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Old 08-23-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
Arct1c_f0x
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Question Recommendations on my first Soldering gun?


Hey ya'll! Recently I've gotten into building Arduino devices and programming with C++.

I've got a couple devices that I've prototyped on breadboards but now I want to make them a reality with a soldering iron!


Having read what I just wrote and understanding my usecase, what model Soldering gun do you recommend??

Price is important but it's not by far the most important criteria.

What should I be looking for in a Solderin gun?


My humble gratitude,

Arct1c_f0x
 
Old 08-23-2020, 01:59 PM   #2
michaelk
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It depends on your solder and whether it contains lead. You should also get Flux that goes with the type of solder.

I would go with a station with temperature adjustment.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 02:11 PM   #3
rtmistler
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Concur with the distinction of a station.

One doesn't buy a solder gun for electronics.

I'd say 75-90 Watts would be a good target range.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 02:42 PM   #4
Arct1c_f0x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
It depends on your solder and whether it contains lead. You should also get Flux that goes with the type of solder.

I would go with a station with temperature adjustment.
When you say station what do you mean exactly? Like something that is a more permanent structure that does the soldering>?
 
Old 08-23-2020, 03:04 PM   #5
michaelk
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Something like
https://www.amazon.com/X-Tronic-3020...8212953&sr=8-3
 
Old 08-23-2020, 03:08 PM   #6
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arct1c_f0x View Post
When you say station what do you mean exactly? Like something that is a more permanent structure that does the soldering>?
A solder station typically has a base unit with a dial for setting the desired iron temperature with the traditional wire loops to hold the iron when not in use. Some will have a place to hold a small sponge that you use to wipe away the oxidized "schmutz" (flux residue mainly, I think) that builds up on the tip while you're using it.

See an example here.

Cheers...
 
Old 08-23-2020, 03:43 PM   #7
rtmistler
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The one michaelk references is good, but also you can go to DigiKey.com (more expensive) but you'll see a lot of stations there too. I think the lower wattage ones that don't go as high as 700 degrees may be OK, but problematic. There are some items which work better with a higher temp. By the way, you may wish to consider also one of those 10x or 25x magnifier LED lights, https://www.amazon.com/Delixike-Larg...%2C199&sr=8-25, it'll help you see stuff. The other thing about the station referenced by michaelk is that it has grabber clamps for stuff. Usually very helpful things to have.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 03:49 PM   #8
EdGr
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The least expensive option would be a pencil iron in the 20-25 watt range. See here.
Ed
 
Old 08-24-2020, 03:10 PM   #9
jefro
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It is a temperature issue along with the size of the joint you wish to adhere.

A good station has ESD protection, the ability to properly set and maintain the temperature for your (eutectic usually) solder and types of joints.

Smooth gleaming concave fillets free from pits protrusions stress lines and de-wetting.

You may have to shape the tip to match the use.
You may have to carefully tin the tip before and after each use.
Will have to clean the solder prior to use and connections using flux and or mechanical methods.
Safety glasses and proper venting and gloves.

If you use lead then you also need to understand how to handle it. If you are unsure what is there then assume danger.

Last edited by jefro; 09-02-2020 at 02:59 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2020, 11:56 AM   #10
masterclassic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdGr View Post
The least expensive option would be a pencil iron in the 20-25 watt range. See here.
Ed
I bought long ago such a soldering iron ("Antex"), low power (18W or 25W, I don't remember now), as I sometimes need to use such a tool. It takes replacement tips, so I can use a fine tip or a wider one. I thing it's enough for occasional use. I remember that electronics magazines insisted on the low wattage, especially for use with microchip direct soldering operations. By the way, my first soldering iron as a teenager was a real "gun" or 125W, good for the work with vacuum tubes! Using it with transistors would be rather deadly.

Of course, if you have in mind to do a lot of work and you an arrange a permanent place for electronics, a station would be a good solution. It is much more professional. I had the opportunity to use it in an academic laboratory during studies. If you aren't sure, you can begin with a simple iron and look for something more sophisticated later, if you progress. Spare equipment is never a bad idea.
 
Old 09-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #11
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The best Weller you can afford. You do not need very high wattage for small electronics, but temperature control is a must.

I'd go with at least 40 watts and with a station type package with the sponge and the holder. Any serious iron will come with a base box anyway.

Don't forget to get extra tips.

Last edited by Fat_Elvis; 09-02-2020 at 11:28 AM.
 
Old 09-02-2020, 03:01 PM   #12
jefro
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By the way the solder could have metals in them that you should learn to use safe practices. Even the solder tips may contain very toxic metals. Keep all that and the fumes away from children and women. Wash hands after using. No food at table.
 
Old 09-02-2020, 04:51 PM   #13
onebuck
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Moderator Response

Moved: This thread is more suitable in <General> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 09-02-2020, 09:22 PM   #14
enorbet
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If you plan to do a lot of soldering and for the foreseeable future you probably ought to buy a soldering station above $100 USD. It will make learning much easier, protect the things you solder and pay you back in pretty short order.... but...

If you just want to "stick a toe in" this complete kit station for 50bux is pretty decent from Amazon

https://tinyurl.com/yytxywnq
 
Old 09-04-2020, 11:51 AM   #15
Fat_Elvis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
By the way the solder could have metals in them that you should learn to use safe practices. Even the solder tips may contain very toxic metals. Keep all that and the fumes away from children and women. Wash hands after using. No food at table.

Children and... women?
 
  


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