best-soldering-irons

8 Best Soldering Irons (2021 Review)

Written by:

DIY Garden is reader-supported. If you click through using links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

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…

What is the Best Soldering Iron For You?

Back To Contents

Comparing the Best Soldering Irons

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Power
  • Max Soldering Temperature
  • Tips
  • Stand
  • Digital
  • Desolder Pump
  • Multimeter Included
  • Case
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

Back To Contents

In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Soldering Irons

Tabiger 60 Watt Soldering Iron KitTabiger 60 Watt Soldering Iron Kit

Best soldering iron for beginners

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Tabiger 60 Watt Soldering Iron Kit Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 60W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 450°C
  • Tips: 5
  • Stand: Yes
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: Yes
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

Specialising in all things soldering, Tabiger have managed to put together an enormous kit that contains everything you’d need to get to work. And I’m happy to say it’s not going to break the bank either. This 60 Watt soldering iron kit is ideal for beginners, you’ll be fixing circuit boards in no time at all!

First off, you get a lot of equipment in this set. Alongside the soldering iron, there are five different shapes of tip. There’s a de-soldering pump, a decent pair of needle-nosed tweezers, a wire cutter and stripper, a length of lead-free solder, 1.5 m of de-soldering wick and a soldering stand with sponge. And it all comes neatly packed in a Polyurethane leather-look case.

What makes this one of the best soldering irons I’ve tried out though is a simple little feature. There’s an inline ON/OFF switch halfway up the power cord, that means you don’t have to switch the soldering iron off at the mains each time. A very handy little device.

Pros

  • You can make use of a decent range of soldering temperatures from 200 – 450 °C. This makes it ideal for working with a range of solder types on different projects.
  • I like the range of tips that come with this soldering kit. You can practise using needle tips and chisel tips without needing to buy a whole set to start with.
  • The included de-soldering pump is decent quality for a moderately priced kit. It’s the perfect tool for removing molten solder from a printed circuit board.

Cons

  • Some users have complained about the temperature control dial getting in the way. You’ll need to keep an eye on it, as you can knock it and change temperature too easily.
  • The temperature dial isn’t easy to read compared with the Sremtch digital display. Having a visual temperature reference is an excellent feature that this iron lacks.
  • Although it’s nice to get a set of wire strippers included in the set, the quality isn’t very good. I’m not sure how long they’ll last. A decent set of wire strippers isn’t expensive on its own.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Dremel Versatip 2000 Cordless Gas Powered Soldering IronDremel Versatip 2000 Cordless Gas Powered Soldering Iron

Best cordless soldering iron

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Dremel Versatip 2000 Cordless Gas Powered Soldering Iron Review

Specifications

  • Power: Butane Gas
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 550°C
  • Tips: 6
  • Stand: No
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: No
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

Probably better known for their amazing rotary tools, Dremel also know a thing or two about making the best butane gas powered soldering irons. The Dremel Versatip 2000 is what it sounds like, a versatile soldering iron that uses the power of flame to heat up all the way to 550 °C.

Supplied in a handsome metal tin, you get a decent range of accessories including six very useful tips. There’s a soldering tip, a shaping knife, a hot cutting knife, hot air tip, wide flame head and a deflector. It elevates this tool from a simple soldering iron to a multi-use instrument for DIY and craft.

One of the advantages that the Versatip 2000 has over traditional soldering irons is that it’s completely cordless. If you’re working up a ladder or in a confined space, there’s no lead worry about. It’s also an ideal tool to throw in your tool bag when you’re off to a job without mains electricity. And with a bit of practise using the included tips, it’s a lot more than just a soldering iron.

Pros

  • With an incredibly hot 550 °C maximum temperature, this soldering iron isn’t just good for melting flux. It can also be used for pyrography, jewellery making, and hot cutting.
  • The liquid butane gas fuel is readily available and inexpensive. Even though the run time is maximum 60 minutes, you can refill on the go and work all day long.
  • The heat reflector tip is useful for all sorts of tasks. Commonly used for working with heat shrink tubing, you can also braze copper pipes or bend all sorts of metals.
  • Thanks to this being a gas powered iron, it heats up much more quickly compared with the Srmtch mains powered soldering iron, for example. It’s ideal when you need instant heat.

Cons

  • The construction of this soldering iron means it’s much fatter than an ordinary electric one. It’s not as easy to control compared with the Tabinger iron’s slimline grip.
  • As with any gas powered soldering iron, you need to be careful not to scorch delicate circuit boards. Even though you can control the heat, it’s still a powerful beast.
  • Several users have commented that there’s no way to see how much fuel is left in this soldering iron. Unless you’ve got a good idea of your usage, it could run out on you.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Lexivon Butane Soldering Iron KitLexivon Butane Soldering Iron Kit

Best value gas soldering iron

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
CHECK PRICE →

Lexivon Butane Soldering Iron Kit Review

Specifications

  • Power: Butane Gas
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 590°C
  • Tips: 7
  • Stand: No
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: No
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

Producing a wide variety of good looking kit, California based Lexivon have put together an excellent butane soldering iron kit that contains almost everything you need to get soldering on the go. The smart looking plastic case is packed with tools and accessories for both soldering and crafting.

The wireless butane powered gas soldering iron is extremely well put together. It feels robust and comes with a protective cap like a big pen lid for when you’re travelling around. Rated to put out a massive 590 °C, this is one powerful pocket-sized soldering iron.

I was impressed by the range of tips included in this soldering iron kit. Here’s what you get included: A decent quality heat reflector, a fine precision tip, a general purpose chisel tip, wider chisel tip, a hot knife tip, and a hot air gun tip that has a wide hole in the end. That’s seven different types of tip! Not bad for a moderately priced soldering kit.

Pros

  • Compared with a lot of gas soldering irons, this one easily stands up on its end. It means you can go “hands free” and use the flame as a stationary heat source.
  • Compared with the Dremel Versatip 2000, you get an extra tip to play with. You get an extra chisel-style soldering tip that is ideal for working on printed circuit boards or electrical wires.
  • You can easily adjust the flame length. It ranges from around 13 – 63 mm, which is a useful amount of reach if you need to get into really tight spots.

Cons

  • Several users have complained that the piezo powered flame started is a bit hit and miss. It doesn’t reliably light every time, which would be rather frustrating.
  • Even though it’s an effective security feature, the safety lock is quite annoying. You need to use both hands to start the torch up. It’s not ideal if you’re up a ladder!
  • The case the torch comes in is tight. You need to disassemble the soldering iron every time you put it back. It’s not a huge problem, but it means the iron isn’t always ready to go.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Sremtch 80 Watt Soldering Iron Kit Sremtch 80 Watt Soldering Iron Kit

Best digital soldering iron

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Sremtch 80 Watt Soldering Iron Kit Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 80W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 450°C
  • Tips: 5
  • Stand: Yes
  • Digital: Yes
  • Desolder Pump: No
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

Impossible to pronounce, but capable of putting together one of the best soldering iron kits I’ve tried out, this Sremtch 80 Watt iron is all you need to get to work. It comes with an array of useful accessories and a brilliant digital temperature display.

First, this is a complete kit for anyone that wants to get into soldering. Obviously, it comes with an 80 Watt slimline soldering iron, but it’s the rest of the kit that makes this useful. You get a sturdy stand with a cleaning sponge, a set of fine tip tweezers, de-soldering pump, a brass cleaning ball, and a length of tin solder.  There’s a leather-look PU case to store it all in too.

The soldering iron itself is bristling with clever features that make this one of the best soldering irons out there. You can adjust the temperature from 200 – 450 °C using the selector knob, but what makes this special is the temperature is displayed on a backlit LCD screen. There’s no more fumbling for the mains switch either, as you can turn it on and off from the soldering iron itself!

Pros

  • You get four different interchangeable soldering tips. There’s a 0.2 mm, 1.2 mm, 2.4 mm, 3 mm, and 5 mm tip included. They range from extra fine to wide knife style tip.
  • Compared with the Tabiger soldering iron, the onboard power button is a much more elegant solution than the inline power switch. You can turn it on and off with one finger.
  • I like that this kit includes a brass wool soldering cleaning ball. It’s useful to have a sponge cleaner as well, but for extremely dirty tips you need a good wire ball cleaner.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that the power cord is too stiff for fine work. When you’re working on delicate circuits, you need the maximum flexibility in the cable.
  • In comparison with the Tabiger soldering iron kit, this one doesn’t come with wire strippers or cutters. If you’re planning on working with electrical wires, you need a way to strip them.
  • Several users have complained that this soldering iron doesn’t reach the maximum temperature of 450°C. This could be an issue with quality control.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Preciva Soldering Iron Kit and Pyrography PenPreciva Soldering Iron Kit and Pyrography Pen

Best soldering iron for wood burning

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Preciva Soldering Iron Kit and Pyrography Pen Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 60W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 480°C
  • Tips: 31
  • Stand: Yes
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: No
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

Clever gadget makers Preciva are responsible for some of the best inexpensive soldering stations I’ve come across. But this 45 in 1 pyrography pen and soldering iron kit is a step above the competition. Pyrography is a fun and rewarding craft, and with this kit in hand you’ll be able to create whatever you want!

The soldering iron itself is quite standard. It’s a 60 Watt slimline corded device, that features a temperature control knob and ON/OFF sliding switch. It can put out 200 – 450 °C at the hot end and comes with a basic soldering iron stand that has a cleaning sponge in its base. You get a trio of soldering tips with the set: an ultra-fine tip, chisel tip and a wider tip for melting tin solder.

That’s not the impressive part of the kit though. If you’ve got a burning desire for pyrography, the art of burning wood, there’s an incredible range of tips and stamps to create all sorts of crafty constructs. You get a mammoth 15 different wood burning tips, from heart stamps to fine drawing tips, a range of welding tips, and even a blade clip for using it as a hot knife. It’s a marvellous kit that offers a everything for the budding DIYer or crafter.

Pros

  • This is a fantastic value soldering iron kit. Even if you’re just curious about pyrography, there’s tons here to get you started. You can get on with soldering as well.
  • The hot knife chuck deserves a special mention. A hot knife is seriously useful tool to have on hand. For example, you can cut nylon rope, sculpt foam and seal loose synthetic fibres.
  • I really like that this kit comes with 10 little wooden hearts to practise your pyrography on. It’s only a small touch but shows that Preciva are going the extra mile for their customers.

Cons

  • The soldering iron stand isn’t the best. I much prefer the coil type stand, it’s a lot more secure and holds the hot tip away from any surface.
  • This pyrography machine is fine for beginners, but it won’t match up to a professional hot wire pyrography machine. It’s just not hot enough to burn hard woods quickly.
  • Some users have complained about the quality of the fine tips. They can be easily bent, especially when heated up.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Etepon 60 Watt Soldering Iron Kit with Advanced MultimeterEtepon 60 Watt Soldering Iron Kit with Advanced Multimeter

Best soldering iron with multimeter

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Etepon 60 Watt Soldering Iron Kit with Advanced Multimeter Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 60W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 450°C
  • Tips: 8
  • Stand: Yes
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: Yes
  • Multimeter Included: Yes
  • Case: Yes

Specialising in handy little tools like hot air guns and watch repair kits, ETEPON have made a brilliant little electricians’ soldering iron kit that includes everything you need to test electrics and work on printed circuit boards.

Starting with the soldering iron itself, it’s a basic 60 Watt slimline corded design. It has an adjustable temperature between 200 – 450 °C and an inline ON/OFF switch halfway up the power cable. You get a rather nice looking rubberised grip, which should help reduce fatigue on those long soldering sessions.

This kit comes with a modest selection of tips for different soldering jobs, but what makes it one of the best soldering kits is the included accessories. There’s an “advanced” multimeter with a big LCD screen and probes for testing continuity. You also get a clever magnetised 8-in-1 screwdriver, so it’s a compact but extensive toolkit for budding electrical engineers everywhere.

Pros

  • Whether you’re just starting out as an electrician, or you need a backup kit for your professional setup, this kit is small enough to have on hand when you need it.
  • Supplied with a soldering iron stand and sponge, de-soldering pump, wire stripper, needle-nosed tweezers, and a length of soldering wire, what else could you possibly need?
  • If you’re planning on working with any sort of electrical appliance, you’ll need a multimeter. Used for checking Voltage, current, and resistance, it’s an important bit of testing kit.

Cons

  • This soldering iron isn’t as powerful as the Sremtch 80 Watt tool. It also doesn’t come with a brass wool tip cleaning ball either.
  • Several users have complained that the soldering iron stand is too light and can topple over easily. This isn’t ideal with a hot iron and could potentially become dangerous.
  • As handy as it is to have an 8-in-1 screwdriver included in the case, the tips aren’t great quality. I think I’ll stick to my own decent screwdrivers and keep this one for emergencies.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Hi-Spec 35 Piece Electronics and Soldering Repair Tool Set KitHi-Spec 35 Piece Electronics and Soldering Repair Tool Set Kit

Best soldering tool set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Hi-Spec 35 Piece Electronics and Soldering Repair Tool Set Kit Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 25W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 420°C
  • Tips: 1
  • Stand: Yes
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: No
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: Yes

US tool firm Hi-Spec have been making all sorts of clever kit since the 1990’s. Rather than just chuck a soldering iron in a box; they’ve come up with an all-in-one electronics and soldering repair kit. It’s really got everything you might need to take apart and repair an electronic appliance.

The soldering iron is about as basic as they come. Rated for just 25 Watts, it’s a lightweight and easy to handle but doesn’t come with an ON/OFF switch or anything fancy. You can make use of the pair of tweezers and the PLCC puller to fiddle about with circuit boards though, which is nice.

That’s not all you get though. There’re two pairs of pliers: one mini needle nose and one set of diagonal snips and a super-handy bit driver. The bit driver comes with 18 different bits, including a pair of Torx and a selection of hex bits alongside the standard crosshead and flathead bits. There are even some nut drivers. It’s one of the best electrical repair kits you can get for the money.

Pros

  • This is an exceptionally good value kit. If you want an electrical repair set for tinkering with home appliances, there’s no need to overspend and you don’t need to buy anything else!
  • The carry case the tools come in is sturdy, and thanks to the clear plastic lid, you can see immediately if anything is missing.
  • The 1.3 m power cord is quite generous. The cord material is soft enough to be flexible as well, which helps with good manoeuvrability.

Cons

  • In comparison with the 80 Watt Sremtch soldering iron, I’m concerned that this one is underpowered. It also doesn’t come with an easy ON/OFF switch on the iron itself.
  • There’s a good chance that anyone doing soldering will already own most of the accessories in this kit already. It’s fine as a backup, but the quality of the individual tools isn’t great.
  • It’s a shame that this kit doesn’t come with any replaceable tips. Compared with the Tabiger or Etepon soldering kits, you don’t get a chance to practise different techniques.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Newacalox 60 Watt Automatic Solder Iron GunNewacalox 60 Watt Automatic Solder Iron Gun

Best soldering gun

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Newacalox 60 Watt Automatic Solder Iron Gun Review

Specifications

  • Power: Mains - 60W
  • Max Soldering Temperature: 450°C
  • Tips: 1
  • Stand: No
  • Digital: No
  • Desolder Pump: Yes
  • Multimeter Included: No
  • Case: No

Producing all manner of interesting electronics tinkering devices, Newacalox have come up with a remarkable looking 60 Watt automatic soldering iron gun. It’s a gun-shaped soldering iron with a reel of soldering wire on the back that feeds out and is heated up when you pull the trigger.

If you’re tired of trying to solder and it feels like you need an extra pair of hands, this is an ideal gadget to make things a bit easier. You switch it on at the top, wait for it to heat up to 450 °C, and then just pull the trigger. The solder spools out and away you go!

Supplied with this soldering gun are two sets of needle-nose tweezers, one straight and one offset, a de-soldering pump, and a miniature Phillips screwdriver. It’s everything you might need to get on with soldering without needing a third hand.

Pros

  • It might look like a gimmick, but plenty of users have fallen in love with this soldering gun. It’s particularly useful if you need to lay a lot of solder or weld long seams.
  • If you have mobility issues in either of your hands, soldering could prove impossible using a standard iron. Compared with the Dremel Versatip 2000, this is a truly one-handed tool.
  • The power cable supplied with the kit is very flexible. It makes this soldering gun a dream to handle and can get into tight spots.

Cons

  • Several users have complained about the spool getting jammed in the gun body. You can easily unblock it by taking off the side panel, but it’s still annoying.
  • You only get the one shape of tip with this soldering gun. Compared with the huge range of tips that come with the Preciva kit, this is not the most versatile tool.
  • Soldering at this angle isn’t natural compared to the standard “pen” shaped iron like the Tabiger or Etepon. You can’t always see over the top of the gun easily.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Things to Know Before Buying a Soldering Iron

Soldering irons can be used on a wide range of projects. Popular uses include fixing electronics and crafting jewellery. Some soldering irons can also be used for pyrography, as their tips allow them to burn designs into wood or leather.

Soldering Iron Power

Soldering irons either run off the mains, typically with a power output of 60 Watts, or they can come cordless, in which case their power is fuelled by butane gas.

Soldering irons run hot and the maximum temperature generated is over 400°C. In fact gas-powered versions can reach nearly 600°C.

Soldering Iron Safety

Most soldering irons should feature most if not all of the following:

  • An on/off switch on the iron itself for quick operation in an emergency, rather than having to unplug the unit directly from the mains
  • Antistatic protection to prevent the handle becoming charged
  • Ventilation holes to allow heat to escape easily and prevent overheating
  • Lead-free toxin-free wire
  • An ergonomically shaped handle to make the soldering iron more comfortable and easy to use for longer periods
  • A stand

Soldering Iron Accessories

Most soldering irons come as kits that already contain a range of accessories. Items to look for include:

De-Soldering Pump or Solder Sucker

This allows you to easily remove old solder in preparation for its re-application.

Stand or Base

This allows the electric soldering iron to be safely stored between tasks. A magnetic base supports and holds the hot soldering iron.

Cleaning Ball or Sponge

A cleaning ball or sponge lets you clean the tip as you solder. A brass wire cleaning ball is the best choice here. But you can choose a cleaning sponge too.

Digital Multimeter

This instrument can help you diagnose problems easily and decide what components require re-soldering.

Precision Screwdriver

Having a precision screwdriver included in the set for working on electronics is important for accessing hard to reach circuit board components.

Case

A soldering iron kit should come in a well-constructed case, both to prevent loss and protect the contents from damage.

Other Accessories

These could include tweezers, extra soldering wire, screwdrivers and wire strippers.

Back To Contents

Soldering Iron FAQs

How do I use a soldering iron?

The first step when soldering is to ensure you are safe. Wear protective glasses and ensure your hair or items of personal jewellery can not fall onto the soldering iron.

Once safety is taken care of you can place the soldering iron on its stand and switch it on to heat up.

The next step is to ensure the tip is clean. The stand of your soldering iron station will normally have a piece of sponge attached or you can keep a sponge nearby. Cleaning the tip is as easy as keeping the sponge wet and dipping the tip of the soldering iron into it.

Then you need to “tin the tip”. To do this simply melt a small piece of solder onto the tip and ensure it melts around it.

Now you are safe, and the soldering iron is clean, hot and primed for use, the soldering can begin.

Firstly, hold the soldering iron in your strong hand and the solder in the other. Then warm the area you are going to be soldering so it’s ready to take the solder.

Then place the soldering wire over the join and use the soldering iron to melt it into place, bridging the connection and joining the two pieces together.

Finally remove the soldering wire from the work area and 2-3 seconds later the soldering iron, to ensure your “blob” of solder is in position.

How do I use a multimeter?

Multimeters can perform a wide range of tasks and troubleshoot many different problems. In particular they are great tools to help diagnose problems with electrical devices.

To diagnose problems with soldered connections on electrical devices, just place the multimeter probes onto a suspect soldered connection and check for any voltage. If no voltage is displayed then clearly the joint is faulty and needs re-soldering. You should wear antistatic gloves to do this and ensure you don’t touch the device while it is powered on.

Back To Contents

Scroll to Top