Help needed on soldering station decision. Thank you.

Thread Starter

garyy

Joined Jun 4, 2014
7
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.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,512
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?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,512
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.
 

Thread Starter

garyy

Joined Jun 4, 2014
7
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.

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?
 

Thread Starter

garyy

Joined Jun 4, 2014
7
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.

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.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,512
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.
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.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,741
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.
 
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ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,034
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.
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
I second the Hakko FX888D
great iron for the price.. we have 15+ at work that get used 40 hours a week without issues
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
714
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.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
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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