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daveturnbull

Soldering iron / torch recommendations?

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I've been doing a bit of soldering recently, and seem to killing off my various cheap soldering torches one by one. 

Most of the work I'm doing is fixing up wiring looms, re joining cut wires. The small gas torch was good and quick but had a tenancy to melt insulation. The gas powered soldering iron was powerful and small but a bit fiddly. Both are deceased and I'm now onto an Aldi special 240v one which takes a lifetime to heat up and is a bit cumbersome. 

So, what are you guys using that's good and has lasted?

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2nd and 3rd vote for Portasol here, excellent bits of kit although you do have to watch where the exhaust port is pointed :ph34r:

If you want an electric one, for wiring Land Rovers in a draughty garage you want a big dumb 50W+ one that can get plenty of heat into a wire quickly.

Hacakaday.com have been all over the little USB rechargeable ones from China but I'm not sure they're going to have the oomph on bigger wires in a cold shed.

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That's mostly why I liked the little gas torch, I think it was am-tech or something equally cheap. You could get loads of heat into the wires quickly, then use the heat of the wire to melt the solder, which really draws it in. With the crappy soldering iron types I find I'm melting the solder on the iron then trying to get it to stick to the copper, which on a big wire it only does on the outside. 

So it seems like actual fire is the way to go. 

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Yes, you'll have no problems with that technique with the Portasol iron. 

Exhaust can be a bit of a fire risk as with any gas iron, but very handy for heating up the heatshrink. 

 

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I guess one of these is not what you're after then?! :ph34r: (apologies for any injuries sustained from seeing the price, wait until you realise that the price for the tips is per tip not per pack).

JBC NASE-2C Nano Rework station

I've got an old Weller that I use for bigger stuff and on vehicle work. The JBC Nase re-work station is a little overkill (or maybe underkill?) for LR stuff. Although it does heat up the tip from ambient to 350°C in the time it takes you to remove it from the holder to the PCB.

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2 minutes ago, daveturnbull said:

Only 350°C.... Portasol gas one is 580°C apparently. Much better £/°C ratio.

Nope, 450°C is upper limit but when you're soldering stuff that's 1 square millimeter or smaller then stuff tends to go poof at higher temperatures...

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