Defective soldering iron tip?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Giraffe, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Giraffe

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    2
    0
    I recently purchased a 25W Weller iron, new, with 3 included tips. However, one of the tips (the one that comes to a point) experienced pitting, it seems, almost as soon as I started using it. I did everything properly--is this a defect of the tip? Everything, including the other two tips that came with the iron, works fine. The pit is a pretty nasty one, and even though it's tinned over I'd still like to make sure the tip isn't going to just stop working entirely really soon.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Don't know what you can do about it, but the tip does sound defective.
     
  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Were you attempting to solder on a live circuit with it?

    Weller tips are usually grounded, and soldering on a live circuit would likely pit the dickens out of it.
     
  4. Giraffe

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    2
    0
    Nope, the nearest power supply was probably a good 10 feet away from the thing I was soldering. I ordered a new set of tips anyway, since I like to have backups. However, it still really bothers me that I started using this iron and got a huge gouge in the tip already.

    Any suggestions on what to do?
     
  5. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I've had Wellers for many years, but never paid any attention to warranties on them - they weren't needed. However, they MAY have a warranty period you could check into. However - it might cost more in shipping to return the defective tip than it would to just order replacements.

    You might try writing to Cooper Hand Tools directly; Weller is a subsidiary.
    Their contact page is here:
    http://www.cooperhandtools.com/mail/index.cfm
     
  6. rherber1

    Member

    Jan 6, 2008
    15
    0
    You didn't say which particular Weller iron you purchased, but if my guess is correct it is most likely the Marksman SP23LK http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/CF_Files/model_detail.cfm?upc=037103169204

    Note that these irons are hobby quality only and the tips are simply nickel plated copper http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/CF_Files/model_detail.cfm?upc=037103472175

    These tips will quickly erode if you use an acid based or highly activated flux solder.

    The tips made for Weller professional soldering irons are iron clad to resist the corrosive effects of flux. They last a long time if properly cared for and are correspondingly far more expensive than the typical MT1 for the Marksman iron.
     
  7. Distort10n

    Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    429
    1
    I must say that I am now biased toward Metcal rather than Weller. The Weller in our lab sucks. It may be defective, but I will go out of my way to use the Metcal.
     
  8. rherber1

    Member

    Jan 6, 2008
    15
    0
    Metcal is indeed a fine soldering tool, and I like them, but they are hardly in the realm of being affordable by hobbyists or even the occasional use electronics construction or maintenance technician. For example even at special end-run pricing an MX500 will cost me $649 (down from $1246) and the cheaper SP200 costs $385 (down from $590).

    By comparison the solid and reliable Weller WTCPT is suitable for both hobbyist and professional for 95% of all electronics soldering and costs only $179. I have had 2 of these (actually the WTCPN) over the past 40 years and they have been extremely reliable performers and there is no electronics in them to go wrong.

    My other preferred iron for general use is the Hakko, equally as good as the Weller and about the same price.
     
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