Soldering Iron

Can anyone recommend a good cheap soldering iron?

Seen a few on Banggood, Gearbest etc, but are any of them any good?

For around $25 (US) pick up a quicko or KSGER soldering station. Users T12 tips, variable temperature, sleep function, and you can change settings in the interface. I like mine a lot. Grey the one without the internal power supply though and use a bench power supply or a quality power adapter like a laptop charger 19.5v and 5A or 24v 3A are recommended.

I was in the same boat last month. I really like my KSGER T12 so far.

I recently upgraded to a ts100 and its great. You need to get a power supply as well but its been worth it for me

The KSGER with integrated power supply has some safety issues (bad mains side isolation). Better get the mini with a separate (good quality) power supply.

Would you be referring to the trace just under the upper left heat sink where the mask is the only isolation? Easy fix by wedging some Kapton, or better, cutting the fin with a good pair of diagonal cutters.
The chassis is not grounded - a simple addition of ground lead from mains to a screwed body terminal.
John Salt makes the points and corrections. at ~10:00.

Huh. Did not know this.

Does the fix below solve it? And what kind of danger am I looking at using my T12?

Never heard of someone getting shocked… (pun)

I think just about all the stations that use the T12 tips are pretty good even if quality varies among them. You can usually find them with an OLED or 3 digit display. The later is the cheaper option and you can find them for around $25 on Amazon. I’ve got one with an OLED and the older irons I used in the past just can’t compare. With my old ones, I always had problems desoldering with a pump or braid. I could barely do it, actually, but with my new one, the braid just sucks up solder after dipping it in some paste flux.

Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like one of those will be going on the Christmas list.

Probably not much if you aren’t touching the case during use, but I don’t trust cheap power supplies. I had one go pop once and it’s not fun. Just get the controller unit with the handpiece and buy an adapter separately. I took an HP laptop 19.5v 4.7 amp power supply and modified the plug to a 5.5x2.1 barrel jack. You want at least 90 watts to power it to get the full 75 watts output.

I’ve been using one of these with very good results:

$26.93 Stahl Tools STSSVT Variable Temperature Soldering Iron Station

I found a rebranded/generic version of this on ebay, goes pretty good. The hot air gun is great for shrink tube and heating up stuff, haven’t used it for actual rework yet.