Author Topic: What soldering iron(s) do i need?  (Read 3282 times)

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Offline drummerdimitri

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What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« on: October 29, 2016, 02:09:17 pm »
As mentioned in a previous thread, I want to be able to solder the smallest electrical components to some beefy connections such as car battery terminals etc...

I have decided to buy a Weller either WX2 with two different pens (WXP 120 and a smaller one for very small components) or a Weller WT 1010 Set.

The WT 1010 Set is great for XS to M sized components according to their online application finder. Surely it cannot be used to solder beefy connections as mentioned above.

If I went that way, I would always use my 200W iron for high heat applications.

I am not sure what would be the best option for the second pen on a WX2, I was thinking a WXMP since these two would allow me to solder everything electronics related?

I need some clarification here. The WX2 option would cost more than double the WT 1010 Set but the latter wouldn't allow me to do what I need correct?

Thanks!





 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 02:35:54 pm »
Typically terminals on car batteries need to be crimped rather than soldered.  Wire terminals that are soldered have a tendency to sheer when exposed to vibration.  Anyway for fine PCB work you'd want a chisel tip with a width around 1.2mm.  I'd be surprised if tips like that are not available for that iron.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 05:07:46 pm »
The sets are cheaper as a general rule.

As I'm not sure how small you'll be working with however, it's hard to recommend the WXP65 or WXMP (latter is particularly meant for small stuff, usually under magnification). Given the irons they initially released, the WXP120 is meant to be their general purpose iron. However, they've at least announced an 80W version in Europe (can't even find the brochure here in the US  :--).

FWIW, I have the 65W & 80W irons that go with the WD series (I shut it off & swap irons as needed; much cheaper this way, the vast majority of the time, I use the 80W, even on fine pitch SMD as the tips are available). No cartridge tips, so they're cheaper (you definitely want to figure tip costs in both your initial budget & TCO down the road).

Unfortunately, the WT irons/accessories won't work on the WX stations, as that 90W does look nice.

As per battery terminals, as mentioned above, crimping is the right way to go (Asian versions aren't horribly expensive IME; type that's either hydraulic or looks like a bolt cutter). But if you must solder, just use the 200W wall iron.
 
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Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 05:23:36 pm »
The sets are cheaper as a general rule.

As I'm not sure how small you'll be working with however, it's hard to recommend the WXP65 or WXMP (latter is particularly meant for small stuff, usually under magnification). Given the irons they initially released, the WXP120 is meant to be their general purpose iron. However, they've at least announced an 80W version in Europe (can't even find the brochure here in the US  :--).

FWIW, I have the 65W & 80W irons that go with the WD series (I shut it off & swap irons as needed; much cheaper this way, the vast majority of the time, I use the 80W, even on fine pitch SMD as the tips are available). No cartridge tips, so they're cheaper (you definitely want to figure tip costs in both your initial budget & TCO down the road).

Unfortunately, the WT irons/accessories won't work on the WX stations, as that 90W does look nice.

As per battery terminals, as mentioned above, crimping is the right way to go (Asian versions aren't horribly expensive IME; type that's either hydraulic or looks like a bolt cutter). But if you must solder, just use the 200W wall iron.

Thanks for the tip.

I placed an order on a WX2 station with the WXP 120 iron and chisel tips from 0.8-4.6 mm. They each cost 7 euros to cheap AF.

Will see how I like the iron and maybe get something with a smaller footprint (WXMP or similar) and if I see myself using the 120 W iron even on the smallest of jobs I might get a WXP 200 instead.

I hope I made the right decision. I much prefer the small footprint of the WT 1010 set and that 90W pencil is perfect for daily use but let see how it goes...
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2016, 12:21:53 pm »
I placed an order on a WX2 station with the WXP 120 iron and chisel tips from 0.8-4.6 mm. They each cost 7 euros to cheap AF.

Will see how I like the iron and maybe get something with a smaller footprint (WXMP or similar) and if I see myself using the 120 W iron even on the smallest of jobs I might get a WXP 200 instead.

I hope I made the right decision. I much prefer the small footprint of the WT 1010 set and that 90W pencil is perfect for daily use but let see how it goes...
The less expensive tips really are nice and the performance gap has narrowed significantly; possibly even vanished (i.e. finally came up with an effective way to make simple plated tips work approximately equal to cartridge types on their high-end iron & station combos).

I still say you'd be better to skip the WXP200 iron, and just use a wall-plug version in those instances you'd actually need it. Way less expensive; you'd even be able to get a crimp tool for that kind of money, which will do the job properly anyhow.  ;) And it leaves you the ability to attach something far more useful; such as a micro iron combined with micro tweezers if you ever find yourself working under magnification most of the time.

Regarding the WT 1010 set, I certainly like the look of it. But they're still too new at the moment regarding their higher mass tip selection for the 90W iron (currently just a few chisels up to 4mm :palm:). They've got to know they'll need more than that to sell that iron. However, the station itself is backward compatible with most tools that work with the WD series (i.e. WP80 or WSP80 irons are 80W & use inexpensive tips), which should help drive sales.
 
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Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2016, 01:53:58 pm »
I placed an order on a WX2 station with the WXP 120 iron and chisel tips from 0.8-4.6 mm. They each cost 7 euros to cheap AF.

Will see how I like the iron and maybe get something with a smaller footprint (WXMP or similar) and if I see myself using the 120 W iron even on the smallest of jobs I might get a WXP 200 instead.

I hope I made the right decision. I much prefer the small footprint of the WT 1010 set and that 90W pencil is perfect for daily use but let see how it goes...
The less expensive tips really are nice and the performance gap has narrowed significantly; possibly even vanished (i.e. finally came up with an effective way to make simple plated tips work approximately equal to cartridge types on their high-end iron & station combos).

I will take your advice and skip the 200W pencil since it is overkill for most applications and get a WXMP instead.

Will the WX2 be a superior station than the WT in terms of performance?

I still say you'd be better to skip the WXP200 iron, and just use a wall-plug version in those instances you'd actually need it. Way less expensive; you'd even be able to get a crimp tool for that kind of money, which will do the job properly anyhow.  ;) And it leaves you the ability to attach something far more useful; such as a micro iron combined with micro tweezers if you ever find yourself working under magnification most of the time.

Regarding the WT 1010 set, I certainly like the look of it. But they're still too new at the moment regarding their higher mass tip selection for the 90W iron (currently just a few chisels up to 4mm :palm:). They've got to know they'll need more than that to sell that iron. However, the station itself is backward compatible with most tools that work with the WD series (i.e. WP80 or WSP80 irons are 80W & use inexpensive tips), which should help drive sales.
 

Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2016, 02:37:22 pm »
Also, does anyone know the difference between the WXMP and the WXMP MS? I a guessing the latter stands for mirco soldering but they look identical to me  |O
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2016, 05:52:13 pm »
Also, does anyone know the difference between the WXMP and the WXMP MS? I a guessing the latter stands for mirco soldering but they look identical to me  |O
In this case, MS stands for Mil-Spec.

The differences are solely in the tips, and are very likely to be minor at best (i.e. thicker plating, possibly slightly different measurements for the profiles offered <can't recall the details, but it should be in their literature>).
 
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Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2016, 07:11:41 pm »
Also, does anyone know the difference between the WXMP and the WXMP MS? I a guessing the latter stands for mirco soldering but they look identical to me  |O
In this case, MS stands for Mil-Spec.

The differences are solely in the tips, and are very likely to be minor at best (i.e. thicker plating, possibly slightly different measurements for the profiles offered <can't recall the details, but it should be in their literature>).

I will read more about them to see if I can find the exact differences. Which one should I got for in that case? Are the tips interchangeable between them?
 

Offline exmadscientist

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 02:56:25 am »
We have the full WX set at work. That's the 2021 (40W WXMP micro iron + 2x40W WXMT tweezers) and WX3 set (WXHAP200, I-forget-which-one of the desoldering irons, and WXP 65W iron). We recently purchased the WXP 200W iron because the 65W is pretty useless (it's too small and doesn't have noticeably more power than the 40W), only to find that the 200W is also somewhat useless (the smallest tip offered is physically too large for most normal lab/bench work). We recently got the 120W in and will see how it does. The MP micro set however is getting a lot of use and everyone here seems to like it a lot.

The "MS" is indeed "Mil-Spec" and is related to grounding paths in the irons and tips. It is, as far as I can see, not important at all for normal work. You can mix and match tip and iron types -- and to some extent are forced to do so because the sets include the MS irons but the MS tips are not readily available -- but you will lose the special MS grounding when a non-MS tip is used. This does not bother me in the slightest.
 
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Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: What soldering iron(s) do i need?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 07:11:30 am »
We have the full WX set at work. That's the 2021 (40W WXMP micro iron + 2x40W WXMT tweezers) and WX3 set (WXHAP200, I-forget-which-one of the desoldering irons, and WXP 65W iron). We recently purchased the WXP 200W iron because the 65W is pretty useless (it's too small and doesn't have noticeably more power than the 40W), only to find that the 200W is also somewhat useless (the smallest tip offered is physically too large for most normal lab/bench work). We recently got the 120W in and will see how it does. The MP micro set however is getting a lot of use and everyone here seems to like it a lot.

The "MS" is indeed "Mil-Spec" and is related to grounding paths in the irons and tips. It is, as far as I can see, not important at all for normal work. You can mix and match tip and iron types -- and to some extent are forced to do so because the sets include the MS irons but the MS tips are not readily available -- but you will lose the special MS grounding when a non-MS tip is used. This does not bother me in the slightest.

Good to know, I will just buy either in that case.
 


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