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Beginner Hot Air station

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davegravy:
I'm looking at low cost hot air stations for hobbyist use.  Though I'm not a pro I am a bit ambitious sometimes - the PCB I'm about to assemble is a 4-layer board with 0.5mm pitch DFN on both sides of the board.

There seems to be two styles, both around the same cost (~$100 CAD):


* Where the air is pumped (and heated?) from the main enclosure.
* Where the air is blown from a small fan in the hand-held unit and then heated.
The second style seems to be much more common in low budget units but I am concerned as I've had plenty of cheap little blowers like this (namely CPU fans) quickly develop bearing issues. On the other hand, these stations seem to be well reviewed.

The design of the first unit mimics higher end units, which at first glance is a plus. Reviews are very scarce. I have access to a good Weller iron at work but it would be nice to have something at home even if just for clearing solder bridges, so being a 2-in-1 is a nice bonus. One concern is the flexibility of the hose and if this might impinge ergonomics and/or be prone to kinking. Is the temperature sensor in the main enclosure, and isn't there a pretty big opportunity for error since the air will cool as it travels to the nozzle (different amounts based on ambient temp)?

What do other people think?

RayRay:
With your budget/location, this would be your best bet:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32951875840.html
On a side note though, for any kind of chips that have contacts on the underside, you'd also benefit from having a preheater.

Electro Fan:
https://www.tequipment.net/Quick/957DW+/Desoldering-Equipment/Rework-Stations/?v=0

pqass:
The Sparkfun hot-air station is well received. 
I purchased one last year from this Canadian retailer and have had no issues. Also, free shipping.
https://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/hot-air-smd-soldering-station.html

Product page at Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14557

davegravy:

--- Quote from: pqass on January 15, 2022, 04:36:37 am ---The Sparkfun hot-air station is well received. 
I purchased one last year from this Canadian retailer and have had no issues. Also, free shipping.
https://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/hot-air-smd-soldering-station.html

Product page at Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14557

--- End quote ---

Thanks I've ordered this.

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