Author Topic: Most affordable temp controlled iron?  (Read 673 times)

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Offline kalel

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Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« on: January 28, 2018, 07:17:55 am »
I'm researching the currently most affordable temperature controlled soldering iron. Not necessarily purchasing just yet (what do I do with the power controlled iron?), but it might be interesting to discuss options, see if you guys have already found a good cheap unit, and just how low the price can go.

There are some "DIY" kits offered at various prices, using a T12 handle. Called "new Digital Soldering Iron Station Temperature Controller Kits"

Here is one variant ~$16


This variant seems to have everything except a 12-24 volt DC power source, and of course a case (unless the PSU is housed inside, I guess a cheap plastic case could suffice). If you have a laptop power supply or other suitable supply already, the price is likely less than $20 total.

I also found an even cheaper kit with a miniature version controller at $11, without a display:



One advantage of this one is that it is really tiny. The obvious disadvantage is that it doesn't have a display, and quality of such a small board is questionable.

I doubt that there is a much cheaper solution available than those two (might be, please share). But what are your thoughts, and is there any other option to consider at a really low price point?
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 08:55:57 am »
IMHO it also depends on whether it has to be useful or not. The biggest difference in soldering irons is in the quality of the tips .
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline kalel

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 09:16:04 am »
IMHO it also depends on whether it has to be useful or not. The biggest difference in soldering irons is in the quality of the tips .

It should be useful, yes. :) Preferably more useful than a cheap plug in type or power controlled iron (including those with a dimmer).

I guess all T12 compatible tips should work? They offer a huge choice of such tips. I've personally had few issues with cheap Chinese tips, and put more importance on the shape and availability of tips than anything else. Of course, maybe I was lucky enough not to run into some bad quality ones.
 

Offline sn4k3

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 11:12:56 am »
The accuracy and calibration of that kits are not the best, but they work good for hobby and small usage
 
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Offline daybyter

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 03:57:17 pm »
The yihua 936 is 16$ including the PSU? Plus 6 bucks for tips...
 
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Offline kalel

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 12:09:30 am »
The yihua 936 is 16$ including the PSU? Plus 6 bucks for tips...

Is that a local price? Searching for it on eBay/Ali I got around $45 even up to $60/70 (shipped). Could be just the wrong terms though, I searched for Yihua 936 station.

The accuracy and calibration of that kits are not the best, but they work good for hobby and small usage

The kit with the display has a little trimmer, possibly for calibration. As for the one without the display, I guess you would need to measure the temp and mark some positions yourself.

Since these kits are controller + handle, it might be worth checking the price of them separately.

The mini controller (no display) is just below $5 shipped, so
The LCD controller seems to start at just below $10 (there are more expensive variants with better displays too).

With the cost of handles being above $5 (especially with a tip), I guess that the kits are more economical than buying separately.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 02:50:52 am by kalel »
 

Offline daybyter

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Offline kalel

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 03:04:56 am »
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/soldering-station-with-adjustable-heat-range-with-eu-plug.html

You're quite right, that is a really good price, but it doesn't include shipping. Package is not lightweight so the price could be large (perhaps even much more than the iron itself). Still, even with shipping I'm not sure if it's any more expensive than full kits (ones that come with a transformer/PSU and case are much more expensive than $11 or $15 of course), but you could put something together cheaper if you already have a power supply (e.g. a laptop one). Still, it might be more convenient to have it all in one station.
 

Offline sreeb

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Re: Most affordable temp controlled iron?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 03:13:23 pm »
Not sure where you are located but if amazon is an option:

Weberdisplays Portable Soldering Station Sigma 850 w/ 3-Digit LED Display, Rapid Heat-up, Celsius / Fahrenheit Selection, Digital Calibration, 2 Plug-in Heating Elements / Tips, SMD, 55W
by Sigma Soldering
Link: http://a.co/1yG2GIC

You would also want a thermocouple meter  to calibrate it with but this is true of any reasonable priced iron.
 


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