• Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

newbie question about soldering stations

Status
Not open for further replies.

Gaazfun

New Member
Hello, my old soldering iron stopped working last week. I have been seriously looking for a soldering station. I asked many of my friends. Most of them recommend Weller wes51. I know Weller is a good brand. But, after some research, I found another soldering station, hakko fx 888d. Looks like it is pretty decent too, according to this review, http://www.whichsolderingstation.com/hakko-fx-888d-soldering-station-review/ It is also less inexpensive than Weller's. I am wondering if any of you use it before. How is it? I would appreciate any input.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
I know they are too expensive for many, but I endorse the Hakko FX-951 soldering station as a good choice for professionals and serious hobbyist. While I am not familiar with the Hakko FX888D, I suspect it is also a good iron as I have not seen much bad design from Hakko.
 

JLNY

Active Member
I have used a Hakko FX-951 occasionally at work. They are reasonably good, but I find the "auto-turn off" feature when you put the iron back on the stand more of a nuisance than a help. I tend to be constantly taking my iron on and off the stand, so it's annoying to have to wait for it to heat back up every time you pick it up. That aside, the quick-change tips are a fantastic feature.

That said, I tend to prefer soldering stations with an analog potentiometer for setting the temperature rather than fiddling with buttons, so something like the WES51 would be more to my preference. I have used them before when I was in college, and I liked them a lot. That's definitely my recommendation if you want to stick to brand names.

At home, I just use a cheap generic "937D+" model soldering station, a slightly upmarket variant of the "Yihua" 936 with an LED segment display for the temperature readout. I've had it for years, and it has been more than fine for me. You can get whole packs of replacement tips for quite cheap, too.
 
Last edited:

Gaazfun

New Member
Hakko FX-951 is a little beyond my budget. But, thank you very much for the inputs. I may spend a bit more and stick with Weller WES51 this time.
 

spec

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The Weller WP51 is my go-to soldering iron and I prefer it to the digital readout versions because temperature adjustment is simpler.

In the UK the WP51 is an industry standard.

There are a wide range of tips available and, if you get genuine Weller parts, the tips last and perform well (sorry for pun).

The iron is good to handle and heats up really fast. The tip temperature also stabilizes accurately too.

The latest Weller solder stand is pants though, but the traditional spring type is fine.

The only problem with Weller stuff is the expense: even though you can get them second hand they are still expensive. They are much cheaper direct from Germany though.

The circuit for the controller base is pretty straight-forward and you can easily make one yourself, so that all you need to buy is the iron. Alternatively you can buy a second-hand set that is faulty and repair it quite easily.

spec
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The hakko is a good station, beware though there are some copies.
I have a cheap station I got from ebay, huakko I think it is, for the money its perfectly ok for smaller joints, it struggles on heavier stuff like multipole connectors.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
The Hakko FX-951 iron, while expensive compared to the irons many hobbyists buy, is actually good value. The key is their T15 series of tips. They are capable of delivering a lot of heat very quickly. The thermal recovery time, that is, the time from when you touch the tip to your work, to the time the tip is back up to its set temperature is very fast, even when you are soldering large metal areas. The actual heating element is built into the tip, not into the handle, and the temperature sensor is placed right behind the tip, that’s the secret.

A previous poster mentioned that his auto-turn-off feature was annoying. This feature, more accurately called a power-save or tip-saver, turns the temperature of the tip down when not in use. The timer is adjustable to 30 minutes in one minute steps, (which is the time delay from putting the iron back in its stand to where the iron is allowed to cool down), and if he had adjusted his timer to something reasonable, like 20 minutes, I’m sure it would not have been so annoying. I like this feature a lot because you can leave your station on all day and the timer will look after cooling the iron off when you don’t use it or walk away from your workbench. When you pick up the iron again after it has cooled down, or even when you have just switched it on for the first time, it only takes 12 seconds to come up to full temperature and be ready for soldering. That’s not annoying, its actually pretty neat.

Hakko stations with this technology compete with JBC and Metcal in the professional electronics market and these other brands also use similar technology in their tips. I don’t work for Hakko or have any stake in them, but after using Weller, Pace, Metcal, OK Technology, and JBC irons for over 40 years, I chose to invest my own money in Hakko because I like their performance, their feel, and their reliability.
 

JLNY

Active Member
Ah, I didn't realize that the power-save was on a timer and could be adjusted. Thanks for the info!

I instinctively put the iron back on the stand while I am picking and placing up components, so I find it odd that the default for the timer would be 0 minutes.

My bad for giving inaccurate information to the OP.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top