How to Choose a Soldering Iron: A Buying Guide
With so many soldering irons on the market, here are buying guide to consider when purchasing a soldering iron. By keeping your eye on a few key facts, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and choose a right soldering tool.

What type of solder iron suits your needs?
Tools vary for different purposes

Soldering irons can be used to solder pipes, electronics components, electronic circuit boards, stained glass, tin wire tube, and even jewelry.

A small adjustable soldering iron might be perfect for a DIY enthusiast or someone interested in using it for arts and crafts.

A portable soldering iron kit is ideal for professionals who are regularly working on the road. Or maybe you want to look at soldering irons that will offer a lead-free solder.

A larger soldering station is perfect for use on a workbench and soldering stations are often better for professionals.

It’s important to understand the differences between these styles if you want one that’s right for your needs.

Type 1: Soldering Stations
Advantage of soldering stations

A soldering iron station features a soldering pencil attached to the power station. The power iron station acts as a stand, giving you a place to rest your iron when it’s not in use. This reduces the risk of accidental injury.

One of the most important advantages of a soldering iron station is that it delivers great temperature control. Since the end of the iron rests on the stand, it won’t come in contact with any objects. Also, this helps the tool maintain a steady temperature.

Disadvantage of soldering stations

Most soldering stations are bulkier than other models. This makes them a poor choice for anyone looking for a portable option. Also, while some models are available for around $40, a high-quality model can cost you up to $150. This makes soldering stations a poor choice for hobbyists who might be looking for more affordable soldering irons.

Advantage of Wireless soldering irons

Wireless soldering irons are perfect for craftsmen and technicians who need a portable tool. They don’t require a power cord and are powered by batteries instead, which makes them great for small, quick projects.

Disadvantage of Wireless soldering irons

The downside to wireless models is that they run through batteries quickly. Plus, they have a lower temperature range than other types of irons. This means that they’re best for tasks that only take around 20 minutes to perform.

Advantage of Adjustable irons

Adjustable irons have a temperature adjustment dial on the body. This style of soldering gun is a solid intermediate choice capable of handling various projects. Plus, they’re generally more affordable than a soldering iron station.

Disadvantage of soldering iron

The drawback to an adjustable temperature range is that they don’t have a soldering stand (base) or holster to hold your soldering iron. You need to buy it separately. This might not be an issue for an experienced user who has space on their workbench to mount the tool.
But beginners and hobbyists who don’t have a space they can dedicate for holstering the iron might be better off purchasing a soldering iron station.

Type 3: Pencil Iron
Advantage of a pencil iron

Users who are looking for an affordable option might prefer a pencil iron. They’re the cheapest type of soldering iron on the market and can be found at any hardware store. The pencil iron is plugged into the wall, making it a great soldering iron for beginners who don’t have space for a larger model.

Disadvantage of a pencil iron

The downside is that the kinds of projects this type of iron can handle are limited due to the lack of variable temperature control. And since it doesn’t have a stand or holster, a pencil iron can be a bit uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time. 

They’re a perfect soldering iron for beginners who might not use the tool too often or for those trying basic soldering projects.

What's key factor you need to consider when using it?

Consider Power and Temperature Range
1. Power

When using one of these soldering tools, you want it to heat up quickly and maintain an even temperature. That’s why the wattage of a soldering iron is one of its most important features. 

Soldering irons with higher power will be better for professionals. Some hobbyists might be tempted to save some money and purchase a model that offers less power.

Irons offering lower watts around 20 or 30 might get the job done but they take longer to heat up and lose heat faster, resulting in sloppy solder joints.

Most soldering tools today offer between 20 and 60 watts. A reliable model will offer between 40 to 50 watts. This will ensure that you have sufficient heat for your projects.

2. Temperature Range
You should consider two things: 1. Choose a model that has an adjustable temperature. 2. The model you’re looking at can maintain the temperature you want.

Some models aren’t accurate, causing the temperature to vary, resulting to problems since certain projects need specific heat levels for optimum results. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the model you purchase is well-made and offers variable temperature control.

Most power stations feature electronic variable temperature control or temperature adjustment. This feature allows you to select precise temperatures, eliminating guesswork.

How much you’re willing to pay

Just keep in mind that casual users can get away with purchasing a budget-priced option, while frequent users might be better off investing a bit more money upfront for a soldering heat gun that can withstand heavy-duty use. 

Your best bet is to purchase a model at the price point you’re comfortable with. With soldering irons ranging from $10 to over $100, there are quite a few options available. In fact, most users can get excellent results out of a mid-range model that costs less than $100.

It’s important to balance the performance of the tool with the number of available extras likes handle and soldering iron tips, and consider the features that you can’t live without and then purchase a high-quality model that offers these extras.

Hope you can find an electric soldering iron you are satisfied with, Phonefix is a mobile phone maintenance tools supplier, especially welding soldering products, you can find a variety of appropriate tools here.

Also Read: Top 5 Best LCD Screen Separator Machine Reviews in 2022

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