Sharing the comparison on genuine Hakko ceramic heater vs fake one when I built my second soldering iron Hakko model 907 for the 936 station. In my case, ideally should be two stations or single stations with two irons, but too bad its not an option now. So I thought why not just have two irons, switching them is not a big deal rather than have to wait the iron to cool down just to switch the soldering tip.
Went to local electronic flea market and bought a knock off Hakko 907 iron for just 2 dollars
, they're really dirt cheap. Also at the same time ordered from local Hakko authorised distributor the genuine ceramic heater element A1321 for about 17 dollars, almost 9 times the price compared to the whole fake 907 iron which is a complete unit with a tip.
At the end with $2 dodgy iron + $17 genuine heater element = $19, excluding genuine tip of course, it performs like a new genuine 907 iron, and so far I'm happy with this investment.
A quick glance of the 2 bucks fake 907 iron, just from the look, not bad isn't it.
Thumbs images at the bottom + comment/description :
01. Genuine Hakko 907 Iron vs Fake Tear Down.jpg
The darken tip enclosure and metal nipple show the genuine 907 iron at the bottom has been used for quite a while, while the new fake one at the top are still shiny. All black plastic material parts are actually quite similar by touch. The fake one is using stiff & cheap pvc cable for the connection to the station and shorter
, while the genuine iron uses a high quality silicon wire, but I can live with that. The photo was shot at sharp angle, hence the above fake parts look tad smaller than bottom ones, all items are interchangeable between them as both part's dimensions are identical. Definitely the fake one can used as a cheap source for parts replacement just in case the non critical parts are deteriorating like the rusted&darken solder tip enclosure or the nut.
02. Ceramic Heater Elements Comparison.jpg
Closer look at both ceramic heater elements, the top fake heater doesn't have any label while the bottom genuine one with the printed "Hakko 003" with some dark burn marks as this poor little ceramic heater has been working hard for more than 10 years. Took a resistance measurement at the heating element and the heat sensor and they're still within Hakko specification.
03. Hakko A1321 Genuine Used vs Fake Tip Close Up.jpg
Two close up shots at both tips with different lighting angles to show the difference. The genuine at the right has darken tip, not sure why is that. The fake one at the left has a really rough surface. And at the 2nd shot, you can see its so obvious that the fake's tip diameter is a bit larger than the body.
Using a genuine Hakko solder tip, I simply could not insert the fake heater because of that bulging & bigger diameter at the ceramic tip
, while no problem with fake solder tip cause it has larger diameter, same applies to other fake tips I got recently (posted here -> Genuine vs fake Hakko solder tip comparison
). Still the fake tips rattle and loose at the fake heater, while using fake tips on genuine heater, they rattle even more and very loose.
With poor thermal contact, this shows there is no way that a fake Hakko 926 (907) iron which has this fake heater and also fake tip inside can perform as level as genuine one, let alone the ceramic heater & sensor performance which I believe genuine one is much better.
04. Hakko A1321 Genuine NEW vs Fake.jpg
The comparison between the fake vs new & genuine A1321 Hakko ceramic heater, just look at the ceramic's surface, no contest here. The genuine has a very smooth surface, while the fake's surface is really rough, again, its clear that there is no way the fake heater can have a good surface contact inside the solder tip's surface even using the genuine one.
05. Hakko A1321 Ceramic Heater Tip Close Up.jpg
Close up shots on the genuine A1321 ceramic heater tip, it has a really smooth surface and also the unique outer layer that wrapped around the center ceramic rod. That outer ceramic layer has the embedded heating element and the sensor. Also from this angles, its obvious the diameter is consistent throughout the rod, not like the fake one which is bulging at the tip.
06. Hakko A1321 Ceramic Heater Internal.jpg
Finally, the translucent ceramic heater shots at bright background light show the inside unique traces of the embedded heater element and sensor that are wrapped around the center rod. No, fake one doesn't have this and gathered from the net, the fake just used cheap heating wire spun inside it.
Thats all, hope you find this useful.