Author Topic: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)  (Read 16042 times)

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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2014, 04:17:28 pm »
As someone else said, Weller QC is all over the place...I've seen tip just disintegrate, and I got so sick and tired of it that I switched to Hakko.
That would be me.  >:D

From what I can tell, it seems to originate from shifting production to the cheapest locations possible (i.e. Mexico and Bosnia). German and US stuff still seems to be decent, based on what I've heard on recent production (seen other products from these locations, but no tips).

Unfortunately, the tips I need primarily come out of Bosnia, and the plating is inconsistent. Fortunately, the Japanese made tips seem to be fine (NT series), which is a good thing, given what they cost (~ as much as the tips used in an FX-951, but no heater or sensor).

Btw, how do you know where the tip has been made?
If it's in your possession, read the plastic bag it comes in (I save them as an easy P/N reference).

If you want to find out before purchase, some sites list the COO, such as All-Spec. Find what you're looking for, go to the product page (example), and click on the "Technical Information" tab. COO is the last line of information that comes up.

BTW, Grainger is another site that lists COO.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2014, 10:59:22 pm »
Interesting.
As I was purchasing some other stuff I needed, I already purchased a tip.
I added a picture of how I received it. :-)
It didn't come in any plastic bag at least not with any information on it. But it has the weller engraving etc. so it seems to be legit.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 09:49:34 pm by akkarin »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2014, 11:29:56 pm »
Interesting.
As I was purchasing some other stuff I needed, I already purchased a tip.
I added a picture of how I received it. :-)
It didn't come in any plastic bag at least not with any information on it. But it has the weller engraving etc. so it seems to be legit.
Weller offers singles and 10 packs.

Pic of a single piece package.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2014, 11:35:39 pm »
Interesting I didn't get that nice package. It was sent in that bag on the picture.
I mean probably not a big deal but interesting.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2014, 11:55:15 pm »
Interesting I didn't get that nice package. It was sent in that bag on the picture.
I mean probably not a big deal but interesting.
Use it and see how it does.

There are Chinese copies, but thus far, I'm not aware they've managed to copy the engraving yet. One of the reasons it seems Weller did it based on their main page (go to apexhandtools.com, select Weller, and IIRC, it's the last of the streaming banner). Click on it, and there's a .pdf link on that page somewhere (also shows a new "Genuine Weller" logo printed on the bags).

FWIW, the XT series are made in Germany.
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2014, 02:40:37 am »
At work we have both Weller WSD81 and JBC.

I really like the quality of the soldering with the JBC irons, they have definitely got the edge over the Weller here but I hate the ergonomics of the JBC irons.

For me, the JBC iron falls out of the holder too easily and it sits at a silly angle. Also, on several of these JBC irons I've seen the tip glow cherry red or even orange and this usually lasts a few seconds before going back to normal. I don't know how hot it gets in this state but it must be going open loop in terms of regulation. Everybody I've mentioned this to at work says 'they all do this' and it's a sign the tip is failing. It was pretty unnerving the first time it happened to me.

Also, on the JBC irons we have the mains on/off rocker switch is hidden low down  at the back of the unit right under the tip of the hot iron. So you have to be careful not to 'fumble' blindly when trying to turn it off or you could get a nasty burn.

I would never buy a JBC iron for home use because of these reasons but I'm sure others will disagree :)

The iron holder angle can be adjusted and there are many angles to suit. It works very well for me I don't really need vision for parking as soon as my muscles get memory.

I have never seen my JBC glowing red, nor any other irons. Even cheap firesticks don't glow red you need to get your station checked. Or maybe limit the wattage power going to the iron from the controls.

Yes the switch is out of the way, if its at the rear of the unit they could have place it higher up for easy access. Since there is a hybernate and sleep function, you don't really need to worry about iron over worked.

I think we have a different unit, mine is the modular system so the iron holder is seperate from the station, so fumbling blindly wont get me burned.
 

Offline con-f-use

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2014, 01:40:49 pm »
Mains switches can be relocated or added externally without efford. I wouldn't even mention the location of the mains switch as an influence on the buying decision.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 04:42:16 pm by con-f-use »
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2014, 03:08:14 pm »
Quote
The iron holder angle can be adjusted and there are many angles to suit.

I think we have a different unit, mine is the modular system so the iron holder is seperate from the station, so fumbling blindly wont get me burned.

The commonest JBC units we have do not appear to be adjustable and it is an all in one unit. I think they are quite a few years old and I would hope that JBC have learned a few basic lessons in soldering iron ergonomics since then :)

We have several communal soldering workstations in our various engineering labs and the commonest question about the JBC is "how do I turn it on?"
This is because the person that designed it put the on/off rocker in the worst place possible, hidden under the back in the corner directly under the hot end of the iron.

For me the worst thing about them is the fact the cartridge tips can suddenly get very hot and glow red or even orange if something goes wrong in the feedback system.

When it first happened to me I couldn't believe the iron could get so hot so quickly in open loop. I assumed that the skinny cable from the iron to the base unit had developed an intermittent connection but other people say it is a clue that the tip is faulty and needs replacing.

I've seen this happen on more than one JBC iron.  Our irons see a LOT of use with lots of users visiting the workstation and maybe the JBC irons we have are just too old and worn out now. However, we have plenty of older Weller irons that are still working fine.

Clearly the excellent thermal properties of the JBC irons involve their ability to pump lots of heat into the tip very quickly. However, when this system fails open loop then it is quite a sobering sight to see the cartridge suddenly glow bright orange. No way would I have this type of iron in my house no matter how good the quality of the soldering because they are a potential fire hazard IMO if the tip fails and overheats.
 
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2014, 03:42:36 pm »
When it first happened to me I couldn't believe the iron could get so hot so quickly in open loop. I assumed that the skinny cable from the iron to the base unit had developed an intermittent connection but other people say it is a clue that the tip is faulty and needs replacing.

Low mass tips and enough power to melt them in a few seconds (under fault conditions) are why the JBCs work so well.

Yours is the only report of overheating I have come across.
 

Offline hifihifi

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2014, 01:55:06 pm »
Did you press the tip the hole way down ?
 

Offline Teledog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2014, 06:01:08 am »
Used Wellers for 25years +  WTCPT is the day-to-day workhorse,
secondly is  the Weller WESD51,
but my sweetest units are the two JBC AD2700's ..only brought out on special occasions (<0402, <0.3mm pitch)
My 2 cents worth anyway! ;-)
 

Offline HooRide

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2014, 06:31:44 am »
A while back I was in a similar position looking for a new soldering station. I had sales representatives from JBC, Weller and Metcal come to my home office/lab and demo their products. They each let me borrow similar stations from each respective manufacturer. (DD1B), WX2) and (MX-5000)

All 3 stations were overall very very good so it came down to ergonomics, initial cost and operating cost, features and support.

The Weller WX2 was the favorite of the 3, the station felt like it was high quality and has plenty of bells and whistles. The hand pieces were comfortable and the cords weren't so heavy that they weighed you down (i.e. Metcal). The rep was super nice and let me borrow dozens of tips and to sweeten the deal, on top of the manufacturer's rebate for a free tool with the purchase of the WX2, he gave me a discount because I'm a student.

It's been 6 months and I do not regret my decision in the least.
Please enter all complaints legibly in this space -> [  ]
 

Offline mike105105

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2014, 04:59:41 pm »
Hakko FM-203 is my recommendation.  Wellers quality dropped, I was replacing tips constantly.  I made my boss buy me the Hakko and the difference is night and day.  He liked it so much he has started replacing all of our weller units with Hakko.  The tips last longer(partially because of the power down built into the stand), they heat faster and maintain temp better, and are quick and easy to change.  I am probably going to buy one for home as well when I have a little extra money lying around.


Mike
 

Offline con-f-use

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2014, 07:36:12 pm »
You are not talking about the WX series stations. I have mine since February and never had to change a tip. I have the WXMT, WXMP and WXP120 tools. All of them are lightning quick in heating. The WX stations have power down as well, it works by detecting acceleration right at the iron handle. So no stand or extra cable required for it to work. I cann recommend it very much.
 

Offline mike105105

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2014, 09:02:50 pm »
I forget what series we had, but they were all dual iron and not too old.  They def weren't the newest though.  The fact that over the years I saw their quality drop with my own eyes was enough, not going to try a new product of theirs and hope that they don't become crap with time as well.  An accelerometer in the handle seems like over-engineering for a simple problem, I like the hakko solution better.  I have a desk full of equipment and can't have irons just lying around, I need the stand, having a wire with 3.5mm connector coming off the back is minimally intrusive.


Mike
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2014, 11:28:37 pm »
Well I have a Weller WX2 and tbh that thing is awesome. Never had a single problem or had to change tips very often. It just works heats up very fast and, if needed, has a lot of power reservers to get the job done.

I don't think this is over engineering tbh. It's a nice neat feature. It can be done today why shouldn't it... And its not only relying on the accelerometer alone if it cools down due to not using it and you put something at the tip it recognizes heat is neaded and also powers up.

And I especially like it for the small jobs. E.g. turn it on few seconds later its heated, solder what you need to solder, done. Not waiting ages for it to heat up. which i had to do with my previous solder iron.
 

Offline mike105105

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2014, 12:17:01 am »
And I never had to change tips often on the weller stations we had...until they changed something in their manufacturing and the tips went to hell.  The tips for your iron might be wonderful like the weller tips I used to get from them, but I won't take the risk that at some point they start making those crappy as well(probably when they want to start pushing a new series out).

That accellerometer they are using works yes, but it is also driving the cost up.  I just looked up the prices for those new irons and the lowest cost one I saw was still at least $50 more expensive than the hakko.  The fm-2027-03 is only $120 and it includes the stand and a tip cleaner, fm-2027 by itself is under $80.  It might be good for you, and good in general at the moment, but in our environment the quality loss was causing issues in workflow.

Mike
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2014, 12:32:26 am »
Well you have to check where the tips were made. Just like with every other iron out there. I also had problems with a different iron with low quality tips.
Well tips are made all over the world, there was even a discussion about it somewhere here in the forum.

I think the consens was buy them from Mexiko or Germany and your fine - but I am not sure about that better look it up...

About the price well there is always something cheaper around the corner... I haven found the  fm-2027-03 in germany but when I buy the stand and the iron seperate your getting off a bit cheaper than what I paid for my second stand with iron... so whatever.
 

Offline mike105105

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2014, 12:36:41 am »
Our ordering department can't be bothered to source tips based on manufacture location, they only know to order from techni-tool and a few other places lol.


Mike
 

Offline gocemk

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2014, 12:42:03 am »
I have a Weller WD1000T, with the Stop&Go stand and the WP80 iron. The iron presses on a micro switch when is put on the stand and then it enters in power down mode. My father is using WD1000 with WP80 and WS81 with WSP80 in his electronics workshop, 10-12 hours a day. He changes tips very rarely, perhaps once to twice a year. The situation was same before when we used the WTCP for over 20 years. So I don't think that the quality of Weller tips has dropped over the years. I don't know about JBC, but at my previous job I used to work a lot with the Ersa i-CON2. Except for the smaller and perhaps more ergonomic iron on the Ersa, there is not much difference between the Ersa I-CON2 and the WD1000T. I bought the WD1000 because where I come from it's very easy to find tips and parts for the Weller, and there is nothing to be found for the Ersa's (you must order from the internet).
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2014, 01:15:39 am »
Our ordering department can't be bothered to source tips based on manufacture location, they only know to order from techni-tool and a few other places lol.
Sad, as some, such as All-Spec, even list the COO (found in the technical info tab).

Also, PM sent.

Well you have to check where the tips were made. Just like with every other iron out there. I also had problems with a different iron with low quality tips.
Well tips are made all over the world, there was even a discussion about it somewhere here in the forum.

I think the consens was buy them from Mexiko or Germany and your fine - but I am not sure about that better look it up...
Japan and Germany regarding Weller.

Mexico or Bosnia, it's a crap shoot. There are 3rd party alternatives in some cases.

I have a Weller WD1000T, with the Stop&Go stand and the WP80 iron. The iron presses on a micro switch when is put on the stand and then it enters in power down mode. My father is using WD1000 with WP80 and WS81 with WSP80 in his electronics workshop, 10-12 hours a day. He changes tips very rarely, perhaps once to twice a year. The situation was same before when we used the WTCP for over 20 years. So I don't think that the quality of Weller tips has dropped over the years.
I've a very similar setup (WD1 + WSP80 + WMP + Stop-n-Go stand). Seems the LT series tips from Bosnia have variable QC, while those from Japan don't IME. FWIW, there are 3rd party tips available for the LT series that you may find better (try looking for Plato brand <may be listed as ITW/Techspray who owns it>).

Seen some out of China as well (available on eBay for example). Got one to try out, but don't have enough hours yet to know anything.
 

Offline gocemk

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2014, 07:54:19 am »
Quote
I've a very similar setup (WD1 + WSP80 + WMP + Stop-n-Go stand). Seems the LT series tips from Bosnia have variable QC, while those from Japan don't IME. FWIW, there are 3rd party tips available for the LT series that you may find better (try looking for Plato brand <may be listed as ITW/Techspray who owns it>).

Seen some out of China as well (available on eBay for example). Got one to try out, but don't have enough hours yet to know anything.

Thanks for the info. Will check it out.
 


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