Electronics > Beginners

Soldering iron for service work

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One of the things I've been putting off for some time is getting a soldering iron for my truck. Locally, I can only find really cheap crap from Weller and I'd rather not go that route. I don't need an iron often, but when I do I'd like something decent with a tip that's not held in with a crappy little screw, I want it to have enough heat for even large joints and I want it to heat up relatively fast.

Some things that are confusing for me though is when looking at the higher end irons, I'm not sure what just plugs in and what needs a control unit (station type), what temp or wattage is going to be most useful, should I maybe be looking at something like the Hakko 980-V12 or /P? I know that the cheapie iron I have at home doesn't get hot enough for non-Pb solder - I couldn't fix a joint on my UPS because of that, so the dual temp feature of that Hakko seems sensible.

Does anyone have any recommendations or ideas I should look into?


I have this:

It is a small portable butane powered iron. It is a handy little portable iron, great for doing wiring on the car or similar where you are in an awkward spot and don't want the cord in the way. You have rough temperature control by turning the sleeve on it which controls the amount of gas. I have never and would never use it on electronics though. I am just suggesting this as you say you want it for your truck where I am guessing you wont always have access to power. One thing with it is it can be annoying to light at times, I have seen that they have slightly larger self igniting irons but I have no experience with them.

If it isn't necessary to have cordless, then buy a proper Iron with temperature control.

just get a 12 or 18 W antex iron. Pretty neat little irons, I'm quite happy with my 12W one

I thought about cordless, but then I'd have to keep fuel in the truck as well. Space is at a minimum in my Transit Connect :(

The Antex irons look like a good deal, and they're nice and small. Thanks!

and you can get a nice little selection of bits for them. go straight to their main website and you will get free delivery


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