#1
Since I've been at this soldering game so many years (About 30), all the soldering irons I now have have died (the last one about 2 days ago).

Currently I am looking at the following two irons:

http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-Analog-Soldering-Station/dp/B000BRC2XU/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1398510245&sr=1-2&keywords=weller+soldering+station
www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-23BY-Digital-Soldering-FX-888D/dp/B00ANZRT4M/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1398510115&sr=1-1&keywords=hakko+soldering+station#productDetails

I've been a Weller man pretty much all my life, but the one thing that concerns me...
1. the standard tip it comes with: Is it small enough for doing PCBs?
1a. while I do see individual tips all over the place on amazon, I don't see any multiple tip packs.
1b. I don't want to spend another $30 on single tips to cover all my needs.

2. The Hakko looks intriguing and Amazon does have several tip pack available for around $10 or so.
And right now, that's the only reason I am looking at Hakko.


Anyone care to give me the pros and cons on either of these two?
Or if you have suggestions on other irons, that would be great.

Thanks


Edit:
I really need to keep in under $100 if possible.
I'm also flat ass broke right now, so I'm not even sure where I am gonna get the money for that ATM.
Probably have to sell a guitar to get it.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Apr 26, 2014,
#2
My brother works on electronics for a living, he has the weller with a digital readout. I asked him what a good solder station for me would be with out breaking the bank and he pointed to this if I wanted a digital station
www.amazon.com/Aoyue-9378-Programmable-Digital-Soldering/dp/B00BSW69LI/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1398512099&sr=8-7&keywords=soldering+station
or this if I wanted to save the most money
www.amazon.com/Soldering-Station-Features-Continuously-Variable/dp/B0029N70WM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1398512099&sr=8-3&keywords=soldering+station
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
I well definitely keep both of those in mind.
Particularly the Aoyue based on its ratings and the extra tips.

I was mainly looking at the Wellers, since I have only had 3 of them in all of 30 years, and each one of them lasted for 20+ years (one for nearly 30 years).
(Unfortunately parts for those are hard if not impossible to come by for a reasonable price)
The Hakko, because it seems to be popular around here.

But like I said, I am also open to other manufacturers.

Thanks Robb.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Apr 26, 2014,
#4
I haven't used the Hakko, but that Weller is very nice. If it's the one I think it is, it has 850 degrees on the dial, which is nice for soldering to things that act like big heat sinks (amp chassis, backs of pots, PCB connections to big power plains with no thermal relief, etc).

I can't be 100% sure I'm using it with the stock tip, but if I am, it's fine for PCBs by and large. The tip is a little bulky for surface mount stuff, especially very small surface mount stuff, but it's workable, and for anything through hole, it's quite sufficient.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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#5
I've looked at the Hakko, but I've been a Weller user for as long as you have and I figure why fix what's not broke (or likely to break!!).
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#6
I've used both brands, but I have a Weller at home. Hakko isn't bad, but I really prefer Weller, especially if you buy one that will take different tips. I have a WP35 right now and I just keep a decent stock of spare tips on hand.
#7
i have the wes51, just about the only thing i use it for is soldering pcb boards. i haven't needed another tip with my solder pencil.

i haven't tried a Hakko, so i can't really give you any input on that.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#9
I've been using Xytronic irons for 6 years now and haven't had any issues with them except for user error. Some of the stations don't have an auto-off and if you leave them on the iron tip can oxidize to hell and back and is useless afterwards.

I use this at work and also have a station at home I use to work on guitars/amps.

http://www.howardelectronics.com/xytronic/lf1600.html

They list a lot of their stations as "lead free" which basically means that it is built to be able to solder with lead free solder if necessary. All of our prototyping is done with leaded solder and it works amazingly well.
#10
Quote by Invader Jim
I've just used cheap Walmart irons all my life.



+1
Gear:

Guitars:
BC Rich Warlock
Dean 88
ME682-In Progress
Amps:
Carvin SX300
Etc:
Clayton 1.0mm picks
Planet Waves cables.
#11
Just want to mention that if you are working on electronics (i.e. op-amps, transistors, etc.) it may be best to get a grounded soldering iron. If you are just doing guitar wiring, a non-grounded one will be fine.