Author Topic: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers  (Read 3640 times)

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Offline markb1980Topic starter

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"Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« on: August 13, 2022, 09:19:15 am »
Hello,

I use a YH-833AAA and I am happy with that one but occationally I miss hot tweezers for microsoldering.

I have found a AO9378 MICROCOMBO but I am not really sure if that one is worth the money. Apart from the AO9378 I found only Weller, Ersa, Hakko and JBC offers useable hot tweezers. I would like to have somehing like a JBC AM120 or a similiar hot tweezers.

Is there a option I may have overlooked?

PS.: I am aware that there are crappy option like a ZD-409 or Yihua 938D. I would not consider this tools useable for what i am doing...
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Offline thm_w

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2022, 08:53:05 pm »
We've had some threads discussing this. Once you go above the $50 cheapies, the best setup in terms of value is a set of new Hakko FX1003 tweezers: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/hakko-rf-soldering-tweezers-fx-1003-$240/ and a used Metcal base.

Unless you can find something cheaper on Ebay.
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Offline markb1980Topic starter

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2022, 09:10:30 am »
Thanks for the Tip.

When searching for a company which would deliver a FX1003 I found Eleshop which would deliver that Hakko-Tweezers. They also offer something like a Weller-Tweezers clone: https://eleshop.eu/atten-gt-6200-soldering-station.html

Does anyone know that one - is it any good?
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Offline thm_w

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2022, 10:08:06 pm »
Its not on the same level as Hakko/JBC, but it looks a bit better than the Yihua stuff.

https://youtu.be/Mp6xjFSVyN4?t=50

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Online Veteran68

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2023, 01:34:23 pm »
Bumping this year-old thread to see what's available a year later in the budget tweezer market.

I have a Pace ADS200 ISB station, which I love. Occasionally I could really use some hot tweezers, but given how infrequent that would be, I cannot justify the cost of Pace's tweezers ($375 for tweezers and stand only, I'd have to swap it in/out with my ADS200 iron), nor the other name brands like Weller and Hakko. I was considering something like the Yihua 938D but they look really sketchy, and my experience with a cheap Yihua 959D hot air station years ago was not great.

Yes, I'm aware of the suggestion to get Hakko FX1003 tweezers and a used Metcal station, but that's a bit more DIY than I'm interested in, and it's not exactly "budget" either since you're pushing $300+. At that price for a DIY/Used option, I'd be more inclined to just spring for a new handpiece+stand.

Some options I've found. Would be interested in hearing about any experiences with these.

Option 1: I know the STM32 based T12 soldering stations have been really popular, but how are the T12 tweezers? I haven't seen them mentioned here. If they work as well as most people think the T12 clones do, that should be plenty sufficient for my needs. And only ~$60.

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805039868647.html

Option 2: Conversion kit for Hakko FX888D. I have a spare 888D station (was my primary station before the ADS200). But over $200 just for the tweezers and stand. This is definitely the top-end of my budget range for tweezers, no more often than I'd use them. Not to mention it still looks a bit on the cheap side.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX-8804CK-Tweezer-Conversion-FX-888D/dp/B00NK0SDNS

Option 3: The Atten ST-1509 with N9100 tweezers. I love my Atten 862D hot air station, they seem to make good gear in the budget range. This one comes in at just under $200 but at least includes the full kit/station for that price. Still a bit more than I was hoping to spend, but if I'm going to spend $200 this one looks like the one based on appearance and specs -- unless someone tells me the Hakko 888D conversion is better.

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804301371306.html

So what say ye? Anyone have experience with these, or others I've not found yet, and can provide some budget advice for someone looking to spend <$200 (ideally, half that) for tweezers they might only use a few times a year?

Thanks!
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2023, 10:53:26 pm »
Yes its about $300 for the hakko setup. It makes more sense if you have a metcal on hand or go for one of the dual output units, then the base is "free".

Anyway, you haven't stated what parts you are working with. The atten is the one that looks more usable for smaller SMD parts (0603 or less).
The T12 has these two tip shapes: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005614840970.html

Do you still have your hot air station or has it died?
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Online Veteran68

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2023, 11:29:17 pm »
Anyway, you haven't stated what parts you are working with. The atten is the one that looks more usable for smaller SMD parts (0603 or less).
The T12 has these two tip shapes: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005614840970.html

Typical use would be for repair work on things such as laptops and consumer electronics, usually desoldering of small SMD parts in the 0402 or 0603 range that could be tricky to do with hot air, such as when they're close to a plastic connector or on a large ground plane that requires a lot of prolonged heat. I don't see myself using it that much for assembly work as that's been easy enough to do with my ADS200 standard iron. But who knows, it might win me over. I've not used tweezers before so it's hard to say. That's also why I don't want to overspend on my first set.

Those T12 tip geometries don't look ideal to me, but again without tweezer experience I'm not sure. The knife edge looks okay for the larger components, but those extra fine conical points I'm not sure. I'm assuming they would rotate to lay "flat" against the PCB rather than pointing inward towards each other (which seems pretty useless in terms of heat transfer).

Do you still have your hot air station or has it died?

If you mean the Yihua 959D, when I got the Atten 862D I gave the 959D to a a guy on my team at work. He's an EE by degree but moved over to the IT side years ago and now works for me as an Enterprise Architect. He still dabbles on home projects though and didn't have a hot air station, so I offered it to him.

The Atten 862D hot air station is still going strong. My positive experience with it is part of the reason I like the Atten ST-1509, aside from the $200 price tag for a starter set. I really like the entry level price of the T12 tweezers, but don't know if they're worth a crap. I didn't even know they made T12 tweezers until I found those. I'm encouraged by the popularity of the STM32 T12 clones, but not sure that success translates to the tweezers.
 

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2023, 01:10:12 am »
So I pulled the trigger on the T12 tweezers plus the extra fine tips. $69 delivered. It's a blind gamble as I can't find any real reviews, other than just a YT "short" where someone retrofitted them to an AiXun T3A station. They seemed to work okay there.

I really like the Atten station, and found this compelling review. He had tried several cheap <$50 tweezer options including the trash Yihua 938D, which I had already written off. He really likes the Atten and demonstrates its use.



However I just can't see spending over $200 delivered for something I would rarely use. If the T12 model works even moderately well, then I consider it a good investment. If not, it's only $69 and I can get a T12 handle and have a backup soldering station. Or just sell it. Then get the Atten eventually when I decide I really need it.

I'll try to remember to post back here after I give them a spin.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2023, 11:08:06 pm »
OK let us know how they work out.

I guess the two T12 tips are paralleled together as the listing notes the supply must be able to handle 120W and the pinout shows three connections being made.
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Offline luky315

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2024, 12:07:25 pm »
I am also looking for some cheaper soldering tweezers and found the Handskit station:
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/1005005226183399.html
But I'm a bit confused here:
The controller looks suspiciously like the well known STM32 based with the legendary open firmware, but is this really the same controller and the Tweezers are using the same connector + pinout? Or is this a "modified" controller? This would be a nice bonus.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: "Budget" soldering station with hot tweezers
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 11:59:05 pm »
I am also looking for some cheaper soldering tweezers and found the Handskit station:
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/1005005226183399.html
But I'm a bit confused here:
The controller looks suspiciously like the well known STM32 based with the legendary open firmware, but is this really the same controller and the Tweezers are using the same connector + pinout? Or is this a "modified" controller? This would be a nice bonus.

Its probably going to be the same controller and pinout as explained above. Handskit sells many T12 stations, they may not have an STM32 though, could be STM8 or a clone.
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