Aoyue 9378 vs Aoyue 2930 vs Hakko FX888D

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Konduction2, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    First and foremost: please comment only if you have had experience with at least TWO of these soldering stations and can actually compare them!! I've already spent several hours pointlessly reading about how people love the only station they've ever used - I would really like to hear more actual comparisons!

    Secondly: I mostly need help with comparing the Aoyue 2930 with the Aoyue 9378 and figuring which is better. Then afterwards, I'd like to compete the winner of that with either the hakko fx888d or the weller WES51 (the fx888d and WES51 tie IMO)

    Note: If it's under $100, I don't care about the cost. Since this is for the rest of my life, assume I do all types of soldering jobs.

    Reference data (2930/9378/fx888d/WES51):

    Wattage: 75/60/65/50

    Amazon price: ~$75/84/92/93

    ESD safe: all

    Cleaning media: sponge/sponge/sponge&wire/sponge

    Auto-shutoff: yes/yes/no/99 minutes

    Presets: 2/2/5/0

    Temp control: button/button/button/dial

    Heat up speed: would like to know!

    Tip length/style: long/short/want to know/want to know
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    I don't meet your requirements exactly but I have extensive experience with Hakko (that exact model) and Aoyue (as a company)
    I have 10+ of the FX888D hakko units/ 10+ FP102 stations and a handful of their pencil style higher wattage irons in use in a production environment used 8 hours a day 5 days a week = They are high quality and we have experienced zero issues..

    I purchased an Aoyue hot air station with soldering station for a proto smt build and have touched a few of their 2930/9378 stations but not used them.. = They are LOW quality everything.
    The shroud/handle around the hot air gun melted the first day after only an hour of use and the soldering iron/stand,etc... is cheap garbage..

    I will always recommend Hakko.. Their products are properly engineered to hold up to production use.. Aoyue is what I would call "cheap junk".. Fine for low entry cost/ light occasional use but other than that..junk. They are typically copies of other companies products and just use inferior/low quality materials..

    If for "rest of my life" then Hakko is the clear winner IMO.. Aoyue wouldn't be anywhere on my list.
     
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  3. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    HAKKO...Period
    Been using several types for like 25 years. HAKKO cannot be beaten
     
  4. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    All lies ... Weller is a lot better.....






    Jk lol
    Buy hakko and you won't regret it.. The cheap copies use cheap clones of hakko parts and the difference between real and fake hakko is huge .. Most people wind up in the end just buying the real thing cause the cheaper ones are junk if your serious about soldering..
     
  5. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    Still waiting on Aoyue comparisons..

    Mcgyvr: neither of the Aoyue stations I mentioned include a hot air gun. If you were trying to make the point of aoyue' cheapness, can you use a relevant example please? This is because I often hear about how Aoyue has vastly improved lately with their new products. It seems they are actually pushing the technology (rather than following) at the sub-$100 price point now.

    R!F@@: In terms of reliability, certainly. But since there are also a ton of inadequacies (like the fx888d's illogical&clumsy user interface, etc), I'd like to hear some specific comparisons please.

    Dr.killjoy: Yes, I think Aoyue used to specialize in just making clones. However, since the 9378 costs $84 ($92 for the hakko), I find it hard to believe that your brand generalization should be applicable anymore. At least, could you draw specific examples to back your claim that the 2930/9378 is just a "clone"? I know the Hakko will last forever, but I'd rather not suffer its user interface, toy-like appearance, lack of actual temp readout, etc for forever.
     
  6. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    I used a weller.
    But I prefer Hakko now
     
  7. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    I love my Hakko Commerical 939 but case took a crap and I bought the Weller WES5
    0 and I really like it too with the factory tip.. W
    What do you use and what was the weller??
    Look if you are looking for faults in each one then your wasting everyone's time and most importantly your own.. Cause Hakko has the best build quality out of all of them all.. The Aoyue is alot cheaper quality and will have to be fixed or replaced cause the parts used are clone parts not Real parts .. If this is the last unit you every buy then I would check JBC or Metcal .. Also you can find used Metcal units on ebay for pretty cheap and they will last for every ... Remember when buying something how hard is it to get parts for and can you even get parts in a couple years ??
     
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  8. Stuntman

    Active Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    I have used, and continue to use the WES51 station at work and at home. I have been extremely pleased with almost every aspect of the unit. At work, it does everything from a substantial amount of SMD soldering and rework, to regularly soldering 12awg power lugs, buss wire, and hefty inline splices (12AWG main, with 8 16awg drops). That, and it has been rode hard for 4 years and is still ticking. So unless you plan on doing nothing but battery lug terminations for your car, the 50W should not be a concern. (Anyone else get the feeling low end manufacturers tout wattage as the proverbial shiny object to distract from the big picture?)

    When I needed a new iron for home (my Fakko 936 clone suffered from the crummy wand), I looked heavily at the Hakko. In truth, it was the auto-off feature that pushed the Weller over the Hakko. I like that peace of mind as I often get caught up in the project and pulled away with the iron running.

    Aoyue is an interesting cat. I use one of their wiz-bang 2702 hot-air-gun/desolder/solder-iron units for reflow (the iron and desoldering get used very little). If I were doing it again, I would probably just buy one of their (or their multiple rebrands) hot air gun. The quality matches the price, but it does work, and I use the hot air gun frequently. When it comes to their soldering iron, you are going to use this so much that I consider this a buy-once cry-once investment, so I had no problem ponying up a little extra for the weller. Side Note: remember to price extra tips, when you don't have a name brand to shop around, sometimes you can get "cornered".

    All that said, I remember the school lab used to have one of the off-brand stations from Circuit Specialists (I think it was this discontinued model http://www.circuitspecialists.com/csi-station-2a.html) which worked like a champ and did a LOT of LF solder work without ever giving up the ghost.

    If you are going to be serious about the hobby, you will use the iron a lot. Look for the features you want and buy. Are you really gonna care about a $10, $20, or even $40 difference a few months down the road?
     
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  9. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    Dr.killjoy: Sorry, I wasn't meaning to just point out faults. I was replying to your "buy Hakko and you won't regret it". The thing is, you make the point that Hakko will last much longer due to its high quality. You also implied that I shouldn't cheap out and I should just buy "the real thing". However, what I was trying to say is that I might actually be able to better follow your advice by buying the Aoyue. Since the Aoyues have many better aspects than the Hakko, one could easily regard the Aoyue as "the real thing". As far as I can tell, you have only managed to say that the Hakko lasts longer. So if we look at it from a different angle, buying the Hakko appears to be the same as buying the inferior product that has the build quality to last longer. Thus perhaps buying the Hakko is cheaping out more than buying the Aoyue. So far, I would rather re-buy the 2930 every 20 years than re-buy the Hakko every 40 years. If my argument is still unclear, I'd say that you are metaphorically praising the high quality Lexus that will last forever, whereas I am praising the very unreliable Ferrari that performs better. Who is buying "the real one"? I'd say there is no "real one" here, but rather just a few different products with their own strengths and weaknesses. This is why I want actual comparisons, which is something you have not given me. And that's fine - I just want you to know I'm not just wasting time by pointing out faults :)
    (By the way, I am only praising the Aoyue for the sake of balance, because you are praising the Hakko as if it is perfect. I apologize if I have become too argumentative, but I think both pros and cons should be disclosed)

    Also, since the Aoyue 2930 ($75) is about the same price as the Hakko (92$ but includes $8 cutters), I'm pretty sure the Aoyue is not aiming to make a cheaper "clone". Their old reputation of doing a lot with cheap parts actually makes me more confident in their quality of implementing more features than the Hakko, considering their similar price in this particular case.

    Lastly, thank you for your JBC and Metcal recommendations. I have looked into them and was definitely interested, but I'd rather not have to go through Ebay (risky) to be able to afford it. I just don't have the money right now (I'm in college)

    Stuntman: Ah, thanks! How long does it take for your Weller to go from room temp to max (850F right?)? By the way, I am not concerned about money. I have $100 dollars allocated and I'd be happy spending as much of it as I can for the best soldering station. About Aoyue, since you said "their quality matches their price", do you confirm that you would expect the $75 Aoyue 2930 to be very nearly the same quality as the Hakko fx888d (92$ but includes $8 cutters)? If so, then I think I would like the 2930 more than the fx888d - I will probably have to replace the 2930 sooner, but that will probably happen after many years when I have more money and better options anyways, and it will probably be worth it for the nice features and UI of the Aoyue while it lasts haha.
     
  10. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    I haven't used any of them. But wanted to comment anyway. Just because.
     
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  11. Stuntman

    Active Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Konduction2,

    I timed the Weller WES51. With the fattest screwdriver tip I have, from ambient to 850 was approximately 42 seconds. Remember, this is on a well used soldering iron, a new wand may cut that time by a fair margin. If you are really concerned about heat time, units that have the element built into the tip (sometimes marketed as Lead Free solder stations) should get hotter faster, the downside being tip cost

    As for Aoyue, in my case, I purchased a full rework station with all sorts of bells and whistles for I believe $200. That is pretty cheap considering all the features, but physical (not functional) quality is marginal. It's a little hard to describe. The soldering pen, for instance, the Weller has nice firm engagement, has a cushy pad for you to grip, the pen looks nice with professional branding, and the cord is soft and super flexible. On the Aoyue, the tip engagement (it is the type with the heater in the tip) is definitely not "positive", the handle is just hard molded plastic (and the front face has all kinds of mold marks/marring for some reason) and it feels super light, and the cord it stiff and cumbersome (partially due to the fume extractor). The heat gun has a much nicer feel, but still marginal. Functionally, none of this matters and I doubt it affects the longevity of the station, although I will tell you I did have to bypass the thermal fuse in the heat gun (it kicked off regularly at operating temp).

    Past this, I have a very sneaky suspicion the soldering iron I mentioned earlier, as well as the hot air gun I used in that lab, were both from the same company (Aoyue). Both units had a much nicer overall feel. My point, there is probably a large variation in this apparent quality.

    It sounds to me like you want the Aoyue, so why not? Probably the best person to talk to would be the retailer you plan to buy from. Have their staff give you a rundown, maybe even a comparison.
     
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  12. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    How big are the chances of one of these soldering stations not going on sale for Black Friday/cyber Monday?

    Stuntman: Hey thanks a lot! That is all super helpful! Also, I didn't know about the different heater element positions. I've been confused why the Weller and Hakko heat relatively so slow. That further pushes me toward the Aoyue - I'd gladly pay an extra $8 for the tip so I can get to 850F in 10 seconds instead of 40 (I've actually often heard that the fx888D and wes51 take nearly 3 minutes to reach 850F). It has started looking like the Aoyue 2930 is the best for me, but I will not buy until at least this thread is silent for a few days.
    I would get the Weller, but I've heard rumors that their build quality has degraded since moving their manufacturing to Mexico recently. Moreover, I'm shallow and would prefer a nicer looking unit and a flashy digital readout haha.

    To people just learning from this thread:
    I think the 2930 is better than the 9378. Outside Amazon, sellers selling the stations without bundles are selling the 2930 for $72 and the 9378 for $69, despite that the 9378 is newer. I've also heard that in a side-by-side race to 900F, the 2930 was about twice as fast (which may be a bit exaggerated, since the 9378 usually takes only 13-15 seconds). This makes sense, due to its higher power capacity. However, I do not know why the 2930 has so much fewer Amazon reviews (only 7 against the 9378's 72)
     
  13. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    My Hakko heats up to 400 degC in 15 sec flat.
    Measured just now...!
     
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  14. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    Whoa. And I'm guessing you're using the iron type that has the heater outside of the tip?
     
  15. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    No my weller Wes51 and Hakko 939 are pretty quick and that sounds about right .. The cheaper Hakko clones take a longer time
     
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  16. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I agree with Joeyd999.
     
  17. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    No..It's an Original Hakko. Quite expensive one. But I got it from the trash :D
     
  18. Konduction2

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 12, 2014
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    Hm I think there may be a few of us no longer on the same page haha. I was originally asking if the Hakko uses what I now know is called a composite tip (they are much longer and $12-$20 each vs $1-$4, and apparently considered more 'professional'). I'm pretty sure this is what Stuntman was referring to in post #11, though I sometimes see "lead free solder stations" not use this type of tip. Anyway, I've done more research and found that out of the WES51, FX888D, 2930, and 9378, only the 2930 uses composite tips. Hakko's composite tips are usually the T15 series, and otherwise usually the T18 or 900M series.
    So now I'm a bit confused again. A lot of WES51 and FX888D users say it takes 15-30 seconds to reach max temp, and a lot say it takes about 3 minutes. I wonder if I'm correctly assuming these differences are just due to people using differently sized tips..?

    For people reading about 9378 vs 2930:
    Anyway, I've changed my mind - I like the 9378 more than the 2930 now, due to a lot of realizations.
    Since they both heat to max temp <20 seconds, the higher expense of the 2930's composite tips aren't really justified for me anymore. This is especially as I realized it would be really nice to have many tips. Also, the 9378 can use Hakko's 900M series tips which is nice. The composite tips' advantage of quick hot swapping doesn't really matter to me.
    Also, I think the 9378 has better technology or quality, by intuition. The 9378 is worth $70 (without the 10 extra tips) and the 2930 is worth $72, both from SRA. And since I think the 2930's 15 watt higher power capacity is probably worth more than just $2 parts-wise, the 9378 probably has a bit more quality. This would make even more sense because it's newer.
    To conclude, the two above factors are more important, I think, than 75 watts vs 60 watts. The 9378's 60 watts will do just fine for me :) Now I just wonder if it's worth it to wait until Black Friday to purchase....
     
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