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Soldering Iron

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I was looking at getting a station. I didn't want to spend too much, I was looking at something around $100, any suggestions?  ??? Pro's and cons? Any experience you have with some of the recommendations? Thanks in advance! 

I'm a big fan of Hakko. I'm not sure what the prices where you live are, but you can get the 936 for sure. It has been replaced by the FX-888.
If you can get your hands on a 937 for the price its a great unit.

I've tried the 936 and actually liked it very much. I was going to buy the 937 myself, but for a little bit more I was able to get the FX-951 which is going to last me until I die probably, and I'm also going for something a better if I can afford it, I'm a fool for working tools :)

BTW, there are also various Hakko clones (I guess its one of the reasons they've replaced the 936 even thought it was a great seller). There's Aoyue for example which is even sold on Amazon and eBay so they are quite easy to get a hold of. Replacement parts are interchangeable with the Hakko from what I hear. I haven't tried any of these myself so I can't comment about these. If it was me I would just go for the Hakko as I trust them better.

There's an existing thread here with that info, check there.  It depends on how much you solder and if you do SMT.  Units go from $5-1000, your pick.

I don't know where you are, but if you are in a country that can order from Marlin Jones ( (May be my or Dave's distant uncle)  Their temperature controlled irons (ZD-929C for 7-segment readout, can't find the bargraph model on their website) are a good value.  They are a bit more expensive than the cheao-o models, but they hold up well.  (oops, they are out of stock at the moment.) MCM sells the same one (digital readout  or bargraph) with their "Tenma" brand on it for a few dollars more.  I have one of these at work. has el-chepo hot air stations also.

MCM has a range of soldering equipment.

I personally use some govt. surplus stations - a temp controlled Weller, and an old Ungar station that I have a few spares for.  

As previous posters say, it depends on your preference as well as how much you use one.  I could never justify an expensive unit, although I'd love to have one.



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