Author Topic: Try before you buy?  (Read 4741 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HooRide

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: us
Try before you buy?
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:47:23 pm »
My Weller WES50 that I've had for 12 years is starting to either not get hot enough or not transfer the heat well enough, even with new tips.

I have been looking for a replacement station with maybe some SMD tweeters and have come across Metcal, Ersa, JBC and Weller's new line. They all look great on paper and it seems like everyone has their favorite on the forum so there's not much point in asking everyone's opinion.

Does anyone know anywhere in Silicon Valley were they might have a few irons from these brands to try out or is anyone aware of any distributors that have a station to loan out for evaluation?

Thanks!
Please enter all complaints legibly in this space -> [  ]
 

Offline nanofrog

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5449
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 08:05:56 pm »
I suspect you'd have to contact each brand's website, and ask. Assuming they do have a test-drive program, they'd either provide it directly or put you in touch with the right distributor.
 

Offline HooRide

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 11:31:00 pm »
I suspect you'd have to contact each brand's website, and ask. Assuming they do have a test-drive program, they'd either provide it directly or put you in touch with the right distributor.

I've started to do just that. So far Metcal is working something up and Weller's Northern California rep is on vacation. No luck with the other two companies yet.
Please enter all complaints legibly in this space -> [  ]
 

Offline nanofrog

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5449
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 01:59:54 am »
I suspect you'd have to contact each brand's website, and ask. Assuming they do have a test-drive program, they'd either provide it directly or put you in touch with the right distributor.

I've started to do just that. So far Metcal is working something up and Weller's Northern California rep is on vacation. No luck with the other two companies yet.
JBC does do a 30 day trial through their distributors. Take a look here (http://www.janelonline.com/Articles.asp?ID=370). Janel is located in NJ though, so it would be done via mail order if you go through them (you mentioned you were interested in a local source).

Never dealt with Ersa at all, and don't see anything on their website about a trial period.  :-//


You didn't mention them, but is there a reason not to consider Hakko?

I ask, as the FX-951 seems to offer quite a value here in the US ($262.77 shipped, uses AIO tips that only cost ~$12 per for most basic profiles, and the stand is electrically connected to the station for setback temp & sleep functions when the iron is placed in the stand).

I had to purchase a separate stand (just adds a microswitch and wiring to make it work to the regular stand) to use those features in my Weller WD1 (extra $75, and that was at a discounted rate).  |O Greedy bastards.  >:(
 

Offline HooRide

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 07:30:36 pm »
That's a good question about Hakko, until today, I had never gone to their website and had just assumed they made low to mid-grade single iron stations only.

I think subconsciously I never took them seriously because their color scheme reminded me of a Fisher Price toy bank I had as a child  :-//:


I've sent a message to someone at JBC, still waiting to hear back.
Please enter all complaints legibly in this space -> [  ]
 

Offline nanofrog

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5449
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 07:46:33 pm »
That's a good question about Hakko, until today, I had never gone to their website and had just assumed they made low to mid-grade single iron stations only.

I think subconsciously I never took them seriously because their color scheme reminded me of a Fisher Price toy bank I had as a child  :-//:


I've sent a message to someone at JBC, still waiting to hear back.
Color scheme might look like Fisher-Price  :-DD, but they're not toys regarding their performance.  ;)

An FX-951 could be had at around half the cost of a Weller WX1010, 1011, or 1012 (1 port station, different irons per P/N). And two of the irons use regular tips (just plated copper slugs), and they lack the stand being connected to the station. Only the WX1011 does, and it uses AIO type of tips like the Hakko does (~$30 per tip last I checked).

Next step up would be the JBC, and can be had cheaper than the Weller as well (Compact model). Weller just doesn't seem to have as much value, and the tip quality isn't consistent at all in my experience (LT & NT series).
 

Offline HooRide

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 04:23:33 pm »
Oh man, I've opened a can of worms...

The Metcal rep is willing to sell me a used MX5000 that was used for demos, new MX-H1-AV & stand, and new MX-PTZ & stand for $500

JBC is currently working on a quote for a DD modular system with hand piece and tweezers.

And a Weller rep is coming tomorrow and I just found this: http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/weller/pdf/wx-wd-series_rebate.pdf

I thought demoing the stations was going to make this easier...

I really like the Metcal and JBC, they are worlds ahead of my WES50 but I feel like the Metcal is better suited to production line.

Either way, I should buy the Metcal and sell it to a friend.
Please enter all complaints legibly in this space -> [  ]
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12641
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 04:42:59 pm »
When Metcal started 20-odd years ago, their sales policy was to lend one to people for a week. Sales rate was something like 95%
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline uoficowboy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 186
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 05:50:45 pm »
A few years back I did a shoot out between the highest end Metcal and Weller stations. Both their reps brought by their best gear for a week or so. I thought the "micro" Weller tools beat the Metcal tools. Especially the tweezers. The Metcals have thick and heavy cables that I find unwieldy. The higher power Weller irons, however, have an annoying habit of having their collets unscrew themselves. I've seen the same behavior in Hakko irons. Welle

Since then I've switched jobs to a mostly Metcal company. I still miss the high end Weller gear. But we also have a JBC station which is as good as the Weller, if perhaps even better.

Point is - you should definitely try before you buy. There absolutely are differences between the high end gear and everybody has their own preference. Don't let a good deal force you into buying first.
 

Offline tsmith35

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 250
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 09:32:18 pm »
Point is - you should definitely try before you buy. There absolutely are differences between the high end gear and everybody has their own preference. Don't let a good deal force you into buying first.
I agree: you'll remember the good deal for a short while, but you'll live with the equipment for years. :) Go with the one you feel is best.
 

Offline mamalala

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • Country: de
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 04:13:10 pm »
Oh man, I've opened a can of worms...

The Metcal rep is willing to sell me a used MX5000 that was used for demos, new MX-H1-AV & stand, and new MX-PTZ & stand for $500

<...snip...>

Either way, I should buy the Metcal and sell it to a friend.

Yes, thats a really good price, considering that the tweezers are included. Plus, they usually have excellent build quality, so they will last quite long as well, which means that "used" here doesn't substract that much from it's value. MX5000 is a rather recent series as well.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline tsmith35

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 250
  • Country: us
Re: Try before you buy?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 08:09:26 pm »
That's a good question about Hakko, until today, I had never gone to their website and had just assumed they made low to mid-grade single iron stations only.

I think subconsciously I never took them seriously because their color scheme reminded me of a Fisher Price toy bank I had as a child  :-//:
I believe they went to such a wild color scheme because everyone and their mothers was producing lookalike units due to Hakko's popularity. While counterfeiters can easily duplicate the appearance of the old (black) color scheme and make minor changes to avoid prosecution, it's quite another thing to duplicate the newer color scheme -- the colors do stand out, for better or worse. Providing a lookalike of a newer Hakko unit would quickly draw attention from Hakko.

Anyway, just my take. Personally, I like the yellow/blue scheme. Never had the FP bank as a kid, though. ;D
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf