Home Forums Everything about everything else What soldering iron/station do you guys use?

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    Hi, I am in the process of practicing soldering before building my own tri-copter.

    One thing I have noticed is that my current iron is a pile of s***. Every solder I make with it never sticks to the metal but I rarely even get that far.

    What I am wondering is if there are any quality soldering iron/stations I can buy without having to fork out £90 for a fancy Hakko station.


    I use the Hobbyking Soldering Station with Adjustable Heat Range. It is out of stock of course…

    It lets you adjust the heat range, which comes in handy when soldering the ESCs that require a bit more heat. It also has a build in adjustment, that maintains the chosen temperature rather than just being “hot”.


    I have an older Weller station, and like Terje’s, it’s adjustable. The separate stand for the iron has a place for a sponge.

    You never have enough hands when you are soldering. There are little alligator clip things to help you, but I use this Panavise. The rubber grips don’t mark carbon fiber booms, and the trays at the bottom hold all those little pieces so you don’t lose them.

    Of course, all this gear costs as much as a tricopter. But I’ve had it for decades, so it doesn’t owe me anything!


    I was looking at that one Terje but then I watched this video where it is compared to a 30 year old Hakko

    Seems to be a huge difference but it is still very good value.

    Robert C


    I am not too sold on it though, for the bigger gauge wire (14 and bigger) I still use a 40 year old ~45W non-adjustable iron with a flat tip. I prefer the flat tips over the round tips, but I don’t have them for the velleman. For smaller work however it’s decent enough for me and it heats up a lot quicker than the old one so that’s pretty nice. And like @hsamuels, a proper iron should last you forever.


    I have the same as Terje, works great 🙂 I just solder my transmiter post this morning that I destroyed last week end 🙂


    I think I will go with the Velleman VTSSC40N. I found it for a good price here http://www.amazon.co.uk/PROFESSIONAL-DISPLAY-SOLDERING-IRON-STATION/dp/B003DH5N2M/ref=pd_sim_sbs_diy_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1VTBPW4DPHP0W019EHXP . However, I don’t see the brand name on it while it looks identical. Do you think it could be a rip-off?


    Well, not a ripoff. I think Velleman get theirs branded with their logo on it. It’s the same product underneath. I got the same model and looks as the Velleman, but from some company called dibotech.

    I don’t solder that much and it suits me well. It would probably break at some point.

    If I had the money I would just buy an expensive one and be set for life.


    Yeah, while in the long run it could be for the best but it is hard to really find the money to spend when the Velleman will be enough.


    I have an OKI MFR (now called Metcal) which is a joy to use.
    Heats up in seconds and make my previous HK soldering station (same as as in the video) look like a toy tool.

    Can be found second hand in the famous bay.


    I have been using 30watt soldering irons for ever. The trick is to clean everything and use flux on it. Also heat up what your trying to join together with the tip of the iron first. Only then add your solder. Otherwise it will form up to a small ball and fall off. Also having a fresh sanded and fluxed surface makes all the difference. Also get to know your solder. What kind is it. I use 60/40 tin/lead. It’s the original solder.

    Also what your soldering may have issues. For instance your not going to solder aluminum, it oxidize too quickly. Usually the flexible wire isn’t copper it looks silver and probably another type of alloy.

    Get some practice on saturating the ends of wire with your solder. If you seem to have issues get a small jar of rosin soldering flux. Dip the end of the wire in the flux then apply heat then solder. Solder should wick in to the wire like a sponge.

    Now if you do all that and you still have problems you may need to move to a 40 watt pencil iron.

    If your Going to solder small micro circuit boards and 12 gauge wire then look into a soldering station. Otherwise your spending a lot of cash.


    Here is a picture of my butane soldering pencil.

    Robert Price

    I use the Weller WLC100 and it works great; I changed the tip to a small pencil size for the small work.

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