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Which soldering station for a beginner?

Lockna

New Member
Hi! I'm just looking for a soldering station for me and my brother.
I will use the soldering station for small electronic things (like soldering pin headers) and he wants to use it for small mechanical things.
Since we don't live in wealth right now, I would like the soldering station to cost between 50 and 75 Euros.
The pain threshold would be 100-110 Euro.

At the moment I have two in mind
https://amzn.to/33NmhtB
https://amzn.to/3gPh7AP
What do you think of these?
Here again the question arises for me, is 60w enough or should we bet on 80w?
Best regards
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
Those should be fine for a beginner. Go for the 80w one if you are going to be soldering mechanical things as anything larger than a large terminal will start sucking the heat out of the iron.
 

Lockna

New Member
We have chosen this one. ^^
But which solder should I use? With Lead or lead-free?
Sorry, to ask beginner questions
 
Lead-free isn't fun to work with. If you're building anything for sale you'll need it, though. Otherwise use leaded solder and take appropriate health/safety precautions. I wear an exam glove (that I reuse) on the hand that holds/touches the solder. With either type of solder you'll need smoke/fume extraction.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Lead-free isn't fun to work with. If you're building anything for sale you'll need it, though. Otherwise use leaded solder and take appropriate health/safety precautions. I wear an exam glove (that I reuse) on the hand that holds/touches the solder. With either type of solder you'll need smoke/fume extraction.
There are few, if any, health implications from soldering - either leaded, or unleaded.

I was part of a study by the Health & Safety Executive in to soldering (to see if fume extraction was needed in a service environment) - the actual reason for the study was the FLUX (nor the lead, or the tin) - as apparently the flux 'could' possibly trigger asthma attacks in susceptible users.

The outcome of the study was that fume extraction wasn't needed for TV service work (and in fact the H&S Executive were unable to find a TV service engineer who even had asthma? - perhaps any such gave up due to attacks? :D). However, in a production environment fume extraction was required - but due to flux, not lead.

Incidentally, the study, and it's conclusions, led to the introduction of new types of flux been used - which is no where near as good as the older ones.

If you want to be paranoid though, feel free to use fume extraction and wear gloves :D
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
For leaded solders there is 60/40 which has been the staple for many years. 63/37 has a peculiar property is that the solidus and liquidus points are identical. It solidifies instantly. It's great for surface mount IC's. You want a non-acid core.

For ROHS or non-leaded solders, ones containing a small amount of Bismuth melts a little lower in temperature.

There are fluxes which are soluble in water. Fluxes are embedded into the solder e.g. rosin core solder.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
. I wear an exam glove (that I reuse) on the hand that holds/touches the solder. With either type of solder you'll need smoke/fume extraction
Why? What is the basis for your technique? If the "contaminated" exam glove does actually have any lead on it, what precautions do you use to prevent the lead particles from being aerosolized when you don/doff the gloves? How do you doff the gloves without touching the contaminated surface of the gloves? How do you clean the gloves between uses?

Any old curmudgeonly electronics guy I've ever met was weird long before the exposure to lead-based solder and I don't know any that had their mental capabilities inhibited by the lead.
 
Lead is a known health hazard with no save level of exposure. True you won't be able to measure how much your brain or rest of your nervous system has been affected from a single exposure, but I want all of my brain cells. The gloves are to prevent the lead from directly contacting my skin and then getting into my body. Gloves come off inside-out. Reverse to reuse. I don't think I'm touching any part of the exposed glove with my skin. Anecdotes of who was "mental" before lead exposure isn't science. Lead is bad.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Lead is a known health hazard with no save level of exposure. True you won't be able to measure how much your brain or rest of your nervous system has been affected from a single exposure, but I want all of my brain cells. The gloves are to prevent the lead from directly contacting my skin and then getting into my body. Gloves come off inside-out. Reverse to reuse. I don't think I'm touching any part of the exposed glove with my skin. Anecdotes of who was "mental" before lead exposure isn't science. Lead is bad.
if it is bad for you, it is bad for the next generation that live down wind of your PCB recycling station or downstream of the land fill you dumped the parts into. Why do you use lead-based solder at all? Either lead is bad or lead is "kind-of bad. Pick one with conviction - don't ride the fence and tell me one thing while you do another.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Lead is a known health hazard with no save level of exposure. True you won't be able to measure how much your brain or rest of your nervous system has been affected from a single exposure, but I want all of my brain cells. The gloves are to prevent the lead from directly contacting my skin and then getting into my body. Gloves come off inside-out. Reverse to reuse. I don't think I'm touching any part of the exposed glove with my skin. Anecdotes of who was "mental" before lead exposure isn't science. Lead is bad.
Lead is VERY bad if you ingest it - touching it has no ill effects whatsoever - there's been no scientific suggestion that lead poisoning can occur from touching solder, in fact quite the opposite (because I asked the H&S Executive).

As I've mentioned previously here, a local lead recycler for many years provided free milk to all children in that area (just in case, as milk is a good preventative), and even now performs constant monitoring at a large number of fixed stations around the facility and surrounding area.
 

Boxnut

Member
The two you have in mind are fine but they are cheap Chinese and difficult to work with.
You get decent soldering skills with them you could solder to mil-spec with high end stations.
Other than light PCB work I highly suggest a 60 watt or greater pencil.
Another hard suggestion is use 60/40 tin/lead rosin core solder.
If you can possibly afford it, I would go with Weller soldering station, the cheaper excellent for beginner. they last me years doing industrial electronic repair.
My favorite on the bench is the WTCP series with the TC201 40 watt pencil. temperature set by the tip.
Another great economy model is the adjustable WCC100 and 60 watt WCC101 pencil.
Tips and replacement parts/heaters are readily available for these. Including desoldering tips.
Used on ebay they run $50 to $150.
 

Boxnut

Member
Lead is VERY bad if you ingest it - touching it has no ill effects whatsoever - there's been no scientific suggestion that lead poisoning can occur from touching solder, in fact quite the opposite (because I asked the H&S Executive).

As I've mentioned previously here, a local lead recycler for many years provided free milk to all children in that area (just in case, as milk is a good preventative), and even now performs constant monitoring at a large number of fixed stations around the facility and surrounding area.
Lead poisoning is a different form of lead and political reasons it was classed as a hazard. Adequate ventilation is a good idea for the rosin fumes.
Don't know anyone into eating solder LOL.
 

Boxnut

Member
Lead is a known health hazard with no save level of exposure. True you won't be able to measure how much your brain or rest of your nervous system has been affected from a single exposure, but I want all of my brain cells. The gloves are to prevent the lead from directly contacting my skin and then getting into my body. Gloves come off inside-out. Reverse to reuse. I don't think I'm touching any part of the exposed glove with my skin. Anecdotes of who was "mental" before lead exposure isn't science. Lead is bad.
Any truth in that, I died decades ago from lead. I used to work with the stuff starting in the late 60s casting sinkers and bullets. My career is working with electronics and using lead/tin solder since late 60s, retired now and still do for my hobby.
 

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