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Soldering

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Hello Everybody

I am in the process of developing a new Soldering Iron as the final year project for my BSc (Hons) Product Design Engineering degree at Bournemouth University in the UK and am asking for some help...

I would really appreciate it if everyone could list the features they feel are most important for a hobbyist's soldering iron, either existing features or features they'd like to see.

If possible please list them in order of importance and if they're not self explanatory maybe a simple explanation of each point. Any other comments you have would be great too.

To get the ball rolling here's an example:

1: Silicone Cable
2: Temperature Control
3: At least 25W
4: Self supporting (no need for a stand)
5: No more than 1.5m of cable (any more gets in the way)
6: No more than £25
Etc. etc. etc.

Thank you very much in advance for your help, I look forward to reading your opinions.

Adam
 

Optikon

New Member
The features you list are good ones.

I'll add some to the mix.

1) Fast warm up time to setpoint temperature.
2) Smaller cable. Silicon type is good and smaller cable would also easier to work with.
3) Digital read out of temperature
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Buy one and have your name engraved on it.
My Weller is the same and is nearly 40 years old. It is still made today.
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
1. Fast heat-up and recovery
2. Adjustable temperature in a hand-held (no station) iron
3. Digital readout would be nice to know when the iron is up to temperature

Other than tip selection, everything else is secondary.
 

picasm

Member
I use Antex irons, they are simple and reliable for hobby use.
The features I like for an iron are:

1. Good selection of long lasting, cheap, strong,easily removable, interchangeable tips.

2. Compact, lightweight with thin, flexible lead.

3. Having it fit securely into a desk stand with built-in sponge.

4. Low electrical leakage for working on sensitive components.

5. Availability of different sized models according to wattage - I mostly use a small 18W type with a fine bit. But sometimes use a larger 25W model with a much larger bit.

The things that could be improved upon or added to a hobby iron are:

1. Heatup time. My newer irons seem to take much longer to heat up than my ancient, lower wattage type of the same make. Perhaps some modern materials in the heater element are not so efficient?

2. Automatic turn-off. I often forget to unplug it - some motion sensor based turn-off device could be useful.

3. An LED indicator to show that it is on - When you own more than one, it is easy to get them mixed up, so a power indicator would be useful.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
dknguyen said:
2. Adjustable temperature in a hand-held (no station) iron

The Antex ones I've used for years already have that, but are no longer made as it doesn't meet CE regulations :(

I've now got one with a seperate transformer/controller to replace the low voltage one at work, but I've still got my maions powered one at home!.
 

grim

New Member
fume extraction
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Soldering irons that get too hot make smoke when the flux is burned. Mine is temperature-controlled and doesn't make smoke, just a nice smell.
 
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