Can anybody recommend me a good soldering iron for under $100?

Thread Starter

sofakng

Joined Oct 30, 2007
19
I'm looking to get into electronics as a hobby and I've had a couple of Radio Shack soldering irons but they seem to be garbage so I think I'm going to ask my wife to buy me a soldering iron for my birthday (eg. a couple of weeks away).

From what I understand I want temperature controlled soldering iron (and station?) and that Weller is probably the best brand to buy. Is this correct?

I'm going to be primarily doing bread-board soldering but I will also be doing mod chip installations (eg. requiring a VERY tiny soldering tip, etc).

Does anybody have any suggestions for me? (as well as sites to order it from?)

Thanks!
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
Weller is a long-established brand, and they have quite a variety of soldering stations.

All-Spec Industries has Weller models WES51 on sale for $92.30. Temperature-controlled tip, from 350°-850°F. You should get a number of years service out of it.
Direct link:
http://www.all-spec.com/1/viewitem/wes51/ALLSPEC/prodinfo/w3path=cat

Here's their Weller page:
http://www.all-spec.com/start/weller.html
I've had a Weller soldering station for many years - and I got it used.
I haven't bought from All-Spec before - I usually shop locally or use online auctions.

Haako and Metcal are a couple of brands that I've used also - they have really good products, but you can spend a big bundle on them.
 

John Luciani

Joined Apr 3, 2007
477
I'm looking to get into electronics as a hobby and I've had a couple of Radio Shack soldering irons but they seem to be garbage so I think I'm going to ask my wife to buy me a soldering iron for my birthday (eg. a couple of weeks away).

From what I understand I want temperature controlled soldering iron (and station?) and that Weller is probably the best brand to buy. Is this correct?

I'm going to be primarily doing bread-board soldering but I will also be doing mod chip installations (eg. requiring a VERY tiny soldering tip, etc).

Does anybody have any suggestions for me? (as well as sites to order it from?)

Thanks!
I would look at a used Metcal on EBAY or from a surplus store. Also check HAM Fests
and electronics flea markets.

I use a Metcal SP200 which I bought new for $240 from hmcelectronics. You could
probably get a Metcal SP200 or 500 series iron used for $50-$100.

My tool recommendations are at http://www.luciani.org/getting-it-done/assembly-hints/assembly-hints-index.html#smd-hints

(* jcl *)
 

goodbyegti

Joined Apr 28, 2004
59
Second hand metcal or weller would be a very nice choice.

If you want new i got a xytronix temp controlled iron for about £70 on special offer. Very impressed with the build quality and operation so far.
 
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