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Thread: Soldering iron

  1. #1
    Regular Member scott_150cdtisri's Avatar
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    Default Soldering iron

    hey all

    Im wanting to purchase a soldering iron but dont know if to get the tratitional type, a gas one or those cold ones. all the traditional ones ive used before have had massive tips on before and take ages to warm up (maybe cause they were cheap ones i dont know) appreciate any feedback cheers.

    scott

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    Maplins do a gas iron,it's about 40 quid,i used to use one daily never gave problems and new tips are only a fiver.Just clean your tip after use to make it last longer.

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    Regular Member scott_150cdtisri's Avatar
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    a little on the expensive side for me as im not going to use it that much just probably on the car

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    Regular Member James C's Avatar
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    I got a mains iron from Maplin's for about £15, you can replace the tips on them and there's a lot of options for tip sizes. I'd avoid the cold heat irons, they're more of a gimmick and don't give as good a joint as a mains or gas iron.

  5. #5
    On a Sabbatical VauxVeteran's Avatar
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    Mains all the way, unless you plan to use it where there's no supply, I know I got one from a discount shop for buttons a while back, still works fine.

    If you can't find one, I guess you'll have to solder on until you do

  6. #6
    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Depends what you want it for Scott.... If you are using it to splice wiring together I wouldn't bother with a soldering iron at all, just get on of those "super turbo windproof" cigarete lighters, hey only cost about 5 or 6 quid and are awesome for splicing cable and doing the heatshrink insulation (I used one to practically redo the whole loom on my old mini).

    If you will be doing work on PCB's and ribbon cable, then you can't beat a mains soldering iron for cheap convenience.... I have 2, one it a very fine tip for detail work, and one with a larger tip for more heavy duty joints. Both of mine are made by a company called Weller (i think) and are brilliant, and both have removable tips.

    As has already been said, just make sure you clean the tip after each use (I always have a wet bit of paper towel handy to wipe the tip down after each use).

    Also, make sure the solder you buy is suitable for the application you will be using it for, I have 3 different types of solder, of varying thicknesses, depending on what I'm using it for.

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    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    I wouldn't bother with a soldering iron at all, just get on of those "super turbo windproof" cigarete lighters, hey only cost about 5 or 6 quid and are awesome for splicing cable and doing the heatshrink insulation (I used one to practically redo the whole loom on my old mini).
    Never thought of that - do they generate enough heat to fuse wire together then?

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    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
    Never thought of that - do they generate enough heat to fuse wire together then?
    No, but they are great for soldering.... twist the two wires together with a piece of solder, then a quick blast with the lighter, you get a very tight very tidy in line splice/joint, once you put a bit of heat shrink over it you can harsly see the join (as long as your heat shrin k is the right colour!).

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    Regular Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Ive got a weller gas soldering iron , good bit of kit , you can do toast with it .....

  10. #10
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    Jamies just about said it all. It does realy come down to what you need it for.
    I have a gas one from Maplins for working on vehilce wiring & a mains one for PCB work. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't tried using the gas one for PCB work in desperate situations but then I'd have to admit to it not working.

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