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Soldering Iron UK
#1

Morning all

Does anyone have any recommendations for a half decent soldering iron that I can get in the UK? looking for a mains powered one.

My soldering skills are fairly rubbish at the best of times, however I'm blaming my tools as the little gas powered iron I have barely gets hot enough to melt plastic let alone solder (or my fingers  Bigsmile)

Thanks
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#2

Antex irons are the best bar none, I personally use an 18w for wires/pinions/little stuff, and a 100w for brass work.

Link to Antex eBay shop


Joel
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#3

Weller or Hakko also claimed to be 'best bar none'

I use an adjustable temp cheapish iron for everything except soldering brass chassis, then it's an old 60W Weller.

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#4

Having spend a large part of my career as an electronics engineer and used countless soldering irons over the years, I claim they're the best. Having used Weller in the past (still own 2), Antex is best, no contest.
British made too, support local people.



Joel
[+] 2 members Like merkit the grof's post
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#5

When my cheapo unit dies I know what to look for next...Antex  Thumbup

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#6

Over the years, more chassis have been built with the weller/ungar 45 watt iron , than all the rest combined.....unfortunately, the new wellers are not of the quality of the "vintage" versions. Today the iron of choice among most chassis builders (on the North American side of the pond) is the Hakko FX601.

As mentioned above, if you are just attaching lead wires, 15/20 watt irons are just fine, but, if you plan on doing any chassis work 45 watts + are required.

Whatever iron you choose, make sure it does not have a "pencil" tip..these are for circuit board use, and are marginal even for lead wires. A 3mm or 1/4 chisel tip will allow you to do most anything related to slots.

Proper Flux, and to a lesser degree solder are also important.

Cheers
Chris Walker

PS If you do choose the Hakko FX601,.....be aware that some Chinese repros are around,......the "official" FX601 is rated at 67 watts,...the Chinese unit considerably less.
[+] 2 members Like chrisguyw's post
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#7

I had a Lidls one and the tips kept burning.
So I spent the money on a Hakko FX601 and it was worth every penny.

The best tip I was told was as soon as you stop using it turn it off and clean the tip, I thought that would be annoying turning it off and on waiting for it to heat up but the Hakko heats up in about 10/20 seconds from cold.

I also prefer liquid flux.
Everyone works differently but you should be able to take the info and work out what you think will suit your skill set.

Good luck, buy once buy quality.
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#8

(10th-Jan-23, 10:35 PM)chrisguyw Wrote:  ...
Proper Flux, and to a lesser degree solder are also important.
...

I've tried all sorts of solder, the 'new tech low temp' solder is garbage, after struggling with a few different 'special' solders I gave up and bought good old fashioned 60/40 solder and it was so easy to use, the other stuff went in the bin.

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#9

Make sure that you can get replacement bits for whatever you get.
For light work I currently use a KSGER unit that uses the plug-in type T12 bits/tips which have built in temperature sensing and are available in several shapes of tip.

Leo

Forum Precepts:  Don't hijack or divert topics - create a new one.   Don't feed the Troll.    http://www.scuderiaturini.com
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#10

Many thanks all

Went for an Antex iron in the end.

Rob
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