...00.htm----this is the one i'm looking at to start with.
    "The symbol is not the reality"

  14. #14
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    I am sure most of you guys know, soldering takes 5 seconds, where as prepping all the components, cleaning, tinning, flux ect. takes 2 hours (if you got alot to do)!

    Alot of people concentrate on the solder part.
    Pfffffffffft!

    It is the prep that kills ya, especially if you are re-soldering (de-solder, clean, flux, tin, ect...)!
    Last edited by pepster; 06-17-2013 at 09:12 PM.

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    that's nice. the link page doesn't show up. anyway, it's the WLC100. I've heard that before, pepster. have some homework to do---.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepster View Post
    The Hakko's have a great following/reputation also, never tried one, but a simple search will reveal the feedback.
    Yep. I have the Hakko FX-888. Hard to say anything bad about a Weller, but I actually think the Hakko is built a little better, and gives you more features for your money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Both work very well, and I can't find a preference between the digital and analog control.

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    I have both a Weller WES-51 and a Weller WTCPT. I use both depending on what work I am doing. They are both spectacular soldering units. One absolutely great thing about the Weller WTCPT is that it keeps a "constant" temperature at the tip and is great for binding posts, and other high heat requirement applications. The Weller WES-51 is better for more fine work or anything that needs temperature adustment due to heat requirments. That's my take on it....
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    I replaced my Wes-51 with a jbc.
    http://www.jbctools.com/compact-category-10.html.
    I have not noticed any difference in the soldering that I do between this super expensive unit and the relatively inexpensive Wes-51. Both will last lifetimes. But for some reason I look forward to soldering with the jbc.

  20. #20
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    That JBC is a very nice unit!

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    Picked this up at last years MWAF: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=374-100

    Name:  374-100_mi.jpg
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    I used it for tinning cable. Currently $15. Looks like the Weller in another color.
    So hot it burns twice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Habanero Monk View Post
    Picked this up at last years MWAF: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=374-100

    Attachment 86403

    I used it for tinning cable. Currently $15. Looks like the Weller in another color.

    While the above station is OK for the price. It does sometimes take it awhile to rebound to temp if doing a lot of circuit work. I used it for awhile and looked for something better I could live with without spending a C note. I found this station and it is very accurate the temp on the front is TRUE temp(I tested) and it can be calibrated if by chance it is off.

    http://www.circuitspecialists.com/csi-station1a.html

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    wow!! thanks for all the info; all of you. hey pitdogg2; I am really going to have to check that puppy out. thanks.
    "The symbol is not the reality"

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    I would go ahead and spend the C-note and get a Hakko (or Weller). IMO a soldering iron is one of those tools you don't know you need until you have one, then you wonder how you lived without it. I bought mine for a single project but I've used it numerous times since.

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