Author Topic: Tenma 21-19850 "micro" soldering station. Little info. Any clues here?  (Read 697 times)

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Offline pmc

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Hi EEVblog. Not exactly my *first* post but pretty near.

I randomly found this alleged 2" x 2" x 3" 75W temperature controlled "micro" soldering station for $29
but haven't found any info about it.

Anyone here know anything about it?

Offline Shock

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Re: Tenma 21-19850 "micro" soldering station. Little info. Any clues here?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 02:08:39 am »
This is a low end product it's 100% Chinese born and raised and will be rebranded as Tenma (they do that a lot). Has a Hakko 936 influenced handle which means probably compatible with Hakko T18 series tips. Typical Chinese manufacturers will overrate their stations a little or just leave out the irons actual power rating, so 75W is a bit of a stretch.

The issues will be if it is a cheap SMPS or a rheostat style station with no ESD safety. What it looks like on the inside will tell the tale. The "micro" part is meaning the power supply is small. It's not a micro iron or pencil, not by today's standards anyway. It will take a fairly good complement of small tips but you will want to stick to genuine Hakko brand if possible.

There are other stations at a similar price such as Chinese T12 clones and the Chinese Bakon 950D (copies again of Hakko designs) still they use SMPS. I'm personally against them, the words cheap+chinese+smps (switch mode power supply) all in the same sentence scares me a little.

The real deal genuine version of the station you are looking at is the Hakko FX-888D (Japanese brand) which is about $90 using the eevblog discount code at, buy a few tips with it to make it over $100 and see if you can get free shipping as well.

The station I use, the Pace ADS200 (USA brand) starts at $220 (with a tip) using the eevblog discount code at and there is nothing really comparable in that price bracket.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 02:10:22 am by Shock »
Soldering/Rework: Pace ADS200, Pace MBT350
Multimeters: Fluke 87V, 117, 27/FM
Oscilloscopes: Rigol DS1054Z, Phillips PM3065

Offline pmc

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Re: Tenma 21-19850 "micro" soldering station. Little info. Any clues here?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 01:08:22 pm »
Thanks Shock - that's a helpful orientation to the world of compact soldering stations that I had no clue about.

Definitely low end product. So far (first looks) other small stations look less small. It's the smallness with temp control that got my attention. The apparent lack of non-seller info in the gooogleverse seems odd. One comes to expect that there is always someone who's posted something about anything. Finding nothing is an uncommon finding itself.

Understanding that they don't promise much, I wonder if the things function reasonably. For occasional non-pro, ESD-casual use.

Offline cdev

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Re: Tenma 21-19850 "micro" soldering station. Little info. Any clues here?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 02:08:41 am »
I have a Hakko Fx-888D and I like it more than the 936 clone it replaced, but you should be aware that the user interface is not as intuitive as it could be. I likely feel this way mostly because the documentation that comes with it is sparse and obviously written by a non-fluent English speaker and could plainly be improved a lot.

For example, I still have not figured out how to switch it from Fahrenheit to Centigrade. I need to spend some quality time with it figuring these modes out and writing them down where I wont forget it.

I can live with that though because its a solid unit that 'just works' - most importantly it doesn't require riding the controls, it has enough oomph to do its job.

Unlike the clones.

Mine which I got on sale at Frys came with a single nice approx 2 mm chisel tip which is my preferred size tip so I have not needed to buy any more so far.

I still use my older iron when I need access to its other tips.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 02:10:46 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Tenma 21-19850 "micro" soldering station. Little info. Any clues here?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 02:31:41 am »
IME Tenma simply rebrands other products but tends to slack on support.

One anecdoctal evidence: the discussion below at element14 was about one of their products that had no Windows drivers. It took them almost two months to get to a closure for something that should have been provided in the first place.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...

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