• ### Ersa i-CON PICO ~ 240 $Votes: 0 0.0% • ### Ersa RDS 80 ~ 230$

• ### Hakko FX-888D ~ 220 $Votes: 2 50.0% • ### Quick 202D ESD Lead-Free Votes: 0 0.0% • ### None of these Votes: 1 25.0% • Total voters 4 Thread Starter #### Миронов Орест Joined Aug 22, 2019 2 Hi, I need help choosing a soldering station. I'm not going to do super complicated things, just a hobby. My budget is up to 300 dollars. The cheaper, the better, but not at the expense of quality. I want a reliable product that will serve for several years without serious problems. So I do not want to buy Chinese stations, such as Lukey, YIHUA, etc. I live in Russia, Amazon or eBay are not suitable because of the difference in AC (we have 220 V) and shipping costs. I found several stations in local stores that fit my budget: 1) Pace ST-25E ~ 220$
2) Metkal PS-900 ~ 280 $3) Weller WS 81 ~ 280$
4) Ersa i-CON PICO ~ 240 $5) Ersa RDS 80 ~ 230$
6) Hakko FX-888D ~ 220 $(the price is too high, on Amazon, the price is 99$)
7) Quick 202D ESD Lead-Free ~ $150 (Chinese company) I tend to buy the Pace ST-25E, I like the design, simplicity, price is reasonable and I heard the Pace is a reliable manufacturer. But I have doubts, there are many good reviews about the ST-50, but I can't find anything about the ST-25E. Quike 202D is my second choice because of price and good reviews. But some people complain about manufacturing defects. Buying this product is a bit risky. Metcal PS-900 is in third place. Induction heating technologies and effective thermoregulation (if this is not marketing garbage). But it's expensive, accessories are also not the cheapest, and, as I heard, Metcal have some problems with maintenance after a few years (maybe this is not so) What is the best choice for a budget of$ 300? Maybe there are some other good models that not on the list? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

#### bug13

Joined Feb 13, 2012
1,846
I have good experience with Weller and Hakko, just be aware that there are many Hakko clone in the market.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,714
Why spend so much on a soldering iron for a hobby?

The soldering iron I use the most is a Weller W-TCP. I bought it over 40 years ago and, other than replacing the heating element this year, it has performed well.

Last edited:

#### be80be

Joined Jul 5, 2008
2,042

#### rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
244
I have a Hakko FX888 (not D) bought 7 years ago and it works really well. Using the larger T32 tips help gain a bit more thermal mass for the harder jobs. I really like it.

A soldering iron that seems to be quite good as well is the Bakon BK950D - it uses the T12 tips of the more expensive brands and seems to have a good performance according to reports around.

I use Metcal and Hakko (FX951, FM203) at work and I do much better jobs with the Hakko. The Metcal for me is really so-so.

#### narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
461
The Chinese rework stations hold up pretty well actually, you just need to buy nice tips for the irons. I have one in my service van which is a pretty harsh environment that I am sure is over 5 years old now with no issue's.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,100
I'm completely satisfied w/ my XTronic 3020 @ \$70

#### narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
461
Yea I like Xtronics as well but they don't ship out of the US.
I have the 9020 and 4040 from them. Don't think they sell the 9020 anymore unfortunately. Its a nice unit, the sleep function spoiled me.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,100
It's not a bench tool but good for tinning #12 stranded THHN, coax connectors, lugs, and such outdoors where an extension cord isn't handy.

#### rsjsouza

Joined Apr 21, 2014
244
The Chinese rework stations hold up pretty well actually, you just need to buy nice tips for the irons.
Yes, that is what folks reviewing the stations that use T12 tips have been saying: if the iron can keep a good stable voltage, the probes from reputable brands seal the deal.