Author Topic: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90  (Read 7604 times)

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Offline DavidO

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Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« on: April 11, 2013, 01:22:25 am »
Hello everyone,

I want to start with electronics and I'm currently setting up a small lab. I ordered a few items already but I can't decide which Iron to get and I'll likely decide between the Hakko FX-888D and the PACE ST-25 + PS-90. I couldn't find any comparison between the two, even though they are both referred to as good Irons.

I'm from Belgium, and the price of the Hakko is significantly higher here than in the US or Australia (more than twice the price). The only Belgian Hakko distributor sells it for 155 EUR + around 15 EUR of shipping cost, and distributors from other countries in Europe refuse to sell abroad. I don't want a Chinese copy from e-Bay. In Belgium, the ST-25 is priced similarly to the Hakko (only the tips are more expensive because PACE sells them in pack of 5.)

The FX-888D uses the FX8801-01 which is 65W, while the PS-90 is 55W. I don't know if that makes a difference in practice.

I've read somewhere that the PS-90's handle tends to get warmer when it ages (after + 100 hours of use).

The FX8801-01 is ESD-free (part of the handle is conductive and grounded). I assume this is true for the PS-90 as well, but did not see it clearly written.

It seems to be much faster to change the tips on the ST-25 (and also safer when the iron is hot). I'll not have the budget to buy another soldering iron, so a quick way to change the tips while working is important.

Did anyone try both of those? If yes, what about the difference in handling (comfort/weight/...), ease of changing the tips, reliability, temperature stability, etc?

Dave, I saw that you own both of those, ... your input would be well appreciated! :)

David
 

Offline quint

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 04:53:34 am »
Both Hakko and Pace are top quality makers and I don't think you could really go wrong with either one.  I've used the Hakko 936 which has a similar heater and tip arrangement to the FX-888 series.  And I now own an ST-25 and a PS-80 iron.  The PS-90 is very similar.  I have never had a problem with the PS-80 handle getting hot.
One thing I really like about the Pace PS-80 (and PS-90) is how quickly you can change a tip.  You loosen a set screw, pull out the tip and drop a new one in.  You can do it in about 10 seconds without turning the iron off.  It makes tip changes very convenient.  Pace makes a little tool for doing the change but you can use a screwdriver and tweezers instead if you don't have the tool. 
With the Hakko ceramic heater style irons (FX-888 and 936), you have to unscrew a nut near the base of the iron, remove a sleeve which holds the tip on, remove the tip from the ceramic heater element and then put everything back together.  You can do this when the iron is hot but it isn't easy.
Also,  Pace makes what is calls mini-wave tips, which are hoof shaped tips with a depression in the tip to act as a solder reservoir.  These work great for drag soldering.  Hakko makes similar tips but they are not as easy to get in the US.  I believe this is due to patents so that may be different in other countries.
 

Offline DavidO

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 07:24:01 am »
Hello Quint,

Thanks for your reply. I find it very useful. If everything else is equal between those two, I'll probably lean towards the PACE due to the way tips are changed. I guess this makes a significant difference when working with a single iron.

Is there any advantage to the way tips are held with the Hakko? Any advantage of having a ceramic heater (better electric isolation maybe)? I'm wondering why they did not use a simple set screw as PACE did.

About the wave tips, I think Hakko call this BCM/CM type, and there is no such type in the T18 line which is the only line of tips listed as compatible with the FX-888D (on Hakko website). I've read in some forum that tips for 900M are compatible with the FX-888D and this includes some CM type (e.g. 900M-T-2CM). This is not sold by the Belgian distributor and it does not seam easy to get one in Belgium or even from other countries in Europe. Chinese copy can be ordered on eBay, but I don't like the idea very much.

I'll have to check how easy it is to get the PACE wave type in Belgium.

David
 

Offline quint

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 06:30:58 pm »
Hello Quint,

Thanks for your reply. I find it very useful. If everything else is equal between those two, I'll probably lean towards the PACE due to the way tips are changed. I guess this makes a significant difference when working with a single iron.
Yes, the quick tip changes while the iron is still hot do make a huge difference when using a single iron.
Quote
Is there any advantage to the way tips are held with the Hakko? Any advantage of having a ceramic heater (better electric isolation maybe)? I'm wondering why they did not use a simple set screw as PACE did.
I'm not sure why the Hakko style was done the way it was.  You might argue that, since the tip surrounds the heater, the heat transfer is better in the Hakko style.  In practice, I've not noticed a difference.

Quote
About the wave tips, I think Hakko call this BCM/CM type, and there is no such type in the T18 line which is the only line of tips listed as compatible with the FX-888D (on Hakko website). I've read in some forum that tips for 900M are compatible with the FX-888D and this includes some CM type (e.g. 900M-T-2CM). This is not sold by the Belgian distributor and it does not seam easy to get one in Belgium or even from other countries in Europe. Chinese copy can be ordered on eBay, but I don't like the idea very much.
Yes, I think those are the Hakko tips in question.  I found the same issue of availability when I was looking for them in the States.  The Pace mini-Wave tips are easily available from Pace directly or from on line dealers.  Also, there are quite a number of Ebay dealers who sell Pace tips although you do need to know the appropriate prices to make sure you are getting a reasonable deal.

 

Offline jpb

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 06:51:12 pm »
The Hakko prices in Europe (and the UK) bring it up into the same ball park as Ersa.

I was trying to decide between the Hakko 888D and the Ersa i-CON nano and in the end I went with the Ersa even though it was more expensive. I've been very pleased with it but I've not tried the Hakko so I can't do a direct comparison.

I posted some photos on this thread if you're interested in seeing another alternative:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ersa-vs-hakko-soldering-stations-and-a-question-on-%27anti-static%27/
 

Offline DavidO

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 08:06:53 am »
Indeed, Ersa seems to be cheaper than both Hakko and PACE for Europeans (at least in Belgium). I was going to order the PACE following the discussion with Quint, but I'll first have a quick look at what Ersa has to offer. Thanks for the pointer.
 

Offline jpb

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 08:37:50 am »
Indeed, Ersa seems to be cheaper than both Hakko and PACE for Europeans (at least in Belgium). I was going to order the PACE following the discussion with Quint, but I'll first have a quick look at what Ersa has to offer. Thanks for the pointer.

One thing to watch out for is that the cheaper Ersas (i.e. the pico) are not ESD safe, that is why I went for the pricier nano. I found the Ersa people very good at responding to e-mails and answering all my questions, it is one of the reasons I decided they were a good brand to go with.
 

Offline DavidO

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 09:50:36 pm »
I have sent an email to the Belgian distributor. He was also very helpful, ... and so now I can't choose between PACE and ERSA |O

By the way, as you have the nano, ... is it also made in Germany? How easy is it to change the tips without turning it off? It seems very easy with the PACE.
 

Offline quint

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 10:06:34 pm »
I'm not trying to push Pace on you.  But, if it helps, I've bought most of my Pace equipment as surplus, either on Ebay or from a local source.  The prices are quite a bit lower than new and the older equipment is completely compatible with the newest lines so getting tips, etc isn't a problem.  And, since this stuff is intended for continuous industrial use, it seems to have a lot of life left, even when purchased used.  I don't know if Ebay in Europe has a good selection, but there is certainly quite a bit of Pace equipment on the US site.
 

Offline DavidO

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Re: Hakko FX-888D vs PACE ST-25 + PS-90
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 10:23:31 pm »
Unfortunately, we are not as lucky. I also saw the number of old Tektronix or HP/Agilent you have on eBay US. Unfortunately, it's not as cheap and easy here. I ended up ordering a Rigol oscilloscope btw. I just checked Ebay Europe for PACE device and I could only find one entry in Germany for a "Pace SR-2 Vacuum Lötstation Solder Station #500".
 


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