Soldering iron recommendation?


#1

I finally have enough soldering to do to justify my first soldering iron purchase. The Hakko FX-888D seems (relatively) high end, but very popular? This is the best deal I could find. It comes with a brass sponge and some nice flush cutters, so if I add a roll of solder (lead free, rosin core, 0.8 mm) I’ll be in business?

Can anyone with more experience please confirm I’m on the right track, or suggest a superior alternative?


#2

While the Hakko’s have lots of fans I have never found them to be very reliable. To be honest though we’ve used them quite a bit at VHS and they have seen a lot of abuse. I’ve had a Weller station for about 8 years. It’s been great. I bought it at RP Electronics I think when it was on sale.

http://www.weller-toolsus.com/weller-wes51-station-50-60w-120v-wes51.html

We also have Weller stations at the space and several of them are pretty old but still going strong.

I should add you can also pick up some pretty good soldering stations at Lee’s Electronics for about half the price of a brand name one. They are mostly hakko and weller clones. Check out our stations at the space. A bunch of them are clones.

We have a few of these which are hakko clones. https://leeselectronic.com/en/product/10933.html


#3

I’ve ordered a TIS-100, will report once I’ve had a chance to play with it. :slight_smile:


#4

Thanks for these recommendations!

Yes, please let me know what you think of it.


#5

Despite not having the need to purchase another soldering iron (I have a Weller clone), I’ve been really tempted to get a TS100 for a long time now.

Fun resources:

TS100 review:

Alternative firmware:

Alternative firmware written in Rust

Hack to make it accept higher quality expensive tips:


#6

If I didn’t have a station already I would totally buy this.


#7

Soldering Iron Reviews:
https://www.eeweb.com/profile/max-maxfield/articles/the-best-deal-on-soldering-irons

I use my old reliable Weller WES51, it has temperature control.


#8

Which tip would you recommend for a through-hole project, such as this?

The TS100 comes bundled with one of a variety of tips: B2, BC2, C1, C4, D24, I, ILS, K, KU,


#9

I’m not sure as I don’t know what those tips translate to on a Weller. I guess a B2 maybe? I pretty much just use a standard conical iron tip that isn’t superfine. I don’t like superfine tips for through-hole as I find they take longer to heat up the joint and also to melt solder. Just going to ping @ryanmaclean as he also makes keyboards and might have some recommendations. @nottheoilrig have you tried any of our irons? Pretty much all the tips are standard cone tips and they work well for most through-hole. Feel free to use our stuff.


#10

Here’s a pic of my current weller tip. It’s a little fine but not bad. I used it to fix a tablet recently that had a mix of through-hole and surface mount connections. I would go thicker than this for straight up through hole soldering.

But seriously I would probably buy a hakko or weller clone with good performance before buying the TS100.


#11

Thanks everyone for your advice! I just completed my first project:

The diodes, etc. came preassembled, I only had to solder on the switches. The pins were widely spaced and forgiving. Some of my joints appear cold, but still work. I slowly got the hang of it.

I settled on this TS100 off of Amazon because it was small and novel. It worked well, although I lack anything to compare it to.


#12