15 Best Soldering Iron 2019 – Reviews and Buying Guide

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When you consider buying a soldering iron, the best soldering iron is the one that is best for you. The most important thing to consider is what type of soldering projects you want or need to do. The projects you do will determine the wattage of the iron, the temperature range, the type of tip you need, whether a cordless or corded iron is a better choice, and whether or not you need a soldering station, a repair/reworking station, or a fume extractor. These soldering iron reviews provide the information you need to make an informed decision.

5 Best Soldering Iron: Editor’s Recommended 

Soldering Iron Model
Editor's Rating
Price
1. Weller WLC100 Soldering Station
2. X-Tronic Digital Display Soldering Iron
3. Hakko Digital Soldering Iron Station
4. Anbes 60-Watt Soldering Iron Kit
5. Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit

Our 15 Best Soldering Iron Reviews:

1. Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station

The Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station includes a soldering pencil and soldering station with a holder for your hot soldering pencil and a tray for the that comes with the station.

The soldering station allows you to adjust the wattage supplied to the soldering pen from 5 watts to 40 watts, and this Weller soldering pencil can reach soldering temperatures up to 900°F (482°C). You also can replace the iron’s heating element so that you can continue to use this soldering pencil for years.

The pencil is lightweight and has a foam-cushioned handle for comfort during sessions when you want to make large numbers of joins. The power cord has a standard plug so that you can plug the soldering pencil into a wall outlet as well as the soldering station. The pencil comes with a Weller 3/8” ST3 chisel tip, but the iron is compatible with all other Weller ST tips.

Weller’s tips are made with a solid copper coil for fast heating and excellent heat transfer. The copper coil is then coated with iron, nickel, and chromium to protect the tip from corrosion and solder creep. As a final protective step, Weller pre-tins all of its tips.

This versatile, soldering iron lets you complete any soft soldering project as well as some hard soldering projects. You can use it for electronic circuit boards, audio equipment, jewelry making, repairs to home appliances, and more. Its price should fit into most budgets.

Highlighted Features:

  • Soldering pencil has replaceable heating element.
  • Pencil iron is compatible with all Weller ST tips.
  • Soldering station adjusts wattage from 5 watts to 40 watts.
  • Reaches temperatures up to 900°F (482°C).
  • Use this soldering pencil for electronic circuit boards, audio equipment, jewelry making, repairs to home appliances, and more.

2. X-Tronic 3020 XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron

The X-Tronic 3020 XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station includes the 75-watt soldering station, a 60-watt pencil soldering iron, a soldering iron holder, a side-mounted holder for your roll of solder, a wet sponge, and a can that contains a brass wool pad and a supply of cleaning flux. The station includes a storage space for the sponge and the can containing the brass wool pad and the cleaning flux. A supply of solder is not included.

The 75-watt soldering station supplies 60 watts to the soldering pencil and uses 15 watts to power the motherboard that controls the station’s features.

This station maintains your soldering temperature with Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) Technology, also known as Magic Temperature Compensation Technology. This program checks the soldering iron’s heating element and soldering tip every 20 milliseconds and corrects the temperature as needed.

The soldering temperature can be adjusted from 392°F to 896°F (200°C – 480°C).

The station displays the temperature setting on a large, blue LED display. A switch allows you to use either the Celsius or Fahrenheit scale. The soldering station is ESD safe, and it has a 10-minute sleep timer. If you should forget to turn it off, it turns itself off after 10 minutes. The station also has an automatic cool down cycle for the soldering pencil.

The 60-watt pencil soldering iron features an ergonomic handle and a 100 percent silicone cord that allows a distance of 60 inches from the soldering station to the soldering pencil’s tip. The cord to the soldering station allows a distance of 55 inches from the station to the wall outlet.

Highlighted Features:

  • Set includes a 75-watt soldering station, a 60-watt soldering pencil, a solder roll holder (solder not included), a sponge, and a tin that contains a brass wool sponge and a supply of cleaning flux.
  • The station maintains a consistent soldering temperature with PID technology.
  • The soldering temperature can be adjusted from 392°F to 896°F (200°C – 480°C).
  • The station has a cool down cycle for the soldering pencil, and a 10-mnute sleep timer that automatically turns the station off.
  • The temperature display can be switched from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

3. Hakko FX-888D 23BY Digital Soldering Iron Station

The Hakko FX-888D offers a digital update to the FX-888. The station features a small footprint that takes up less space on your workbench. It is ESD safe and includes a 70-watt station and a 65-watt soldering pencil. A separate holder for the soldering pencil includes a metal wool pad and a sponge with trays for each one.

The station’s digital upgrade adds the ability to digitally calibrate the temperature settings. Temperature settings range from 120°F to 899°F (50°C – 480°), a range wide enough for both soft soldering and some hard soldering projects. You can switch the display from Fahrenheit to Celsius. You also can store up to five temperature settings that you commonly use. Whenever you want to begin a project using these temperatures, you’ll never have to reset them again. When you are soldering, you can use a password to protect your settings so that they can’t be changed.

The soldering pencil contains a ceramic heating element that heats the tip rapidly. A sensor monitors the temperature, signals the heating element to reheat the iron, and triggers a low temperature warning if the temperature drops too low. The soldering pencil is lightweight and has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to use for long work sessions. The soldering pencil is compatible with all Hakko T18 tips, so that, with the wide range of temperature settings, you can use the pencil for a wide range of projects, including through-hole and SMD projects.

The Hakko FX888D Digital Soldering Station deserves a look as one of the best soldering stations.

Highlighted Features:

  • Soldering station with separate soldering iron holder saves space on your workbench.
  • Ceramic heating element with sensor heats and reheats tip quickly and maintains temperature.
  • Sensor triggers low temperature warning if tip temperature drops too far.
  • Temperature settings ranging from 120°F to 899°F (50°C – 480°) are suitable for soft soldering and even some hard soldering projects.
  • Soldering pencil compatible with all Hakko T18 tips.
  • Can preset and store up to five temperature settings and set password to protect settings.

4. Anbes 60-Watt Soldering Iron Kit With Multimeter and Desoldering Pump

The Anbes Soldering Iron Kit packs a bundle of 15 pieces into its portable polyurethane case. The kit includes the 60-watt soldering pencil, a holder for the pencil, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a desoldering pump, a digital multimeter, two multimeter pins, a precision pocket screwdriver with eight interchangeable tips, a wire stripper and cutter, a tube of solder, lengths of red and black electronic wire, a pair of tweezers, and a cleaning sponge. The holder for the soldering pencil has a tray for the sponge.

The soldering pencil has an on/off switch in the handle. It can be set to temperatures ranging from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C). Ceramic core induction technology used in the durable heating element allows the soldering pencil to heat up in 30 seconds, and the steel-pipe design and large venting holes also allow for fast cooling when you turn the pencil off. The pencil’s silica gel cover protects it if you drop it and also acts as insulation to protect it from overheating. In addition to the chisel tip and bevel tip that come with this soldering pencil, it is compatible with other Anbes 900M series soldering tips.

The desoldering pump or solder sucker consists of an aluminum bronze frame that contains a high pressure vacuum. It effectively removes excess solder as well as old solder from previously joined surfaces.

You can use the multimeter to test the voltage of 5 volt and 1.5 volt batteries, measure resistance, and run tests of both AC and DC voltage. This means that you can use this multimeter around the house and when working on your vehicle. The multimeter features a large, easy-to-read LCD display.

Both the soldering pencil and the multimeter comply with FCC and European Union RoHS standards. Neither contain pollutants or toxins. This kit can be used for electronic circuit boards, jewelry, computers, mobile devices, electrical wiring, TV capacitors, watches, automotive work, and small electronics. Such versatility makes this one of the best portable soldering iron kits.

Highlighted Features:

  • Portable soldering iron kit includes pencil soldering iron with chisel and bevel tip, soldering pencil holder, desoldering pump, multimeter, pocket screwdriver with multiple tips, a wire stripper and cutter, and more.
  • Durable heating element uses ceramic induction technology to quickly heat, reheat, and cool tip.
  • Temperatures range from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C), which, with the included additional tools and the portable carrying case, allow you to use this soldering pencil for a wide range of projects wherever you need it.
  • The multimeter can be used to measure resistance, test AC and DC voltage, and test the voltage or 5 volt and 1.5 volt batteries.
  • Both the soldering pencil and multimeter are RoHS and FCC compliant, and neither contain pollutants or toxins.

5. Tabiger 11-Piece 60-Watt Soldering Iron Kit

The Tabiger 11-Piece 60-Watt Soldering Iron Kit includes the soldering iron, five interchangeable tips, a stand for the soldering iron, a desoldering pump, a pair of anti-static tweezers, a tube of 60/40 soldering wire, and tool case.

The soldering iron contains an advanced ceramic printed heating element that heats the tip quickly. Four large ventilation holes improve the soldering irons energy efficiency. The tips include a conical tip, a chisel tip, a needle tip, a knife tip, and a bevel tip. You can adjust the temperature to a range of between 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C) which makes this soldering iron kit suitable for a large range of projects including circuit boards, computers, electrical wiring, audio systems, appliance repair, repairing musical instruments, jewelry making, and pyrography.

The aluminum body of the high pressure desoldering pump resists corrosion, and it disperses heat. The trigger is designed so that you can hold the soldering pencil in one hand and hold and operate the pump with the other hand.

The durable plastic case contains a cushioned liner that protects your tools so that you can safely transport them wherever you need to work.

Highlighted Features:

  • Portable kit includes a soldering iron, a desoldering pump, a stand for the soldering iron, five interchangeable tips, a tube of 60/40 solder, and a tool case.
  • The soldering iron’s temperature can be set to a range between 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C) making it suitable for soft soldering projects as well as some hard soldering projects.
  • The tips include a conical tip, a needle tip, a knife tip, two bevel tips.
  • The trigger on the desoldering pump is designed for operation with just one hand.
  • The plastic tool case is designed to be durable, and it contains a cushioned lining to protect your tools.

6. Vaster Soldering Iron Kit

The Vaster Soldering Iron Kit contains the soldering iron, a soldering iron stand, five interchangeable tips, a desoldering pump, anti-static tweezers, and a tube of 60/40 solder.

The temperature control for this soldering iron, which is a dial in the handle, can be set to temperatures ranging from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C). The soldering iron heats up quickly, and vents on the iron allow the iron to cool quickly when you’re done working. With this range of temperatures, you can use it for soft soldering projects and even some hard soldering projects. The five tips include those most commonly used for soldering projects — a conical tip, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip. The cord on the soldering iron has a 5 foot reach.

The desoldering pump is heat resistant and made to use with one hand while you continue to heat the solder you want to remove with the soldering iron in your other hand.

The anti-static tweezers are safe for use around sensitive electronic components and circuit boards.

You can use this soldering iron for circuit boards, making repairs to appliances, working on electrical wiring and audio equipment, DIY projects around the home, jewelry making, and pyrography.

Highlighted Features:

  • The kit comes with a soldering iron, five interchangeable tips, a stand for the soldering iron, a desoldering pump, anti-static tweezers, and a tube of 60/40 solder.
  • The tips include a conical tip, a wedge tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.
  • The soldering iron has a temperature range from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C).
  • The cord on the soldering iron allows a 5 foot reach.
  • The desoldering pump can be operated with one hand while you continue to apply heat with the soldering iron in your other hand.

7. Aoyue 60-watt Soldering Iron Station

The Aoyue 60-Watt Soldering Station includes the soldering station and soldering iron, a conical tip, a desoldering pump, soldering wick, a sponge, a metal wool pad, cleaning flux, a 2 ounce roll of 63/37 solder, and a desoldering alloy for fast removal of chips from a circuit board. The soldering station has a tray for the sponge and holders for the soldering iron and roll of solder.

The soldering iron contains a PTC heating element that heats quickly to a temperature range of 392°F to 897°F (300°C – 480°C). It comes with the Aoyue T-I conical tip, but the iron is compatible with all Aoyue T-series tips. The T-series includes over 50 tips.

This soldering station can be used for electronics, circuit boards, DIY projects, electrical wiring, audio wiring, stained glass projects, jewelry making, pyrography, and other soft and hard soldering projects.

Highlighted Features

  • The Aoyue 60-Watt Soldering Station includes a soldering iron, the T-1 conical tip, a desoldering pump, soldering wick, solder, a desoldering alloy, a sponge, a metal wool pad, and cleaning flux.
  • The soldering station has a tray for the sponge and holders for the soldering iron and solder.
  • The PTC heating element in the soldering iron heats quickly to temperatures ranging from 392°F to 897°F (300°C – 480°C).
  • The iron is compatible with all Aoyue T-series tips.
  • This soldering station can be used for electronics, circuit boards, DIY projects, electrical wiring, audio wiring, stained glass projects, jewelry making, pyrography, and other soft and hard soldering projects.

8. PPSK 500-BTU POWER PROBE Butane Soldering Kit

The PPSK 500-BTU POWER PROBE Butane Soldering Kit has an easy start electronic ignition and provides three soldering tips, an injection tip, a roll of rosin solder, a hot point, a hot knife, adjustment wrenches, a sponge and tray, a heat shrink shield, and a hard case.

When used as a butane torch, this welding iron has a maximum temperature of 2500 °F (1371° C). The welding torch is refillable, and each fill lasts approximately two hours. This welder provides a consistent flame in any position.

When used as a soldering iron you can choose between using one of the three soldering tips or working with an adjustable flame with a length from .5 inches to 2.5 inches and a maximum temperature of 950° F (499° C). The tips include a chisel tip, a bevel tip, and a knife tip..

The variable temperature settings allow this welding torch to be used on circuit boards and soft soldering projects, but with its high temperature capabilities, you’ll be able to take on silver soldering and brazing projects, like making fine jewelry, repairs to cast iron lawn furniture, and plumbing repairs.

This is truly a professional soldering tool.

Highlighted Features

  • The kit includes a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a knife tip, an injection tip, a roll of rosin solder, a hot point, a hot knife, adjustment wrenches, a sponge and tray, a heat shrink shield, and a hard case.
  • The butane torch has a maximum temperature of 2500 °F (1371° C), and the soldering iron has a maximum temperature of 950° F (499° C).
  • The torch lasts for two hours, is refillable, and provides a consistent flame in any position.
  • The iron has an adjustable flame with a length from .5 inches to 2.5 inches.
  • This combination soldering iron and welding torch produces a range of temperatures suitable for all uses from soft soldering to silver soldering to brazing.

9. Weller SP80NUS 80-Watt Soldering Pencil

The Weller 80-watt Soldering Pencil includes the MTG20 chisel soldering tip, a holder, and three heat-resistant LED lights to illuminate your work. A triangular piece between the handle and the tip helps focus the light, makes your grip more stable, and provides better control. The soft-grip, non-slip handle is round so that you can roll the iron to position the tip better and have a more comfortable grip for longer work time. This soldering iron lacks a temperature selection control. It operates at a temperature of 899.6°F (482°C)

When using this soldering iron, you will need a ground plane for grounding. If you want to use this for electronics and circuit boards, you will definitely need a heat sink to pull heat away from the joins. This iron, however, is better suited for jewelry making, electrical work, plumbing, audio systems, metal art, marine repairs, and automotive work.

The five-foot cord makes it easier to reach your projects.

Highlighted Features

  • The Weller SP80NUS welding iron provides a MTG20 chisel 0.375 (9.5mm) soldering tip, a holder, and a LED light.
  • The triangular piece at the end of the handle focuses the light and provides a stable and comfortable grip.
  • The round, soft-grip, non-slip handle helps position the tip better and offers a more comfortable grip for longer work time.
  • The welding iron provides a five-foot cord.
  • This iron provides the heat needed for jewelry making and plumbing, auto, and marine repairs.

10. Hakko 67-Watt Adjustable-Temperature Soldering Iron

The Hakko 67-Watt Adjustable-Temperature Soldering Iron contains a ceramic heating element that heats quickly. It offers precise temperature control and a temperature range from 464°F to 1004°F (240°C-540°C). With these temperatures, you can pursue almost any soldering or welding project, including soft soldering, silver soldering, and brazing. A thermocouple in the tip checks the temperature every 3 seconds to assure that the heat is maintained. After setting the temperature, you can lock it by removing the dial. If you need to change the temperature while you’re working, use the dedicated lock key. Removing the dial and using the lock key to change the temperature keeps your setting from being easily changed while you work.

The slender, lightweight, ergonomic handle with the temperature-adjustment dial allows you to comfortably work for long periods of time.

The five-foot cord with strain relief provides mobility and access to hard-to-reach projects.

This soldering iron comes with a Hakko T19- 5D chisel tip, but it is compatible with other Hakko T19 series tips. The 5D chisel tip helps spread heat over a wider area for making large joins and quickly desoldering areas where you want to make repairs.

Highlighted Features

  • This soldering iron has a temperature range from 464°F to 1004°F (240°C-540°C) for working on projects that include soft soldering, silver soldering, and brazing.
  • It provides a ceramic heating element that heats quickly.
  • The iron offers precise temperature control. You can prevent your setting from being changed while you work by removing the control dial and using the dedicated lock to adjust the temperature as needed.
  • The handle is slender, lightweight, and ergonomic.
  • A thermocouple checks the tip temperature every 3 seconds.

11. Tabiger 60W Soldering Iron Kit

The Tabiger 60W Soldering Iron Kit includes five tips, a stand with a cleaning sponge, a desoldering pump, solder, rosin (solder paste), solder wire, solder wick, copper wire, insulation tape, two anti-static tweezers, scissors, screwdrivers, and a knife in a toolbox with an inner protective layer.

With an advanced ceramic printed heater and four large venting holes, the welding iron heats quickly to the desired temperature and saves energy. It adjusts from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C), which allows you to set a precise temperature suitable for making joins on circuit boards, working on electrical wiring, repairing appliances and electronics, making jewelry, creating stained glass pieces, and doing other craftwork and DIY projects. The iron includes the most commonly used tips – a conical tip, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.

The desoldering pump has a high-pressure vacuum and allows for one-handed use. Made from aluminum, it is corrosion-resistant and provides good heat dispersement. It safely removes solder from through-hole solder joints on printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Highlighted Features

  • The kit includes five tips, a stand with a cleaning sponge, a desoldering pump, solder, rosin (solder paste), solder wire, solder wick, copper wire, insulation tape, two anti-static tweezers, scissors, screwdrivers, and a knife in a toolbox
  • The advanced ceramic printed heater and four large venting holes allow the welding iron to heat quickly to the desired temperature and saves energy.
  • The temperature control adjusts from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C).
  • The soldering iron comes with a conical tip, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.
  • The desoldering pump with the high-pressure vacuum resists corrosion, disperses heat, and allows for one-handed operation.

12. TasiHome SOLREP2000 60W Soldering Pencil

The TasiHome SOLREP2000 60W Soldering Iron integrates the functions of a soldering station into the soldering pen. This soldering pencil provides an adjustable temperature range from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C) for reliable electronic circuit repairs, strong electrical joins, and jewelry repair. A closed loop circuit within the pen monitors the temperature of the heating element and the tip and maintains the temperature within a range of 2 percent above or below your setting. The a polymer handle is designed with an insulation ring to reduce the transfer of heat to the handle. With this design, you can use this welding pencil for longer periods of time. A red LED light indicator in the handle signals that the iron is at the correct temperature.

This soldering pencil also provides an anti-static lead wire with a crocodile clip to protect your project from static damage. Just connect the clip to your project.

The three lead-free tips included are a conical tip, a chisel tip, and a bevel tip. This soldering pencil also is compatible with additional SOLREP2000 soldering tips.

Highlighted Features

  • The TasiHome SOLREP2000 60W Soldering Pencil integrates the functions of a soldering station within the body of the pencil.
  • The soldering iron provides an adjustable temperature range from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C) with precise temperature control and a red light temperature indicator.
  • It has an anti-static lead wire with a clip to protect your project against static damage.
  • The adjustable temperature range is from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C).
  • The soldering pencil includes lead free tips in the three most frequently used styles — a chisel tip, a conical tip, and a bevel tip.

13. ANBES 60W Soldering Iron Kit

The portable ANBES 60W Soldering Iron Kit includes a soldering iron, five tips, a soldering iron stand, a tube of solder, an ESD-15 tweezer, a wire stripper and cutter, a desoldering pump, a length of red wire, a length of black wire, and a polyurethane carrying case.

The ANBES adjustable-temperature soldering iron allows you to set the temperature between from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C). The iron heats fast and can be used for making joins on circuit boards, appliance repair, jewelry making, and other DIY projects. The five tips include a conical tip, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.

The rugged aluminum desoldering pump provides a high pressure vacuum tube to remove solder from printed circuit boards (PCB). The pump allows for easy one-handed use.

Highlighted Features

  • In the kit, you receive soldering iron, a stand, five interchangeable tips, a desoldering pump, a tube of solder, an ESD-15 tweezer, a wire stripper and cutter, and a carrying case.
  • The five tips include a conical tip, a chisel tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.
  • The iron allows you to set the temperature between from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C).
  • The soldering iron can be used for welding circuit boards, appliance repair, jewelry making, and other DIY projects.
  • The desoldering pump provides a high pressure vacuum tube to remove solder.

14. Sywon 60W ESD Soldering Iron Station Kit

The Sywon 60W ESD Soldering Iron Station Kit includes five Sywon 900M series interchangeable tips, a tube of 60/40 solder, a desoldering pump, a stand with cleaning sponge, an ESD-10 tweezer, an ESD-15 tweezer, tin wire tube, a six piece tool set, and a carrying case. The six piece double-sided assist tool set allows pressing, cutting, and scraping. It includes a screwdriver to clear unnecessary circuits, a fork, a squeeze head to compress small electronic components, a hook to remove a small resistor, a brush to clear dust, and a needle to clear holes.

The soldering iron offers an adjustable temperature setting that ranges from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C). This iron contains inner-heated ceramic technology that enables it to heat quickly. For protection, the iron is made from an upgraded heat resistant material and has four ventilation holes to help it cool faster. The tips include a conical tip, a wedge tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip.

Highlighted Features

  • The temperature setting ranges from 392°F to 842°F (200°C – 450°C).
  • The inner-heated ceramic technology helps the soldering iron heat quickly.
  • The welding iron is made from an upgraded heat resistant material and has four ventilation holes to help it cool faster.
  • The kit includes a conical tip, a wedge tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, a knife tip, a tube of 60/40 solder, a desoldering pump, a stand with cleaning sponge, an ESD-10 tweezer, an ESD-15 tweezer, tin wire tube, and a six piece tool set.
  • The six piece tool set includes a screwdriver to clear unnecessary circuits, a fork, a squeeze head to compress small electronic components, a hook to remove a small resistor, a brush to clear dust, and a needle to clear holes.

15. TFLY 60-watt Soldering Iron Station

The TFLY 60-watt Soldering Iron Station offers a stable, space-saving base with a large, easy-to read LED display. The station includes a holder for the soldering iron. With the Highswitched Efficiency function, Intelligent Temperature Control function, and the PID microcomputer and sensor, the station helps the soldering iron maintain a constant precise temperature.

The soldering iron uses an internally heated ceramic induction technology that allows it to heat quickly. The iron also provides faster heat dissipation with the four heat dissipation holes. It comes with the five most commonly used tips – a conical tip, a wedge tip, a bevel tip, a needle tip, and a knife tip. For safety, Intelligent Sleep Mode sets the soldering iron to sleep mode after it sits unused for an five, ten, or 30 minutes. The soldering iron quickly reheats when it is moved again. This saves power, reduces oxidation of the tip, and extends the life of the soldering iron. With the heat-resistant silicone handle, you can use the soldering iron comfortably at higher temperatures.

Using the LED display, you can set the temperature range of this TFLY soldering iron from 194°F to 896°F (90°C – 480°C), allowing you to work on printed circuit boards, join small electronic product components, solder jewelry and stained glass, do DIY projects around the house, repair small appliances, wire audio systems, and engage in pyrography.

You can change the temperature display from Fahrenheit to Celsius. The 39.37-inch (100-centimeter) soldering iron cord and the 52.76-inch (134-centimeter) soldering station cord provide you with the ability to reach your project from a nearby outlet.

Highlighted Features

  • The temperature setting is adjustable between 194°F to 896°F (90°C – 480°C), and can be displayed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
  • The station offers Temperature Correction Function for precise temperature control and Automatic Sleep Function for safety.
  • The built-in heating-ceramic core provides faster heating.
  • Intelligent Sleep Mode can be set to automatically put the soldering iron into sleep mode after five, 10, or 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • This TFLY soldering station includes a 39.37-inch (100-centimeter) soldering iron cord and the 52.76-inch soldering station.

Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Select Soldering Iron

As already mentioned, when considering the best soldering iron for the projects you want to do, you should consider wattage, temperature range, and the tip. You also should consider whether investing in a soldering kit, a soldering station, or a repair/reworking station would be worthwhile. Finally, you should consider whether or not you need a fume extractor in your work space.

Wattage

The wattage of your soldering iron and its temperature range are two separate things. Wattage is a measure of the power your iron has in reserve. High-wattage soldering irons, those over 40 watts, heat the tip more quickly than low-wattage irons, those from 15 to 40 watts. High-wattage soldering irons also maintain a more stable temperature over a longer period of time. Because a soldering iron transfers heat from the tip to the metal pieces being joined, the tip cools as you work. High-wattage irons not only retain heat longer but also reheat more quickly than low-wattage irons. A high-wattage soldering iron that retains heat allows you to continue to work for longer periods without having to wait for the iron to reheat. So, a high-wattage soldering iron allows you to complete more projects more quickly, especially projects with large numbers of joins.

On the other hand, low wattage soldering irons are less expensive than high wattage soldering irons. If you aren’t running a small business that would benefit from having joins produced quickly and you don’t have a large budget, then, saving money by purchasing a less expensive low wattage soldering iron might be worth the tradeoff of waiting a bit longer for the iron to heat or reheat. After all, while the iron heats, you could spend time on some other part of your project.

Temperature

Soldering irons are designed for soft soldering. Traditionally, soft soldering uses lead-based alloys that melt at temperatures below 752°F (400°C). If you plan on using your soldering iron to create joins on circuit boards, you will want to protect electronic components with a soldering iron that operates at low temperatures, and you will want to use solders that melt at those temperatures.

Lead-based solders melt at the lowest temperatures. Eutectic solders with 63 percent tin and 37 percent lead have the lowest melting point — 361°F (183°C). Solders containing 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead melt at temperatures between 361°F and 374°F (183°– 190°C). Solders containing 50 percent tin and 50 percent lead melt between 361° and 419°F (183° — 215°C).

However, because of the dangers of lead poisoning, lead-free solders are being used for circuit boards, especially those in toys. These solders melt at temperatures around 482°F (250°C). If you use a lead-free solder to make joins on a circuit board, you should protect the electronic components by using crocodile tips as heat sinks.

On the other hand, if you want a soldering iron for household repairs, stained glass projects, jewelry-making, or for soldering the heavier wires used in sound systems, you’ll need one that operates at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures are needed to melt the solders used for these projects and to create the stronger joins that are needed.

Soldering irons that might be put to a variety of uses, including making joins on circuit boards, will need to operate at a wide range of temperatures.

Soldering Iron Tips

When choosing a soldering iron, you should look for one with interchangeable tips. The different types of soldering iron tips are designed to direct the melted solder to the area where you want to make a join and to prevent it from bridging into other areas. Preventing bridging is especially important when there is only a narrow space between joins, as is the case with circuit boards.

When considering what tips to choose, keep in mind that, if you can sufficiently lower the wattage and temperature settings on your soldering iron or pen, you can use it for pyrography projects.

The three most common tips are conical, chisel, and bevel or hoof tips. Other common tips include needle tips and knife tips.

Conical tips

Resemble the point on a sharpened pencil, but the point of the tip can vary in pointedness or bluntness, depending on the size of the tip. These tips deliver heat to small areas, which is one way to prevent bridging. Solder flows toward the area where heat is being applied. Applying heat only to small areas also protects the electronic components on circuit boards. For this reason, conical tips help you to make fine, precision joins, such as in electronics. On the other hand, a conical tip lets you apply heat from any angle, and you can use the sides of the tip as well as the point, so these tips also can be used for general soldering.

Chisel tips

Resemble the end of a flathead screwdriver. They vary in width depending on the size of the tip. Chisel tips let you deliver heat to a wider area. You can use them to desolder — remove solder from an area where you need to make a repair. You also can use them for applying heat to an area where you need to create a larger join. In electronics, this includes larger surface-mounted components (SMDs) and components mounted in pre-drilled holes in the circuit board, known as through-hole or thru-hole soldering.

Bevel tips

Form an angled, convex surface, rather than a horizontal surface, at the end of the tip. For most soldering projects, the soldering iron or pencil is used to apply heat to the surfaces to be joined, and the heat from that surface melts the solder. Some projects, though, require solder to be applied to the soldering iron to make the join. This is particularly true in electronics when you might need to solder a group of small gauge wires together or solder a surface mount electronic chip with several pins to a circuit board. Bevel tips hold more solder than other tips. This helps ensure that you have enough melted solder to flow into all the crevices between a bundle of wires or to cover the entire surface of an electronic chip.

Hoof tips

Are similar to beveled tips, but they have a concave surface. They are used for the same purposes as beveled tips, but they gather up more solder during desoldering, and they hold more solder when you are making joins. The concave surface on hoof tips also helps to prevent bridging.

Needle tips

Are similar to conical tips, but needle tips have much sharper, needle-like points. Choose these tips for detail work.

Knife tips

Resemble a chisel tip with a sharp edge, but the edge of a knife tip is angled. You can use the tip of the knife for point soldering as you would a needle tip. You also can use the entire edge as you would a chisel tip. In addition, knife tips can help remove solder bridges.

When choosing any of these tips, look for a copper core that heats quickly and transfers heat well. Iron plating over the copper core adds durability. Some tips have a layer of nickel between the iron and copper layers. The tip may also have nickel-chrome plating at some distance from the area used for soldering to prevent the solder and its flux from flowing too high up the tip and causing oxidation and corrosion.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Safe and RoHS Certification

The electrical wiring of ESD-safe soldering irons connects the main lead to the iron’s tip and electrical element to a ground.

A soldering iron and soldering station that meets the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive contains no toxins or pollutants. Lead-free solders also can meet the standards of the RoHS directive. If your soldering project will come into contact with children or the environment, then you should use lead-free solders to reduce lead contamination.

Pencil Soldering Irons

Pencil soldering irons are inexpensive and can be used for almost everything, but those without a temperature control operate at higher temperatures. If you are considering a pencil soldering iron that doesn’t have a temperature control, you should not use it for joins on circuit boards, even if you use a heat sink.

Soldering Stations

Soldering stations include, at minimum, a soldering iron or soldering pencil, a holder for the soldering tool, a cleaning sponge, and a storage space for the sponge. The on/off switch, temperature control, and temperature display are located on the station rather than on the soldering iron. Using a soldering station makes it less likely that you might accidentally change the settings as you work. Soldering stations also provide space for larger displays that you can read more easily. Soldering iron stations are not necessarily expensive and can fit into a range of budgets.

Soldering Iron Kits

A soldering iron kit provides a carrying case for a soldering pencil, a holder, and a range of tools and accessories that may include a desoldering pump, two or more tips for the soldering iron, a tube of solder, a cleaning sponge, and more. Soldering iron kits might be for general purpose uses, or the tools and accessories might be focused on one particular use, such as electronics, electrical wiring, or automotive repairs.

Repair/Reworking Stations

Repair/rework systems or professional grade soldering stations are usually used in manufacturing and repair businesses. If you operate a business that manufactures electronic circuits or that uses soldering to make automotive, appliance, or electrical repairs at the site of your business, then a rework/repair station provides everything you need to improve your productivity. These stations include a soldering gun, a desoldering gun, a hot air gun, a vacuum pump or solder sucker, thermo-tweezers, a number of tips, and a variety of other tools. If you have a business that uses a repair/reworking station, you very likely also need a fume extractor.

How to Use a Soldering Iron

What You Will Need to Begin

Before starting a soldering project, you should have on hand:

  • The pieces to be soldered.
  • Your soldering iron.
  • A soldering station if you have one.
  • A stand to hold your soldering iron.
  • Solder.
  • Steel wool or fine sanding paper for cleaning the metal pieces to be joined.
  • A damp sponge, a steel or brass wool pad, or a cleaning pad for cleaning the tip of the soldering iron.
  • A tip reactivator if your soldering iron is badly corroded.
  • Solder braid for removing excess solder.
  • Crocodile clips if you will need to draw heat away from a join on a circuit board.
  • A wire stripper and cutter for working with electronic or electrical circuitry.
  • A prototype board for creating circuits.
  • Safety goggles to protect your eyes.
  • A well-ventilated work area or a work area with a vent fan or fume extraction device.

Safety Precautions

Before beginning to solder, you should read all of the instructions with your soldering iron.

You also should remove or secure loose jewelry and secure loose hair and clothing to prevent contact with the extremely hot tip of your soldering iron.

You may want to wear safety gloves, especially if the solder contains lead. If you don’t want to wear safety gloves, wash your hands after working with a solder that contains lead.

Even in a well-ventilated area or one with a vent or fume extraction device, avoid inhaling fumes by holding you head to one side of your soldering rather than directly above it. Most of the fumes come from the flux or the core of the solder, and they can be irritating and even toxic.

Keep the power cord to your soldering iron away from your soldering.

Always return the soldering iron to its stand between uses; do not lay it down on your work surface.

Preparations Before Beginning to Solder

Before beginning to solder, clean the tip of your soldering iron, especially if it is blackened.

After cleaning the tip, touch the tip to your solder to melt some of the solder and coat the tip with it. This is called tinning the tip. It protects the tip from oxidation and corrosion during soldering, which allows it to make stronger joins. The melted solder on the tip spreads out during soldering, conducting the heat from the tip over a wider area.

Making the Joins

1. Heat the Soldering Iron

To make joins, you need your soldering iron to heat the surfaces you are joining to a temperature that is high enough to melt the solder. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, you could damage electronic components or the surfaces you are joining. Most solders have a range of melting point temperatures rather than a fixed melting point. You should use the lowest temperature within that range that melts the solder you are using for your project.

Because high temperatures can damage electronic components, if you are applying solder to an electronic circuit board, you can attach a crocodile clip to act as a heat sink that will draw excess heat away from those components.

2. Clean the Surfaces

The surfaces you are joining need to be clean. If you are soldering circuits on a PC electronics board, buff the copper foil surface before beginning to solder. On other surfaces, use fine sand paper, steel wool, or a solvent to remove oil, wax, paint, or other coatings.

3. Apply the Solder

Hold the solder in one hand. Hold the soldering iron in your other hand near the base or the handle as if you were holding a pencil or pen. Touch the soldering iron to a place where the two pieces you are joining meet for a few seconds to heat them. Keep the soldering iron in place as you touch the solder to that heated area. The solder will flow into all of the gaps between the two pieces as it melts.

Continue feeding more of the strand of solder into the join until the connection is covered and all of the gaps between the pieces you are joining are filled. You need enough melted solder to make a solid join, but to create a smooth join, you’ll want to avoid adding too much solder. The amount of solder you will need will vary depending upon your project, but melting a sufficient amount of solder should take only a few seconds.

4. Allow the Solder and Join to Cool

Remove the solder and then the soldering tool and allow the join to cool. One type of solder, called eutectic solder, is comprised of 67 percent tin and 33 percent lead. The temperature at which this mixture becomes liquid and returns to being a solid is identical, so there is no semi-solidified, plastic phase as the solder cools. Other solders do pass through the semi-solid phase, however, so you should avoid moving your work until the join solidifies. Causing either of the two pieces to move during the semi-solidified stage weakens the join.

After every two to three joins, tin the tip of your soldering iron.

5. Inspect the Join

When the join has cooled, you can examine it. It should be uniform, smooth, and shiny, and all of the gaps between the pieces should be filled. You should not see globs of excess solder.

If you see globs or gaps, you can correct the join by using the soldering iron to reheat the area. As needed, you can apply more solder to fill in gaps, or use solder braid to wick up excess solder. Removing solder is called desoldering.

6. Finishing Your Work

If you pause in the middle of making joins, clean and tin the tip of your soldering iron and unplug the iron.

When you complete your project, clean and tin the tip of your soldering iron before unplugging it.

How to Clean the Tip of a Soldering Iron

In order to make the strongest joins, the tip of your soldering iron needs to be clean so that it conducts heat effectively. The flux at the core of the solder reduces the oxidation and corrosion resulting from the high temperatures used for soldering. Some fluxes clean corrosion from the surfaces being soldered and from the tip of the soldering iron. Fluxes also may help the solder to flow around the join and into any existing crevasses.

The steps you need to take to clean the tip depend on the type of flux used in the solder.

No-clean fluxes do leave a white residue. This residue is not corrosive or conductive, so you don’t have to remove it. It is, however, clearly visible, so you may want to clean it.

Water-soluble fluxes with an acid core use a water soluble acid like citric acid. You can remove the residue left by these fluxes with water.

Rosin fluxes, the traditional flux material, come in one of three formulas – R, RMA, and RA. The “R” stands for “rosin”, while the “A” stands for “activated” and the “MA” stands for “mildly activated.” The “MA” and “A” designations indicate that an acid, such as hydrochloric acid, has been added to the rosin core to activate the wetting or flowing property of the solder.

Rosin fluxes designated with only the “R” are not corrosive. Cleaning is not required.

RMA fluxes and their residue is less corrosive so that cleaning the tip is recommended but not absolutely necessary.

Rosin fluxes with the “RA” designation do leave behind a corrosive residue. The oxidation that can occur during soldering with an RA flux can create pits on the tip of the soldering iron and can cause a brown or black scale to form. For that reason, you will need to clean the tip of your soldering iron after using a solder with an RA flux.

Follow these steps to remove residue from RA solders:

  1. Place your soldering iron in its stand, plug it in, and wait until it heats up.
  2. Rub the tip with brass or steel wool, a cleaning pad, or a wet sponge.
  3. Examine the tip. It should look shiny rather than dull.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the tip appears shiny.
  5. When the tip appears shiny, tin the tip by applying a small amount of solder.

A burned out tip, one badly pitted and covered with scale that can’t be removed, should be replaced.

FAQ’S: Frequently Ask Question About Soldering Iron

Q.1- How do I choose a soldering iron?

When choosing the best soldering iron for you, one good place to start is with the types of soldering projects that you want or need to do.

Consider a rechargeable, cordless soldering iron if having a cord interferes with making fine, carefully placed joins. You also might want a cordless iron if you find yourself carrying your soldering iron to your soldering project or making joins in places that are difficult to reach or that lack electrical outlets.

If you focus on only one type of soldering, you can focus on soldering irons that have the voltage, temperature settings, tips, and other accessories meant for that type of work.

If you use your soldering iron for multiple purposes, you will need one that can be set for a wider range of temperatures with both conical and chisel tips at a minimum. You also might want a soldering station.

Another factor to consider is how often you will use your soldering iron. If you will use your soldering iron frequently, you might want to consider purchasing a fume extractor. If you use your soldering iron less frequently, a well-ventilated room could be sufficient. Also, if you use your soldering iron frequently, you might want to invest in a higher quality model.

When you know what type of soldering iron and accessories that you need for the soldering you intend to do and how often you will be soldering, you can browse the market for soldering irons that meet your needs to determine the range of prices, and then you can set a realistic budget for your purchase.

Taking these steps will help you to narrow your choices to the soldering irons best suited to you.

Q.2- What is a good soldering iron for electronics?

When purchasing a soldering iron for creating electronic circuit boards, you should look for one that that operates at lower temperatures that are safe for electronic components.

Because you only need to apply heat to the join for a few seconds, you can use a low-wattage iron — one between 15 watts and 40 watts. The lower the wattage, though, the longer the iron will take to heat up when you turn it on and in between joins.

A cordless soldering iron eliminates interference from the cord when you want to make a precise join in a small area, but if you usually make large numbers of joins on your circuit board, you won’t have to worry about needing to recharge the battery in the middle of your project if you use a soldering iron with a cord.

Whether the soldering iron that you’re considering has a single tip or a selection of interchangeable ones, when you want to make joins on a circuit board, you should look for a conical tip. A conical tip applies the heat to a smaller area, which also helps to protect electronic components.

Q.3- How many types of soldering are there?

There are three types of soldering, and each uses a different alloy and requires a different temperature.

Brazing produces the strongest joins. It’s used for creating or repairing joins in wrought iron and cast iron pieces such as weight-bearing outdoor furniture. It uses a brass alloy and requires the high temperatures produced by welding torches. Those high temperatures heat the pieces to be joined to a white hot heat, so dark goggles are required to protect your eyes.

Silver soldering uses a silver alloy and mid-range temperatures that also are produced by a torch. It produces joins that are stronger than soft soldering, but that are not as strong as those formed by brazing. Machinists and plumbers use silver solder for the strength of the joins. Jeweler use it because it joins precious and semi-precious metals without damaging them.

Soft soldering can use a lead-free alloy or an alloy made up of 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead. Soft solders melt with the low temperatures produced by soldering irons, but they produce the weakest joins. Because they melt at lower temperatures, soft solders are used for joins on electronic circuit boards. Lead-based soft solders can dissolve and disfigure precious metals, however, so only lead-free soft solders or silver solder should be used for jewelry making.

Solder may have either an acid or a rosin core.

If you are soldering copper pipes, use acid core solder. Acid core solder, however, allows oxidation, and that causes electronic circuits to corrode.

Rosin core solder prevents oxidation and corrosion by acting as a “flux” that removes any metal that already has been oxidized from the surfaces being joined, improves the ability of the solder to “wet” the metal surfaces being joined, and creates an airtight and watertight seal between the joined surfaces to prevent future oxidation and corrosion.

Q.4- Is a 30-watt soldering iron enough?

A 30-watt soldering iron is considered a low-wattage iron. The wattage doesn’t determine how much heat your soldering iron produces, though. Instead, it determines how much power the iron has for heating the tip, maintaining heat, and reheating the tip.

If you are most interested in soldering electronic circuit boards, you should only need to apply heat for a few seconds, so a 15-watt to 40-watt soldering iron has all the reserve power you need.

If, however, you will be working on joins that require heat to be applied for a longer period of time, you will need a soldering iron with a higher wattage.

Q.5- How hot should my soldering iron be?

As already mentioned, your soldering iron should be set at the lowest temperature that successfully melts the type of solder you are using.

Eutectic solders that contain 63 percent tin and 37 percent lead melt and solidify at 361°F (183°C).

Solders with a mixture of 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead melt at temperatures that range from 361° to 374°F (183°-190°C).

Solders with a mixture of 50 percent tin and 50 percent lead melt between 361° and 419°F (183° -215°C).

Lead-free solders melt at temperatures around 482°F (250°C), but joins made at these high temperature take longer to cool, increasing the risk of a weak join.

Lead-free solders that contain bismuth melt at a lower range of temperatures, but they are used when joining pieces that have been previously soldered that aren’t going to be desoldered.

In general, soldering irons are used for soft soldering, named for the use of soft lead alloys. The alloys used for soft soldering melt at temperatures below 752°F (400°C).

Final Verdict:

The selection of versatile accessories that come with the Anbes 60-Watt Soldering Iron Kit With Multimeter and Desoldering Pump make it our choice as both the best portable soldering iron and the best soldering iron kit. The kit comes with a chisel tip and a bevel tip, but the iron is compatible with other Anbes 900M series soldering tips. The kit also includes a soldering iron holder, a desoldering pump, a digital multimeter, two multimeter pins, a pocket screwdriver with eight magnetic flathead and Phillips screwdriver tips in varying sizes, a wire stripper and cutter, a tube of solder, a length of red wire, a length of black wire, a pair of tweezers, and a sponge. The solder iron holder has a tray for the sponge. The multimeter can measure resistance, test both AC and DC voltage, and test the voltage of 5 volt and 1.5 volt batteries. Both the soldering iron and soldering station are compliant with FCC and European Union RoHS standards.

The PPSK 500-BTU POWER PROBE Butane Soldering Kit is a portable combination soldering iron and welding torch with a range of temperatures suitable for all three types of soldering – soft soldering, silver soldering, and brazing. For these reasons, we have chosen it as
the best professional soldering iron.

The Hakko 67-Watt Adjustable-Temperature Soldering Iron has many features that we like, but one in particular earned it our choice as best pencil soldering iron. Pencil soldering irons necessarily have any controls they contain on the body of the soldering pencil. Once you use the dial to set the temperature on this Hakko soldering pencil, though, you can lock the setting by removing the dial. You can`t accidentally change the temperature as you work. If you need to adjust the temperature, however, you can insert the dedicated lock key into the temperature control to turn it. In addition, this soldering pencil can be set to temperatures ranging from 464°F to 1004°F (240°C-540°C), which are high enough for silver soldering. A thermocouple automatically checks the temperature of the tip every three seconds to ensure that the correct temperature is maintained.

The Hakko FX-888D 23BY Digital Soldering Iron Station represents a digital update of the Hakko FX-888D, and it earns our choice as the best soldering station. The compact soldering station and separate soldering iron holder take up less space on your workbench. Nevertheless, the holder has space for both a sponge and a metal wool pad. You can store up to five settings that you use frequently in the soldering station’s memory, and you can set a password to protect your settings so that they can’t be changed while you’re working. A ceramic heating element heats the tip quickly, and a sensor constantly monitors the tip’s temperature. If the temperature drops too low, the sensor alerts you with a low temperature signal while also signaling the heating element to heat the tip. The soldering iron is compatible with all Hakko T18 tips.

The TasiHome SOLREP2000 60W Soldering Pencil includes the temperature monitoring functions of a soldering station within the body of the pencil. It includes the three most commonly used soldering tips – a conical tip, a chisel tip, and a bevel tip. In addition, this iron is compatible with other SOLREP2000 soldering tips. An anti-static lead wire can be attached to your project to prevent damage to electronic components when you are making joins on a circuit board, but when it’s not needed, the lead wire can be wrapped around the power cord. These features earn the SOLREP2000 Soldering Pencil our pick as the best micro soldering iron.

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