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Old 09-23-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
Tim the Rocker
I own a Cabriolet.
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Recommend me a Soldering Iron


Need a soldering iron for all guitar related work. I've heard they must be a 40watt, but I don't know anything... Please, recommend an all around good soldering iron, for a good, economic price. Please.

- Gibson SG Standard
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Staunton, VA USA
Digital soldering stations will be the best. Anything from Weller is generally good. They get pricey though. Any cheap 40 watt iron from Radio Shack would do the job really. I personally use a Weller P2KC butane iron. You fill it with butane gas and fire it up to solder. It gets hotter quicker and there is no cord to drag around in your way. I've had zero issues with it for anything guitar related. It also serves as a miniature torch and heat knife when you buy it in the kit. The kit runs about $60.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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I use a cheap Weller 25 watt Iron for all my guitar soldering. I also have a cheap $4 30watt iron that works just fine also. If your going to solder PCB stuff I would sugest spending the $$ and getting a digital read out from Weller
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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For just wiring guitars, I use a small 25w Weller that I got for pretty cheap and it works like a charm.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
Please, call me Pig.
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
I use a radio shack variable wattage soldering iron. It works better than my old, cheaper soldering iron that just stopped working for no reason. However, I never use anything below 40 watts, so the variable wattage is pretty much wasted.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:39 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hope, BC Canada
One thing to avoid is a (cheap) soldering iron that does not have a replaceable element. One day you will find that yesterday was a forgetful day, and it was on all night. Or the first part of the night, until it burn out. I didnt even know there was such a thing until I tried to find an element for my Weller SP23L. Does anyone want a Weller SP23L that doesn't work? Free, but you pay shipping.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
Shawn Hughes
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: near Oak Ridge, TN

The 'Watts' refer to the amount of heat they put out. The more heat you have, the faster you can heat up and make a connection. That's good, because it reduces cold solder joints, and lessens damage to components. Too much heat, though, can kill a component. I have a couple of soldering tools, a small one with a very fine point for component work, a medium pencil for delicate things, and a 100-150 watt (I forget now) gun for like vehicles and electrical projects. Heat control and interchangeable tips are ok. I rarely find myself using those features. The big thing is letting the tool heat up, and keeping the tip in good order, I find. Also, undersized tools wattage-wise are a pain in the ass. Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Personally, I like this one. It's worlds better than the $5 walmart model, has auto power off, indicates when it is at temp, has a cleaner built in, and has replaceable tips and elements.

I also have a weller butane and I tried a electric soldering unit where you had to make contact between two electrodes using the target, for a travel, just use the butane.
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