Help needed on soldering station decision. Thank you.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by garyy, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. garyy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    Hello, I had been using weller wes51 for a few years. I love it. Unfortunately, it finally stopped working last week. Does not look like it is fixable at this point. Now, I am looking for a new soldering station. I may go for weller wesd51. But, I came across the weller wd1001 here, http://www.whichsolderingstation.com/weller-wd1001-soldering-station-review/ The panel looks great. But, it is lot more expensive than wesd51. I have not shopped for soldering station for a while. How come the soldering station could be this expensive nowadays? Not sure if any of you have used it before. Any input would be appreciate it. Thank you very much.
     
  2. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Do you need/want a high end soldering iron? If it's for hobby use, I wouldn't go high tech; more stuff to break. My trusty Weller soldering iron is in it's 4th decade. It spent it's first couple years being on 40 hours a week...

    I know we've become a disposable society now, but any chance you can repair the WES51?
     
  3. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    I just checked the price of the WD1001. IMO, no hobbyist should spend $500 on a soldering iron. Get one for $100 or less and spend the rest on something more useful. I bought an Aoyue 2702A soldering iron, solder remover, and hot air tool for around $200.
     
  4. garyy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    Appreciate the input. It is for hobby use. I will most probably get the wesd51 if necessary. wd1001 does look a bit delicate to me. Also, I spent a bit time to debug my wes51 and have found why yet. I am borrowing my friend's iron this week to do more debug. If I can fix it, that will be great.

     
  5. garyy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    Yes, it is very expensive. That got me think why it costs so much. I will take a look at Aoyue 2702A on the internet.

     
  6. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    If you plan on doing any rework with SMT devices, a hot air tool is mandatory. Since I got mine, I no longer need to borrow my Wife's heat wand for heatshrink. The vacuum solder removing tool works surprisingly well... Don't care for the iron so I use my Weller.
     
  7. MrSoftware

    Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    498
    122
    I recently picked up a rework station (air and iron) on Amazon for under $100, and it works great. My only two small complaints; the air flow isn't smooth below about half speed, and it makes the lights in my room flicker when the hot air is on. But functionally it works great and the iron is really nice. Side benefit to the hot air; use it for SMD devices, but I've also used it to remove through-hole devices from PCB's that had a ton of copper (dissipate a lot of heat). I couldn't get all the pins melted at the same time with the iron, but the hot air heated the whole area and did the trick. Anyway, this is the one I got:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZB9D4O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    Edit: Update to my opinion on this rework station. The spotty airflow at low settings was my fault, I neglected to remove the shipping screws from the air pump! I realized my error last night and removed the screws, and now the air flow is smooth all the time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  8. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
    1,605
    I've been using a similar Kendal (898D) for a few years now with good results. The iron did break once, as did the air tip on the one an associate has. Both parts are available for replacement.

    Got ours thru EBay, free shipping took 2-3 weeks to get to New York.
     
  9. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
    722
    88
    Look at the Hakko FX8880 as well if you are just looking for a nice iron under $100. Nice little unit.
     
  10. garyy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 4, 2014
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    0
    Appreciate it guys. I am glad that I asked. Those are great inputs.
     
  11. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    If you would like to sell your broke WES51, I am interested in buying it. PM me if you are interested.
     
  12. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    I second the Hakko FX888D
    great iron for the price.. we have 15+ at work that get used 40 hours a week without issues
     
  13. garyy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    7
    0
    Appreciate the input.

     
  14. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    568
    193
    I'll say good things about the FX888D... great for home hobby use. I have one. Don't forget to tin the tip the moment you turn on the iron though. Ruined my first tip because I forgot oxidized almost immediately.

    I use a Metcal 5200 at work. Now that is a professional grade iron. I'll probably get one for the basement someday, but the Hakko works good enough so no rush.
     
  15. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,268
    6,780
    I would think I use a cheap Weller, but that is because it lasted so long that the prices went up before the first repair. It's just a handle and a screw-in heater with a screw-on tip but 40 years after I bought it, you could spend most of $100 to replace all 3 parts.
     
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