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Soldering station options

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Roorsly, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Roorsly

    Roorsly TDPRI Member

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    There are so many options out there and I'm in between 4 options. I am also open to some suggestions.

    I have all the parts for my first pedal except the strip board and a soldering iron and solder. I'm looking into another 2 pedals. A high gain fuzz since I'm building a low gain one first. And a heavy distortion pedal. Then once funds are available maybe a amp.

    The options range from the 50-130$ or so.

    So 50$ is a low end weller. 40 watts
    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC100...=1390862640&sr=1-1&keywords=soldering+station

    A 90$ weller 50watts
    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-...=1390862671&sr=1-4&keywords=soldering+station

    or the digital readout weller for 130$ 50 watts
    http://www.amazon.com/Weller-WESD51...1390862670&sr=1-10&keywords=soldering+station

    also looked into Hakko FX-888D for 90$ 70 watts
    http://www.amazon.com/Digital-FX888...1390862714&sr=1-17&keywords=soldering+station

    I am thinking the 130$ one seems to be a little steep and I'm paying for a name brand. Is the digital readout that important? I lean toward weller since that what I used years ago in electronics class. Any thoughts or experiences with one of these good or bad?
     
  2. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    The 50 watt Weller S51 is a workhorse. It's a touch slow to change temps IMO, but works great and should last a great long while. Higher wattage is great for when you have to solder/desolder a ground from a pot back. Just look how many forum threads there are for guys who changed pickups and then can't get sound, or have some other problem. More often than not, they burned the crap of the pot with a low watt soldering iron.

    I personally use an Edsyn 951 at home. I don't think you can buy a better station for similar money, but it's nearly twice the price of the S51. I just prefer the feel of the tips and the pencil on the Edsyn.
     
  3. 0018g

    0018g Tele-Meister

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    I used Weller for years, now I've got the Hakko 888 and I love it. Only thing better is a Metcal, but they're stupid money.
     
  4. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta Tele-Afflicted

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  5. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta Tele-Afflicted

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  6. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    I have the Weller wes51 , its a work horse , I use it for amps , pups , guitar circuits , LED strip lights , and ironing dents out of guitar bodies sometimes , removing frets , its a good solid soldering station .
     
  7. Roorsly

    Roorsly TDPRI Member

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    Cool, Thank you for all the replies. Will order one shortly once I decide how much I'm really wanting to spend.
     
  8. nb1234

    nb1234 TDPRI Member

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    I used to solder electronics for a living - from point-to-point stuff clear through to tiny surface mount stuff using solder paste applied by silkscreens and heated with hot air. I've used countless Weller stations - they're all good, though Metcals were the standard for most of the stuff I worked on. Very nice for handheld soldering work.

    That said, for guitar/pedal/amp stuff, you can do perfectly fine with very modest equipment. Here at home, I have a mid-range Weller station, a cheap Sears gun (honest!), and a butane powered Portasol - which you can probably get for 20 bucks online. I use the Portasol 80% of the time just out of pure convenience and the fact that it does the job.
     
  9. i386

    i386 TDPRI Member

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    I also have the Hakko FX888. Love it! It heats up to temp in about 30 seconds. The cord is covered in silicone so you can't accidentally melt it with the iron. Huge upgrade from my old Weller iron.
     
  10. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

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    I have a Hakko 936 I bought about 15 years ago and it has been a pleasure too use. If it went south, Hakko would be on my short list for a replacement.
     
  11. alba22

    alba22 TDPRI Member

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  12. Jubal81

    Jubal81 Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for the Hakko. It changed my life.
     
  13. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted

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    I am not a pro, but for modding effect pedals, and repairing, building amps, the innexpensive weller works just fine. I do have a weller "gun" if high heat is necessary.
     
  14. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought a Weller WLC100 station around 5-6 years ago.
    It had gotten quite a bit of use over that time period.
    NO problems whatsoever.
     
  15. OnThePorch

    OnThePorch TDPRI Member

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    Can I ask for opinions on this station? Link
    It looks to be well made, and comes with a good set of tips, and the reviews on Amazon seem positive. This will be my first station, and I'm not experienced at all. I would like to use it to build amp kits and gain experience. I have a hard time justifying $150CDN for a Hakko station, and at the end of the day, if it only lasts a year or two, or breaks down, $50 is not a big loss. I mainly just want to know from anyone who has used this one if I should steer clear or grab it!

    Thanks! :)
     
  16. rsi106

    rsi106 TDPRI Member

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    I use a Metcal MX-500 which seems pretty good. We've got loads of them where I work. Not sure how much they cost.
     
  17. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Tele-Afflicted

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    At my day job I've been using a Solomon SL20 for almost 15 years. I've repaired it a few times but that's it. They aren't expensive either.
     
  18. Ja S

    Ja S TDPRI Member

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    +1 on the Aoyue stations good bang for the buck, fast heat up and recovery.
     
  19. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

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    Love my Hakko! Too bad the silicon cord doesn't prevent cat bites. Still works like a charm though.
     
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