Author Topic: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)  (Read 16101 times)

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Offline akkarin

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Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« on: January 22, 2014, 11:57:40 pm »
Hello,

as the subject already stated I am in need for a new solder station. Basically I think I found two which might be interesting, the Weller WX1 with WXP120 or the JBC CD-2SC or maybe the JBC DIR-2B (but the last one is rather expensive already).

Does anyone have them or can make a _objective_ recommendation on either?

Thanks!
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 12:25:35 am »
If price is a concern, Metcal STSS all the way. You can snag the station for ~70-80$ and a pencil for 30-50$.
If you don't mind spending the cash, JBC units are very nice, but (from my experience), not 2-3+* as nice as a Metcal STSS *unless* you're soldering to something with ridiculous thermal mass where you might actually need the power.

Also, T210 isn't the ideal general purpose pencil, it has a very limited selection of cartridges and they tend to be puny. Go with the T245 if you're going JBC.

(Also, no country flag so I'm going to guess North American)
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Offline Frost

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 12:29:32 am »
the Weller WX1 with WXP120 or the JBC CD-2SC or maybe the JBC DIR-2B (but the last one is rather expensive already)

The prices are more or less similar
The WX1 + WXP120 ~ 330 Euro + ~ 170 Euro = ~ 500 Euro + VAT
The  DIR-2B ~ 500 Euro + VAT

But the Irons are different, the WXP120 is a "heavier" 120 Watt
pencil for more universal use.
The DIR-2B one is more a micro iron suitable for subminiature SMD work
and more like the WXMP pencil from Weller.
 

Offline con-f-use

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 09:24:28 am »
It's just a very minor detail, but what I like about the Weller is that they have an accelerometer in their iron-handle. That means it goes to standby if its lying around for a short time. In contrast the jbc goes to standby when you put it in the stand. The stand has a cable to the base station. Cables get in the way and I'm not an iron&stand kind of guy. My iron wants to be free and loose.  ^-^
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 09:35:53 am »
I have had a Weller for several years now and it hasn't missed a beat,  it has the no use cool down feature which I have unintentionally used twice!  Parts are reasonably available as well.  Generally you get what you pay for.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 11:04:09 am »
Well I haven't done much smd work yet. But I definately wanna get into it. Would the WX1 then better suitable or should I get a different Iron for the JBC?

Or doesn't it matter I mean afterall I'm planning to use it for electronics stuff e.g. microcontroller work. I am not planning to fix the guttler with it. ;-)

For some reason I am currently favouring the Weller - but I am unsure.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 11:05:48 am by akkarin »
 

Offline Dreso12

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 11:31:22 am »
Hi,
I have used both Weller and JBC. Both are excelent, but replacement carthdriges can be quite expensive for JBC but last a lot.

You will have a good soldering iron with both.
 

Offline con-f-use

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 11:53:39 am »
Both stations will be good for smd-work. Once you go into SMD you'll turn to solder paste, vacuum pick-and-place and a reflow oven eventually - so no point in buying a station that focuses on smd only. You say you want to do MCU through-hole stuff first. With the WXP120 you have a variety of relatively cheap (ca. 6 EUR) tips to choose from. Not the case with the JBC. The JBC on the other hand heats and resonds faster. At some point you will have to solder mains cables or beefier connectors where you need a larger tip and some thermal mass. So i'd either get the DIT instead of the DIR or buy the Weller for now and buy the WXMP iron for it later if/when the small tips for the WXP120 don't cut it anymore.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 01:04:01 am »
Ok, thank you. Actually I meant the DIT but I mixed those two.

Anyway what your saying is, that both would be a good bang for the buck and I can really go wrong with either?
But the weller has more power reserves and might therefore a bit more versatile?

Overall quality should be good on both stations I guess?
I've read that some people have problems with the weller iron holder that the plastic is not heat resistent and mealts pretty easy but other don't have any problem with that, might be a problem they fixed?
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 05:47:31 am »
I have the WD series (w/ WSP80 & WMP irons), which was their top tier prior to the WX. Not perfect, but works well. Both use simple tips to keep consumables costs lower (don't include a heating element or sensor), but the quality can vary on genuine Weller tips (LT series used in the WSP80; usually those from Bosnia). No issues with melting plastic on the stands, but I haven't tried to intentionally see if I could (most of the stands I have are actually metal), and the plastic is used where the iron goes into the stand (cover for the brass wool too). 

WSP80 would be an 80W equivalent to the WXP120, and the WMP to the WXP (both @65W). Tips are very similar construction.

FWIW, some of the tip series offered by Weller irons can also be had from Plato (owned by Techspray), such as those used by the WXP120. So depending on the iron/s you go with, there may be options for tips. They also tend to be less expensive than Weller brand, and get around any tip QC issues if they exist.
 

Offline abyrvalg

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 11:06:41 am »
I have a CD-2SB with 0.1mm cone 020 cartrige for fine works and 0.3x3.4mm knife 018 cartrige for the rest. Haven't any problem so far, 018 can solder mains cables easily (thanks to heater located just some mms from the tip).
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 02:42:55 am »
the weller digital I have has 2 safety features that hakko (for example) does not: auto power down (I have forgotton and left it on a few times) and an iron cord that is anti-burn.  I've hit the cord a few times with my iron and that feature, alone, is worth its weight in gold.

a lot of people love hakko (I have some hakkos, too) but weller gets my vote for most usable and safest.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 04:42:02 pm »
The cord from the JBCs is not Anti burn?

And I got a stupid question, cause I am still unsure which to get.

Is there anything the JBC CD-B or DIT can't do regarding to the Weller WX1.
I guess the main difference would be the more expensive cartriges?


The CD-B and DIT seem to be same, if I am not mistaken, at least from the wattage etc. I know the DIT has a plug for additional desolder tool.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 05:37:37 pm »
The cord from the JBCs is not Anti burn?

And I got a stupid question, cause I am still unsure which to get.

Is there anything the JBC CD-B or DIT can't do regarding to the Weller WX1.
I guess the main difference would be the more expensive cartriges?


The CD-B and DIT seem to be same, if I am not mistaken, at least from the wattage etc. I know the DIT has a plug for additional desolder tool.
JBC uses silicone insulation on the cable between the station and iron.

Regarding JBC not able to do something the WX1 can, the Weller can use a 200W iron, which you'd have to purchase separately. Doubt you'd need something that large for hobbyist use, unless you're soldering antenna connectors, and even then, the thermal recovery on JBC should actually be sufficient due to the tip technology used.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 05:39:05 pm »
The cord from the JBCs is not Anti burn?

And I got a stupid question, cause I am still unsure which to get.

Is there anything the JBC CD-B or DIT can't do regarding to the Weller WX1.
I guess the main difference would be the more expensive cartriges?


The CD-B and DIT seem to be same, if I am not mistaken, at least from the wattage etc. I know the DIT has a plug for additional desolder tool.
JBC uses silicone insulation on the cable between the station and iron.

Regarding JBC not able to do something the WX1 can, the Weller can use a 200W iron, which you'd have to purchase separately. Doubt you'd need something that large for hobbyist use, unless you're soldering antenna connectors, and even then, the thermal recovery on JBC should actually be sufficient due to the tip technology used.

As per the compact vs. advanced, the latter allows you to have more flexibility with tools and placement, at a higher cost of course. Features and capabilities with a given tool such as the 245 iron, they're the same.
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2014, 06:32:05 pm »
Yes, thank you I knew about the difference between the compact and the advanced. I think, for myself, the higher cost might be worth it.

I was more curious about the feature and capabilitie difference between the weller and the jbc. But I think i didn't miss anything.
Seems like I now just need to figure out which one to buy. :-p
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2014, 08:28:00 pm »
Seems like I now just need to figure out which one to buy. :-p
This is the hard part.  :P

Weller has QC issues, and I'm not sure how extensive it is. What I can tell you, are the tips made in Bosnia I've gotten have been all over the place in regard to the plating, and there's a fair number of DOA/dead shortly after first use with stations made in Mexico (WES51 & WESD51 for example).

That said, the WX tips all seem to be made in Germany (decent from what I understand), and although there was a serious issue with the stations when they first released (so bad they had to do a full recall as I understand it), it seems they've gotten them sorted now. In case of the WD series I have (and the WRMS series), it's obvious where they cut corners (power board). Not sure on the WX, but it seemed decent internally from what I recall of a tear down video on YouTube.

In the case of tips, if the QC is off a bit, you might opt for Plato tips (Techspray) for non-AIO/cartridge types (just a plated copper bit), such as those needed for the standard 120W iron made for the WX stations (linked previously). Decent quality in my experience, and at a lower price (based on US pricing). Not drastically cheaper, but enough that it adds up when buying say 10x at a time (i.e. equivalent to free shipping, if all you're buying are tips).

Just a couple of tidbits of info to help you be better informed, as they're not exactly as cheap as a burger and fries.  ;)  :P
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2014, 09:35:15 pm »
Thank you very interesting. Do you have some information about JBC as well?
Do they have any QC issues? (I didn't find anything...)

I just noticed they give less warranty were weller has 7 years warranty iirc JBC only has two.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 09:41:45 pm »
Got a weller dx2 WX2 here on the forum with different irons (65W , smt pencil and smt tweezer).
Had older Weller irons before also digital temp. Setting but the dx is great, heats faster and has a lot of power instantaneously so even ground planes are no problem. The only little problem i have is with the no-use sensors in the irons that doesn,t work nice. If you set the time to low it happens when soldering the iron gets shut off, then i have to shake it to wake up again, very annoying. I set the time much longer and the problem is gone.
For a hobbieist i think it is important that later on you can buy extra different pencils/tweezers withou having to buy another station. WX2 has that, all settings (temp. Times etc) are stored in the pencil and disconnecting/connecting is fast still i would advise the two channel (wx2) if you already know you want to do smt in the neAr future.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 07:57:49 am by Kjelt »
 

Offline TopLoser

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 09:47:56 pm »
That's the WX2 you bought Kjelt, not a DX2!

Still got a few more available if any other members want them, WXMP irons and WXMT tweezers as well. Half list price manufacturer reconditioned equipment in as new condition.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2014, 09:49:51 pm »
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 :)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 09:51:57 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2014, 04:37:40 am »
Having used pretty much every major iron on the planet, I've settled on JBC, with my Hakko a close second.  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.  Metcal's temperature control is precise, but ridiculous.  I change temps all the time for various reasons.  I like Pace...a lot...but it's just too expensive for what I'm doing.  JBC is the clear winner, for me.

Incidentally, the amount of heat JBC can dump into a joint is ridiculous.  Metcal is the traditional leader here, but having used both, I would give JBC the edge.  That's just my opinion.

Weller's had a decade or more to get their act together since they started slipping, and it's never happened...and that tells me that it will never happen.  I haven't used them in 10 years because of it and maybe things have changed, but I continue to read about problems with their tips and other problems.  Their performance is no better than Hakko at best, IMHO, so why even bother?

I'd go Hakko as the price/performance leader, and JBC as the outright performance leader.  If I wanted the all in one solution with tremendous support, I'd go Pace, and if my business grows to the point that I'm doing a lot more rework and SMD components, I WILL go Pace.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 04:39:56 am by John Coloccia »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2014, 05:50:56 am »
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).

Weller's had a decade or more to get their act together since they started slipping, and it's never happened...and that tells me that it will never happen.  I haven't used them in 10 years because of it and maybe things have changed, but I continue to read about problems with their tips and other problems.  Their performance is no better than Hakko at best, IMHO, so why even bother?
They may actually be starting to address this, but it will take time to tell.

There's a new front page on tips (HERE). More detailed information in .pdf format linked on the page (euro version contains TCO evaluation). If you notice, they mention engraving. Of all the tips I've purchased lately, I've exactly ONE that's engraved. It does appear to have better plating (nice bright chrome, not dull <like chromium III>, variable color <bluing before ever heated>, and appear thin as some others do). So I'm hopeful they're beginning to address this issue, but I've only a single sample of an engraved tip. Everything else is older stock, and no different than what I've been seeing.

But I also see it as a means to try and get buyers to skip over Plato or Chinese tips that are showing up, using the threat of warranty invalidation to scare users into skipping on 3rd party tips. Damaged irons due to 3rd party tips would be difficult to prove IMHO, but gives them an excuse to deny warranty claims for bad irons. *Could* see some merit on a tip that doesn't fit properly, but I've not seen any issues with Plato, or even the Chinese tips I've ordered to try out, so I see it as more of a means of trying to increase revenue through fear.

As per the testing (TCO evaluation), it seems to me they definitely "stacked the deck" in their favor, as they don't state what tips they're using (3rd party), or the exact SAC305 they tested with. This makes me wonder if they used Chinese clone tips, and the worst water soluble flux based SAC305 they could find (claim of 15k cycles/joints for 3rd party).

I'd go Hakko as the price/performance leader, and JBC as the outright performance leader.  If I wanted the all in one solution with tremendous support, I'd go Pace, and if my business grows to the point that I'm doing a lot more rework and SMD components, I WILL go Pace.
I'd have to agree with the Hakko and JBC comment.

Never had access to a Pace station, so no idea as to how well they work, comfort level (not a fan of chunky irons), ...
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2014, 07:58:35 am »
That's the WX2 you bought Kjelt, not a DX2!
Edited  ;)
 

Offline akkarin

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Re: Which solder station can you recommend (Weller or JBC)
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2014, 11:25:32 am »
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?
 


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