Soldering is basically part of our day to day lives. Take a look at any electronic device that has a circuit board, and you will be sure to find an aspect of soldering to it.
Soldering is basically the process of joining more than one electronics part together by way of meeting some solder right around the connection.
A solder is some kind of metal alloy that creates an unbreakable electrical bond when it cools off. A major part of the entire soldering process is thanks to the soldering iron.
This is basically a hand tool that you plug into some power outlet to melt solder into your electrical connections.
In our enlightening article, we have put together a list of some top 11 soldering irons.
- 11 Best Soldering Irons
- #01. BAYKA 60W 110-120V Soldering Iron
- #02. Weller SP80NUS 80-Watts LED Soldering Iron
- #03. 60W Soldering Iron with Ceramic Heater
- #04. Hakko FX601-02 Adjustable Temperature Controlled Soldering Iron
- #05. Soldering Iron 60W, Electric Soldering Iron Precision Tip
- #06. Tooluxe 40420L Cordless Soldering Iron
- #07. M12 Soldering Iron
- #08. Weller SP40NUS Soldering Iron (40-Watt)
- #09. Weller WP35 Professional Soldering Iron (35-Watt)
- #10. LDK Soldering Iron (60w)
- #11. Pro Line Soldering Iron (15-Watt)
- Types of Soldering Irons
- Key Features To Be On The Looks Out For In Your Choice Of Soldering Irons
- Your Safety Matters
- Maintaining your Soldering Iron
- Soldering Iron FAQ’s
- Concluding Thoughts
11 Best Soldering Irons
When it comes to soldering irons, there are quite a number of products that exist in the market. To be honest, it can get quite daunting to make your choice of the best tool with a cut above the rest.
In our list below, we have compiled a list of some of the best soldering irons in the market based on well-researched information on what each tool has got to offer.
#01. BAYKA 60W 110-120V Soldering Iron
Are you an electronics maker, tinkerer, DIY repairs enthusiast or just a hobbyist in search of the perfect soldering iron? The BAYKA 60W 110-120V Soldering Iron is the solution you seek.
This soldering iron comes with accurate adjustable temperature; there are 9 temperature levels that you can quickly interchange heating up from 0F to 896F in just 30 seconds.
With this tool, it is so easy to adjust the temperature as the increments from 482F to 896F are exactly one degree apart eradicating the need to look for the correct dial setting with each new soldering job.
All the materials that it is made from are flame retardant. It comes with an auto sleep function which reduces the chances of high temperature corrosion by way of reducing the iron’s temperatures to 392F.
The functionality of this soldering iron with a pencil tip is way much better than that of an entire soldering station. It is able to hold heat at constant temperatures for smooth soldering tasks.
#02. Weller SP80NUS 80-Watts LED Soldering Iron
The Weller SP80NUS 80-Watts LED Soldering Iron is ideal for anyone looking for industrial quality, heavy duty, and multipurpose tool.
This soldering iron comes with 3 5-mm high temperature and long-life LED’s for top notch soldering accuracy and illumination of the application.
The grip has a ribbed handle that ensures maximum comfort as well as reduced slippage.
The handle has a triangular shape that enhances tip control. It uses the best heater technology, heating up to levels of 900F.
#03. 60W Soldering Iron with Ceramic Heater
The 60W Soldering Iron with Ceramic Heater is a must-have tool for makers and pro engineers.
This soldering iron guarantees you of high-quality soldering at 60W in addition to its highly durable ceramic heating element.
It comes with an adjustable temperature range that ensures that there is smooth soldering across an array of tasks.
The 60W Soldering Iron with Ceramic Heater comes with some five extra tips, all of the different kinds to suit different purposes.
#04. Hakko FX601-02 Adjustable Temperature Controlled Soldering Iron
The Hakko FX601-02 Adjustable Temperature Controlled Soldering Iron represents the next generation of the adjustable and temperature-controlled soldering irons in the market.
This soldering iron has ten different temperature settings, all that range between 464 and 1004 degrees Celsius.
It comes with iron tips that are alloy-coated to enhance durable protection from any kind of corrosion.
The 67W ensures that too is quite energy efficient.
#05. Soldering Iron 60W, Electric Soldering Iron Precision Tip
If you are looking for the most diverse soldering iron when it comes to performance, then the Soldering Iron 60W, Electric Soldering Iron Precision Tip is without a doubt your perfect choice.
This soldering iron has an array of uses including soldering loose wires and small gauge circuits, repairing jewelry, working with PCB projects, replacing TV accessories, repairing LED lights, working on tiny parts of RC vehicles, small drones and also assembling intricate computer parts.
It comes with a US plug whose wire can prevent leakage and short circuits guaranteeing you of electricity safety.
The iron is housed in stainless steel which prevents the soldering iron from aging and also prolong the heating cores’ lifespan.
#06. Tooluxe 40420L Cordless Soldering Iron
If you are looking for a high performing soldering iron best suited for quick to fix DIY tasks, then this device makes an excellent choice.
Tooluxe 40420L Cordless Soldering Iron offers an array of features for an entirely smooth experience.
This soldering iron is battery-operated allowing it heat up to 565 degrees Celsius in just about 7 seconds.
It has quite a number of uses including repairing jewelry, RC cars, appliances, alarm systems as well as basic wiring.
#07. M12 Soldering Iron
If you are in search of a top performance soldering iron, the M12 Soldering Iron is definitely a good bet.
This soldering iron takes only a short time to heat up, just about 18 seconds. It comes with a 90w output with a maximum temperature of up to 750F.
Its runtime is up to 45 minutes when not loaded and running on a 15 Ah battery.
It uses Milwaukee’s unique technology which enables the device to monitor the tip’s temperature, protecting it from overheating or even damaging the wires.
It comes with a 3-stop pivoting head which allows the tip to take on different orientations for better task execution.
#08. Weller SP40NUS Soldering Iron (40-Watt)
The Weller SP40NUS 40-Watt Soldering Iron is specifically made for medium duty kind of consumers, bringing with it quite some top-notch technology.
Despite the fact that it is medium duty, this soldering iron comes in quite handy in an array of tasks; crafts repairs, home appliance repairs as well as small engine repairs.
The 3 LED light displays provide optimal application illumination and superior accuracy
#09. Weller WP35 Professional Soldering Iron (35-Watt)
Ideal for professional soldering, the Weller WP35 35-Watt Professional Soldering Iron is capable of handling an array of electronic tasks to satisfaction.
This soldering iron is quite durable due to the fact that it uses life-long iron-plated tips from ST series. It comes with a plug-in heat element that is easy to change.
#10. LDK Soldering Iron (60w)
The Soldering Iron 60w Replaceable Precision Tip Electronics Circuit Repair 110V Plug Pencil Welder is one device that you can count on for your day to day soldering needs.
This soldering iron is not only lightweight but also easy to use. It comes with an ergonomic handle for convenient task execution even on the most challenging of tasks.
The copper tip has both an iron and nickel plate that enhances perfect heat transfer. It can be used for most electronic soldering including watch repair.
#11. Pro Line Soldering Iron (15-Watt)
The Pro Line Soldering Iron is quite an ideal choice for your basic repairs as well as DIY projects that require top notch precision.
This soldering iron can heat up reaching the 824F mark. It comes with a replaceable iron-plated tip for enhanced durability.
It is already pre-tinned, seeing to it that your soldering iron’s life span is well taken care of.
Types of Soldering Irons
When it comes to electronics circuits, there are different types of soldering irons for them. Here are the most common types:
Pencil Soldering Irons
These soldering irons connect directly into a wall socket. They do not come with the ‘adjustable temperature’ feature.
Adjustable Pencil Soldering Irons
These soldering irons are quite similar to the pencil type above. The only difference is that the adjustable pencil soldering irons, just like the name suggests, have adjustable temperatures.
If you are in search of a portable soldering iron, the cordless iron would be the perfect choice. However, they do have one downside; they do not perform as good when compared to regular soldering irons.
This is basically a two-in-one kind of tool made up of two parts; the soldering iron itself and the base. The base usually comes with a cleaning sponge, holder and temperature dial.
Key Features To Be On The Looks Out For In Your Choice Of Soldering Irons
Before settling on a particular soldering iron, there are some features that you need to familiarize yourself with.
You need to consider the purpose for which you intend on using the soldering iron for. Is it for small tasks like repairing or is it for complex tasks such as building and soldering your own circuits? Your choice of tool is dependent on its usage and how often you’ll be using the soldering iron.
A good soldering iron should have at least 30 watts of power. Soldering irons that have a lower wattage than that take much longer to heat up and their ability to retain the hot temperatures is inconsistent.
The soldering iron should be one that is quite compatible with a wide array of soldering tips. There are different tips, all of which come in a variety of sizes and each has a specific job that it is designed for.
Look for a soldering iron that is flexible when it comes to tip compatibility as some are quite limiting given that they are only compatible with tips from the same brand. This in the end results to be more expensive.
This is quite a key feature that you ought to be on the lookout for. There are different soldering jobs, all of which require different iron temperatures. As such, a soldering iron that has the temperature control feature will definitely be a better option.
Your Safety Matters
When soldering, there is the constant worry of messing up and ending up with damaged equipment. While this is a credible threat, the real danger is to yourself. It is therefore important to take on some safety measures while using soldering irons.
Always make sure that you put on safety glasses each time you are soldering. Use protective gloves for your hands; soldering irons do get really hot considering that the solder itself is molten metal.
Additionally, some solders can contain lead which is why protective gloves as well as thoroughly cleaning your hands afterwards are both important safety precautions.
Always work in a well-ventilated room each time you are handling matters soldering. The fumes emitted from the rosin can be quite hazardous to your body, especially the lungs when inhaled.
Alternatively, it is highly recommended that you use a fume extractor. This is basically a fan which comes with a charcoal filter that helps in absorption of all the harmful solder smoke.
Maintaining your Soldering Iron
Like with any other tool or equipment, durability is one key factor that almost everyone if not everyone takes into consideration.
However, the longevity of your equipment is dependent on maintenance. With proper maintenance practices, the durability of your equipment is an absolute guarantee.
Always ensure that your soldering iron is cleaned up after use. Cleaning is a necessary maintenance practice as is comes in handy with proper heat conduction.
Old solder oxidizes after being exposed to air creating a kind of insulation against the heat.
Cleaning your soldering iron makes it more efficient to use as the heat is conducted quickly and evenly; you do not have to hold on to the iron for hours on end before task completion.
The best way to clean your soldering iron is by use of a wet sponge. After the iron has completely heated up, scrape it softly against the sponge to get rid of the old solder.
The tip should always remain clean and shiny or at least very close to that state.
Tinning helps with tip protection allowing for better conduction of heat. The process is neither tedious nor difficult to accomplish.
All you need is to apply some little fresh solder on the tip as if you are coating it. The end result is a nice and shiny tip.
Each time you are done soldering, clean the iron the tin it to help increase your tool’s longevity.
Soldering Iron FAQ’s
Why is soldering important?
Soldering is a process that entails joining two or more items by way of melting a filler metal on to the joint. Soldering is important because it helps in creating a permanent bond or connection between electronic components.
How can I prevent my soldering iron from oxidizing?
The easiest way of going about this is protecting the tip by covering it with a layer of solder, a process known as tinning. Always ensure that after cleaning your soldering iron, it is well-coated with fresh solder to prevent wear and better yet boost its longevity.
Do I need to tin a brand-new soldering iron?
Yes! Even immediately after unboxing a new soldering iron, the very first cause of action is tinning it before use in a bid to protect it from oxidation.
What causes melting in soldering iron tips?
Basically, the higher the tip’s temperature gets, the faster oxidation happens. Very high temperatures can even result to the iron tip oxidizing at twice the normal rate. In order to avoid this, you need to adjust your soldering temperature to one that is at the bare minimum of the temperature that is ideal to melt the solder.
Why do soldering irons come with different wattages?
A soldering iron with a higher wattage is bound to give you better thermal recovery as compared to one with a lower wattage. The wattage is quite an important feature especially when you are performing a task that tends to draw out the heat from the iron faster than it can actually produce it.
What are the most common tips for soldering irons?
Most soldering irons come with an interchangeable part called the soldering tip. These actually come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each offering a specific purpose and with a distinct advantage over the other.
This tip is quite fine, offering you top-notch precision given its pointed end. With this kind of tip, heat is delivered to the desired connection without having an adverse effect on the surroundings.
This one has a broader kind of tip making it ideal for soldering wires or even larger components.
Soldering irons come in a variety of types, shapes, sizes, and uses.
As a tool that requires some level of expertise before you can purchase, it is necessary that you weigh all the options available and make a perfect choice based on an assessment of all crucial features.