The best soldering iron should feel robust yet comfortable to operate with a rubberised slimline grip.
Ideally look for one that stands on its end or comes with a sturdy stand so you can work hands-free.
Soldering irons come corded or cordless – cordless soldering irons have a butane gas supply and heat up much more quickly.
Soldering irons need to work at high temperatures – typically from 200-450°C for corded tools and up to 600°C for cordless ones. For regulating the temperature the selector or control knob should be easy to access. For corded soldering irons look for an inline on-off switch so you don’t need to power it on and off from the mains.
Most soldering irons come with a range of tips and accessories, stored in a well-made carrying case.
Tips to look for include a general purpose chisel tip, a wider chisel tip, a fine precision tip, a heat reflector, a hot knife tip and a hot air gun tip.
The main accessories to look for include a de-soldering pump, a cleaning sponge, a brass cleaning ball, a set of fine tip tweezers, a wire cutter and stripper, and a length of lead-free solder.
Some soldering iron kits also feature a pyrography pen and a wide range of extra tips for wood burning.
I’ve heavily researched and tested the best options, so you don’t have to. Read on to discover what I found…