#1
By best I mean what is the best wattage/voltage? I've heard you shouldn't have anything too powerful for simple electronic work, I'm working on pickups. Suggestions are highly appreciated!
#2
the weakest i've used was 15w , the highest about 60 (adjustable). I liked the 30w Nextec ones by the source a lot, they were around 6$ (canadian) and if they are the tips designed for lead sodler they last a long time.

my biggest "tips' are..
keep the iron clean , if any dirt gets on it use copper steel wool (dollar store)

have/use a wet sponge - the green and yellow kind work great to remove excessive solder and rosin from your tip

tin the iron tip the first time it turns on (lots of youtube videos)

and tin / strip every wire , tin every contact before soldering

be patient , let the iron heat up, test it by melting solder. For guitars the gauge of solder isn't too important I like the thick stuff personally , tin the iron again before trying to remove wires from the back of a pot as the solidified solder can be re-heated without damaging pots if you do it right. By adding a bit of solder you're getting the iron to go hotter.

but yeah as a hobbiest buy anything, don't worry about getting a fancy one as long as you get your sound out of your guitar. I had really good luck with a 6$ one from the source.

solder of choice
60/40 rosin core solder
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jul 22, 2015,
#3
A good cheap one will work for you...just the plug in kind. That is if you are just fixing your guitar, and not in a "professional" sense.

A small tip is the best in my opinion.

Other than that, everything that Tallwood said is spot on.
#4
I like 45w. 15 is too cold for me personally.
Quote by Tone Deaf
Someone has had too much jager in their slushy. :/
Quote by CL/\SH
First person on UG to be a grammar nazi and use the correct form of "your" in the correct context.

+ 70 virgins to you, my good sir.

Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Girls DO fap...I don't though.
#5
I've got a Hakko soldering station (don't remember the number) that's at least 30W - 60W. You want something that can come to temperature very quickly, that has enough heat that you're not leaving it sit on something waiting for the heat to come up (that's when you destroy pots) and that can do the job quickly and efficiently.

#7
I appreciate the input, still thinking about it. Mainly going for whatever is cheapest, just looking to put some pickups back into a guitar and then when I get another guitar I'll swap the pickups in it. Nothing serious but just curious to experiment
#8
Straight plug in type. 40 watts, conical tip is all you need for guitar electronics. Get a stand for it also.
'It takes 100 guitar players to change a light. One to change the light and 99 to stand around pointing, saying..."Yeah man, look...I can do that too"...'

My gear is in my Profile

Builds & Refurbs
Hondo 780 Deluxe
Gibson Studio
Epi LP100
#9
Id suggest a 30W cheapo iron if it's not going to be used much. Any lower and you might have an ass of a time soldering anything to the backs of the pots in the guitar. The cheap stuff usually has a conical point Ive noticed.

for the solder, the easiest Ive worked with is the .032" 60/40 rosin core from radioshack. don't know if that exists anymore though.
Marty Friedman is GOD!

curently in a SEX MACHINEGUNS and X JAPAN phase AND Galneryus AND Anthem phase

damn J-Metal, why you so awesome

My Gear:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1 fr
Ibanez RG321mh
Fender GDC-200sce
Peavey Vypyr 30 w/ sanpera 1
#10
I have an Antex XS25 which I think is fine for guitar work. Better irons are useful when you are soldering large conductors (e.g. heatsink) but for guitar work aren't really needed. Do yourself a favour and get leaded solder though. It's easier to work with and melts at a lower temperature. Just don't breathe in too many fumes!
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#11
Quote by PiercedBand
I appreciate the input, still thinking about it. Mainly going for whatever is cheapest,


The thread title was "best," not cheapest.

My only caution would be that you can easily ruin components with "cheap" if that means that you don't have enough heat to do the job quickly and efficiently. If you allow components to become heat-soaked, it's easy to ruin them. An iron that is capable of attaining and remaining at a working temp is best, regardless of price.
#13
Don't get a cheap iron. Good ones aren't much more and are way better. Weller/Hakko/Xytronic/Solomon.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#14
Weller are quite good value but I agree that you want 30W or higher. Anything smaller you stand more chance of overheating components as you heat sink them trying to get enough temperature for the solder to melt.

A flux pen can be quite handy and a stand with a sponge is a must. As noted previously, keeping the tip clean makes everything work so much better.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.