What To Look For in a Soldering Iron
The best soldering iron should feel robust yet comfortable to operate with a rubberised slimline grip.
Look for a soldering iron that can stand on its end or that 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 between 200-450°C for corded tools and up to 600°C for cordless irons. For adjustable temperature regulation, 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 them on and off from the mains.
Most soldering irons come with a range of iron tips and accessories, stored in a well-made carrying case.
Soldering 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.
Other soldering accessories include a desoldering 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.
Complete kits are often packaged together as soldering stations. Some soldering stations also feature a pyrography pen and a wide range of extra iron tips for wood burning.
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