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Old 04-18-2010, 07:37 PM #1
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Default Soldering gun

I kind of want to try a DIY, and need a soldering gun. Is there a specific brand or type you all recommend?


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Old 04-18-2010, 07:42 PM #2
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Default Re: Soldering gun

What do you want to solder....

It's like asking "I need something to carry water"...
(1 spoon full or 1 swimming pool full...)


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Old 04-18-2010, 07:43 PM #3
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
What do you want to solder....

It's like asking "I need something to carry water"...
(1 spoon full or 1 swimming pool full...)


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For use on regular hand-held DIY laser builds.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:53 PM #4
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Default Re: Soldering gun

WELLER makes a pretty good soldering GUN. I have one in addition to my soldering IRON.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:46 PM #5
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Go for an iron, not a gun for electronics projects. Most soldering guns run way to hot for electronics - they are more suitable for have wiring, tubing and such.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:05 PM #6
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Default Re: Soldering gun

^^^^^ Exactly^^^^.... and an Iron will have a smaller tip for fine
soldering to a Driver.... Definitely don't get a Gun for Laser
builds...

[EDIT]... fixed


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Old 04-18-2010, 09:08 PM #7
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Yes go for a iron not a gun. For diodes and small projects a 25 to 30 watt iron is ideal.
The most important thing to look for is if finding replacement tips will be easy.
I know everybody hates on radioshack, but they do always carry replacement tips for their low cost irons.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:14 PM #8
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Invest in a good Weller Iron.... It will last you a long time and
the Tips are easy to find..
You will also need .020" to .031" diameter Flux Core Solder..

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:26 PM #9
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
Invest in a good Weller Iron.... It will last you a long time and
the Tips are easy to find..
You will also need .020" to .031" diameter Flux Core Solder..

Jerry
Jerry, Any recommendations on a good (but cheap) soldering station?
My POS $5 ones keep breaking
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:43 PM #10
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Default Re: Soldering gun

If you're on a budget, consider Aoyue soldering stations, like the 936 (analog) or 937 (digital) models. They are priced at $50 or so, and very good quality for their price.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:41 PM #11
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by potatorage View Post
Jerry, Any recommendations on a good (but cheap) soldering station?
My POS $5 ones keep breaking
Over the years working in the Shop... we found that Cheap and Good
are nit really synonymous...
There are fair soldering stations like Benm suggested and some others.
We tried the <$40.0 cheapies and scrapped them.. not worth the
money IMO... like these...

SOLDERING STATION, solder iron, 50W, WHOLESALE, NEW on eBay.ca (item 290425192942 end time 21-Apr-10 17:20:05 EDT)

We use Weller Soldering stations exclusively... been using them for
over 25 years... so I guess I'm a bit biased towards the Weller Stations...
We solder every day and a tip last us a year or more.

Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station w Accessories NEW on eBay.ca (item 370360974530 end time 05-May-10 20:42:41 EDT)

or even one of these...

WELLER 40-WATT SOLDERING STATION, # WLC100 on eBay.ca (item 370344179013 end time 02-May-10 19:10:23 EDT)


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Old 04-19-2010, 01:04 AM #12
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Default Re: Soldering gun

I have an old Unger soldering station (about 15 yrs old) a UTC-300. It's been discontinued, but that isn't so much my point. If you solder things somewhat regularly, you should probably invest in a station that offers adjustable temperature and tips that can be exchanged. Mine can run anywhere from about 350-800 degrees plus, and offers tip sizes from precision to fat / high capacity. It is simply a better way to solder, compared to any gun or iron that I've seen. I like having the "right tool for the job" and a soldering station with adjustable temp and swappable tips covers it all.

Mine was about $100 15 years ago. Additional tips extra. Still working today, and WELL worth the investment.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:08 AM #13
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Weller makes quality products alright, its the brand to buy if you want stuff to last a long time.

But you do pay a sort of brand premium price for their gear as well. There are some solutions on the market that cost less and still work well, like aoyue, but there also is a lot of crap sold at lower or even similar prices.

The biggest practical difference is in the soldering tips: the cheapest ones are just made of copper, and those slowly dissolve in solder and wear out under the slightest mechanical pressure in no time. Anything like that is a complete waste of money.

Personally i somewhat dislike the cheaper weller sets because of the relatively long hot part of the iron - i prefer to have a gripping point closer to the soldering tip.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:57 AM #14
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Forgot the brand I have (nit at home) I got mine for $40 and it's a knob temp adjuster. Ranges from 250 to 700F. I use the. 250F for fragile super heat sensitive items. I had no problems soldering a laser diode (direct on it's pins ). I also use it all the time for SMD parts. So I'd recommend a temp adjusting one. Doesn't need to be digital, but it helps for a range of usage. Mine was for electronics.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:20 AM #15
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Default Re: Soldering gun

I use a hakko 936. Benm mentioned it, it seems to be the same as a Aoyue 936.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbtm View Post
I use the. 250F for fragile super heat sensitive items.
Well, Pb/Sn eutectic solder doesn't melt until around 360F, what are you using?

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:15 AM #16
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Default Re: Soldering gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
^^^^^ Exactly^^^^.... and an Iron will have a smaller tip for fine
soldering to a Driver.... Definitely don't get an Iron for Laser
builds...

Jerry

Hey Jerry,

Do you mean definitely don't get a GUN?

I'm sure we all know what you mean but some might get confused.

M
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