Soldering Iron Died - Needing An Upgrade!

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Yourrid
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Soldering Iron Died - Needing An Upgrade!

My soldering iron finally died so it is time for me to upgrade.
I’ve been working with this Weller 40W with LED’s which has been good, not great, for years.

I’m considering buying this Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station. But for $105 dollars, I’m sure there are better options out there.

Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station

What I’m looking for:

  • Quality product
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Preferably shorter metal “iron” part
  • Compact (not much space on work bench)
  • Maybe a SUPER compact 2-in-1

I’m leaning towards the above Weller WE1010 just because my last iron lasted so long, but this YiHua 995D 2-in-1 looks pretty nice as well. I think it can be had for around $100.

YiHua 995D 2 in 1 Soldering Station iron 75W Hot Air Blower Rework Station 720W Hot Air

I know nothing about the YiHua brand, but I wanted some recommendations from you guys on a good upgrade for me.

Thanks! Big Smile

Edited by: Yourrid on 01/13/2020 - 22:23
KnHawke
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Personally, I’m a huge fan of my Hakko FX-888D
Came with a collection of tips for a plethora of applications. Couldn’t be happier!
A tad pricey for some, but worth it.

goshdogit
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I second the FX-888D. I went through a handful of cheapie pencil irons before plunking down $100 for the Hakko a few years ago. Wish I had bought it sooner!

Buy from a reputable dealer and beware of clones.

I found this YouTube video showing the potential differences between genuine and fake Hakko stations:

Luminosity
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If you don’t need a full hot air station, the TS100 with the opensource firmware installed is a fantastic portable solution. Takes up to 24V so it runs great off a 5S battery pack too.

FlashPilot
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goshdogit wrote:
I second the FX-888D. I went through a handful of cheapie pencil irons before plunking down $100 for the Hakko a few years ago. Wish I had bought it sooner!

Buy from a reputable dealer and beware of clones.

I found this YouTube video showing the potential differences between genuine and fake Hakko stations:

Here’s another vote for the Hakko. Its a high quality unit with precise temperature control that makes quick work of everything Ive put it to. Ive used mine thousands of times in the past 5 years and would buy another if this one ever dies.

Lightbringer
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There was/is an AEIOUY or something on Amazon, Hakko compatible tips, that seemed to be popular for a while. No complaints.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

nuemtol
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Lightbringer wrote:
There was/is an AEIOUY or something on Amazon, Hakko compatible tips, that seemed to be popular for a while. No complaints.

The hakko 936 clone styles? I am not current with my soldering iron knowledge- I use that one & it’s fine for me, but I think there might be better ones now(?)

I think this is supposed to be one of the best forums to read about irons https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php

Henk4U2
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Bought a YIHUA 936 soldering station Dec. 2015 and it is still doing what it is supposed to do.
Replaced the iron in Oct. 2016. Both only come with one tip. But tips are easy to find.

The station failed me once. I thought I needed another new iron. Mains cable was broken.
On the outside it looks mighty enough to hook up a washing maschine.
But on the inside the copper is barely thick enough to power a rasor.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

Andrew_Debbie
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The WE1010NA is an excellent choice. I prefer Weller over Hakko but that is more personal preference than one being better than the other. Both are good. So are Pace but I haven’t used one in ages.

This thread may well spin into a WE1010NA vs. FX-88?? argument. We can get out the popcorn.

EEV Blog’s Dave’s shoot out should help you decide. (I disagree about the stand but other than that I’d give the same review)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlKg6rSMPEs

Watch out for clones. Clones are not as good and may not be safe. Don’t buy on eBay. In the US, there is Mouser, All-spec or Digikey. I’m a bit more limited here in the UK. I bought my 240V Weller from RS.

I’m big fan of Weller magnestat stations. I’ve got two. The handles and base stations are simple and durable. One is 30 years old and the other is almost 12. I don’t think they make them anymore though.. Can’t find new ones — I just looked.

I used to have a genuine Hakko 936 as well but I left in the US when we moved to the UK. The Weller came with me.

Quote:
but this YiHua 995D 2-in-1 looks pretty nice as well. I think it can be had for around $100.

Get a genuine Weller or Hakko. You won’t regret it.

If you need a hot air station you can get a stand alone one. I’ve got a Chinese 858D. Looks nearly identical to the hot air portion of the 995D. It works but is not high quality. I took mine apart before use to make sure it wouldn’t electrocute me. Mine was ok inside but some of them are not.
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I’m not knowledgeable enough to be of much help I’m afraid. I have a Hakko 888d and I’m very pleased with it. However, I’ve never had any other decent soldering iron to compare it to. I would recommend checking out tequipment.net though. Here’s a link https://www.tequipment.net/soldering-equipment/soldering-stations/
I set up a free account with them and sent them an email. They reduced the price a decent bit on the Hakko and threw in a free spool of solder. They have a good reputation on the eevblog site too.

Andrew_Debbie
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If you are willing to invest a little more for a better tool, have a look at the American made Pace ADS200. For me it would be a choice between the Weller and this Pace.

EEVblog review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXL-pWD44pc

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iamlucky13
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Lightbringer wrote:
There was/is an AEIOUY or something on Amazon, Hakko compatible tips, that seemed to be popular for a while. No complaints.

I’ve seen quite a few different brands that are popular for half the price or less compared to the Hakko, and often well-rated. The Wirecutter liked one that is branded “X-tronic.” A lot of people compare them to the cheap, fixed wattage irons many of us start out with and are very happy with the upgrade.

I’d expect if they have any drawbacks compared to a Hakko, the main ones would temperature stability, temperature overshoot on warmup, and tip longevity. Based on what I’ve read, I assume these drawbacks are relatively minor, at least with the better made units.

Personally, I decided I will likely be using my iron from time-to-time for decades, and wanted to make sure I get a quality unit from the start, so I went ahead and bought the Hakko FX-888D. The price premium seemed very reasonable to me for the time I expect to own it.

staticx57
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I would highly suggest buying a direct heat soldering iron/station. You can go higher end like this Pace ADS200 production soldering station or you can go Chinese station or even iron like the TS100 or TS80.

ADS200 example:
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1386371#comment-1386371

alpg88
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i use weller 60W.

moderator007
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staticx57 wrote:
I would highly suggest buying a direct heat soldering iron/station. You can go higher end like this Pace ADS200 production soldering station or you can go Chinese station or even iron like the TS100 or TS80.

ADS200 example:
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1386371#comment-1386371


I have had the ADS200 about a year now and its still a joy to work with. Makes soldering so much easier.
I looked at it as a tool that I use quite often, I like to have good tools that work and work when I need them, so I splurged a little.
Their not exactly budget friendly but it is a fine soldering station if you wanna splurge a little.
If not there is plenty of great options in that linked thread. A hot air station is another very helpful tool with this hobby.
xevious
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Any thoughts here about the Yihua 936B soldering station ? If it’s reliable it seems like an excellent value for occasional use.

L4M4
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Go for T12 Tips.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32871815985.html
I got Set 4 with the blue/black handle – with that, you are very close at your work, the tip extends just 40-45mm outside the handle.

I used a Aoyue digital station for 10+ years and was always pleased with it – I bought this station just because i wanted to try something new.
I also ordered a bunch of different tips: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32934889463.html

All in all I now have a soldering station that is really tiny yet powerful and heats up insanely fast plus 12 Tips for less than the Aoyue station with one tip that needs a minute to heat up.
The T12 Tips need somewhere around 10 seconds or so until you can use them.

NeutralFan
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iamlucky13 wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
There was/is an AEIOUY or something on Amazon, Hakko compatible tips, that seemed to be popular for a while. No complaints.

I’ve seen quite a few different brands that are popular for half the price or less compared to the Hakko, and often well-rated. The Wirecutter liked one that is branded “X-tronic.” A lot of people compare them to the cheap, fixed wattage irons many of us start out with and are very happy with the upgrade.

I’d expect if they have any drawbacks compared to a Hakko, the main ones would temperature stability, temperature overshoot on warmup, and tip longevity. Based on what I’ve read, I assume these drawbacks are relatively minor, at least with the better made units.

Personally, I decided I will likely be using my iron from time-to-time for decades, and wanted to make sure I get a quality unit from the start, so I went ahead and bought the Hakko FX-888D. The price premium seemed very reasonable to me for the time I expect to own it.

I’ve had great success with my X-Tronic soldering station that I paid $33 several years ago. Unfortunately they don’t sell this model anymore on Amazon. It has plenty of power, heats up right away, temperature control seems good, came with 6 tips which is really nice to have, and the tip cleaner works great. I didn’t attach the solder spool so it doesn’t take up that much space on my workbench. The soldering iron is very light and easy to use with a grippy handle, and the cord is very flexible.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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I really like my soldering system. Quicko $24.37 30%OFF | STC-OLED MINI T12-942 Soldering Iron station Solder Electric Tools Welding Iron Tips Temperature Controller With 907 Handle https://a.aliexpress.com/_c3V2DA It’s a Chinese Quicko 942 T12 controller with a handpiece that takes Hakko T12 tips and runs off 12-24 volts dc power supply, so like laptop charging adapters, lipo batteries, car battery, etc. Anything that supplies more than 11 volts will run the controller. Goes up to max 60 or 75 watts. It’s got an oled display and is pretty nifty. Has auto shutoff, sleep-wake that turns the temp down to 150 c if you don’t use it, infinitely adjustable temperature, boost modes, and other features. Its pretty stout. I run it off a 19.5v, 4.7 amp laptop adapter and I can solder about anything mcpcb on heatsinks, drivers, thick traces, etc. Fast recovery too. The T12 tips have internal heaters so they heat up real fast like 9 seconds to 300 C and last a long time. I went from a Radio Shack 15W/30W dual power pencil iron that was nice and I built a lot of stuff with it, but I thought I died and went to heaven with this thing! For $25 shipped its totally worth it. Get good quality Chinese tips though!

xevious
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Sirstinky wrote:
I really like my soldering system. Quicko $24.37 30%OFF | STC-OLED MINI T12-942 Soldering Iron station Solder Electric Tools Welding Iron Tips Temperature Controller With 907 Handle https://a.aliexpress.com/_c3V2DA It’s a Chinese Quicko 942 T12 controller with a handpiece that takes Hakko T12 tips and runs off 12-24 volts dc power supply, so like laptop charging adapters, lipo batteries, car battery, etc. Anything that supplies more than 11 volts will run the controller. Goes up to max 60 or 75 watts. It’s got an oled display and is pretty nifty. Has auto shutoff, sleep-wake that turns the temp down to 150 c if you don’t use it, infinitely adjustable temperature, boost modes, and other features. Its pretty stout. I run it off a 19.5v, 4.7 amp laptop adapter and I can solder about anything mcpcb on heatsinks, drivers, thick traces, etc. Fast recovery too. The T12 tips have internal heaters so they heat up real fast like 9 seconds to 300 C and last a long time. I went from a Radio Shack 15W/30W dual power pencil iron that was nice and I built a lot of stuff with it, but I thought I died and went to heaven with this thing! For $25 shipped its totally worth it. Get good quality Chinese tips though!
Thanks. I like the build style of this one. $35 to get all 5 tips. Seems decent.
Andrew_Debbie
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xevious wrote:
Any thoughts here about the Yihua 936B soldering station ? If it’s reliable it seems like an excellent value for occasional use. !{width:90%}https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/BYwAAOSw1nVdzpTm/s-l1600.jpg!

That is a Hakko 936 clone. I don’t know anything about that exact copy. The long discontinued Hakko 936 was a decent iron.

None of the clones are as good as the original. Some are terrible and others ok if you swap in genuine Hakko tips. Be sure to do safety checks before use.

https://www.hakkousa.com/products/soldering/936-esd-soldering-station/ha...

Andrew_Debbie
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xevious wrote:
Any thoughts here about the “Yihua 936B soldering station?”
If you can’t afford a Weller, Hakko or Pace and you know how to check if it is safe I suppose it would be ok. The clones are generally not well made. You get what you pay for.

I use a Weller I bought at Fry’s around 1990 with a 230V base I bought in 2008. Weller discontinued the WTCP in 2019. Eventually I won’t be able to get replacement magnestat tips. Until then this is my forever iron.

lichtpfadfinder
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+1 for the TS100, if you want mobility it´s great. Got mine for 40 bucks. Beeing able to use a Laptop Power supply or powerful PD-Powerbank makes it really portable. The tips it uses are quite good and there are some no-name replacement tips that work fine too.