There have been threads on a few models, but nothing very comprehensive or too recent.
What’s the best value rework station available today?
I’ll be asking for one for Christmas so:
- Available on Amazon or other “Non-sketchy” websites (No Aliexpress, etc)
Compatible with common attachments if at all possible.
I wouldn’t mind if it had both the iron and hot air station in one package, but it isn’t necessary since I already have a decent soldering station. It would just be nice for simplicity of power cords and desk space.
I'v been using this one these for a while now and am happy with it. Goes from like 100C to 440C (IIRC). I use it from shrink wrapping to reflowing. It doesn't come with extra soldering tips, but it takes those good Hakko tips that are widely available.
(NOTE: The links in the pics below are just the first ones I could find. Don't know if they are the best prices or with good vendors)
It comes from weldandsolder.com, but was fufilled by amazon.com at checkout. It came free shipping. I signed up for an Amazon.com Visa card and received a $50 gift card which I applied to the solder station. Threw in the little bit of cash back on my Discover card and the grand total was $4.28.
I bought mine from Sparkfun, a USA based company. Model# 303D. It’s a stand alone unit which I prefer over the all in one’s. Cost me $99 a few years ago. Replacement heater is available if and when it fails. The air pump is built into the base unit instead of a motor and fan built into the handle. Is it better than the cheaper all in one’s from China? I couldn’t tell you. All I can say is I’m 100% happy with it. It’s build out of steel and it’s got a massive pump that should last for many years. Looks easy enough to service if a problem occurs.
I’ve been looking lately as well. Problem for me is im wanting to upgrade to a higher watt iron as well. Something atleast 70watts. It seems 60 is the max before needing to jump up to big bucks. Under $100 is ok for me.
It’s also hard to choose because as we know these specs can be and are inflated or manipulated by the manufacturer. So I could pay $40 more to get an extra 15watts that don’t really exist.
I bought a Weller 100 watt temperature controlled soldering iron years ago. It was recalled recently for a faulty power cord. So I sent mine back without the tip and they sent me a replacement with a brand new 700 degree F tip. I use it for soldering large ground planes and chassis grounds. Great product, great company
$99 is too much for me this year. I’m not sure about the pump in the base. I’m sure it is more reliable and robust, but it also makes the cord/tube to the unit thicker. Does that get annoying in your experience?