Soldering is almost an artform. Sure, you can get the job done with a little practice, but it takes a steady hand and experience to truly master it.
Your soldering can look like an abstract Pollock painting or it can feature the precision of a geometric artist like Frank Stella. For some precision soldering you can check out our list of the best microscopes.
In order to do quality work you need a reliable tool for the job. Fortunately, it’s not hard to make a useful soldering iron. There are a variety of great choices available on the market. Here are the best soldering irons available:
With the X-Tronic #3020-XTS you get a fast heating, time saving, partially digital soldering iron. On top of the fast heating, enjoy the ease of use that comes with the comfortable chromed spring style iron holder. Heat isolated with a plastic polymer “Bakelite” to protect against any accidental burns.
For the most discerning optimizer, to save on your electricity bill, you’ll find an automatic 10 minute timer for lowering the temperature back to 200 degrees.
This authentic Hakko FX888D soldering station is a popular tool from a highly reputable manufacturer. High grade components that reduce the impact of oxidation on your soldering tip.
With long lasting components you save on cost and time. Temperature readout comes in both Celsius and Fahrenheit but most importantly it’s easy to use. Simply plug in and play.
Taking minimalism to a new bare minimum is the Vastar Soldering Iron Kit. Expect fast heat up and efficient heat dissipation. Simply plug it in and regulate temperature with a small adjustable wheel. High quality steel coupled with state of the art technology and you got yourself a neat little affordable soldering iron.
If you’re looking for something a little more complete than the Vastar Soldering Iron Kit, then the Delcast SL-WSt is for you. A proper simple soldering station with the essentials – a tray with a sponge for cleaning the iron and a solder dispenser reel not to mention a pitch black holder for keeping the soldering iron.
The Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering station is another modest looking but compact all-in-one reliable workhorse. Weller is still trying to improve it’s products and so it has with this one. They promise 40% faster heating in comparison to two older models. With a mix of baby blue and matte black it’s a simple classic looking tool. Maybe not the best aesthetically but thoroughly reliable as a work station.
The Preciva Soldering Iron Kit is ideal for house calls or for the technician on the go. Everything essential packed into a neat orange polymere case. Standard heat isolating silicone and a variety of replacements tips for precision work. Soldering wire is lead free so no harmful chemicals will be inhaled during continous use. A basic on/off switch and temperature dial between 428°F and 896°F. But most importantly it stands out for how light it is. At 130 grams you’ll be able to solder for sustained periods of time.
Among the most popular of choices is the Vastar Soldering Iron Kit. The price is outrageously cheap and with it come the core essentials you need to get some initial soldering done. With the low price comes a warning that you do not leave this piece of equipment unattended. Not the lighest iron in this list but the same essential design. Moderately fast heat up, silicon based protection for your hands and a small variety of replacement tips for a number of situations.
The Bottom Line
X-tronic Model #3020-XTS is a reliable accurate workhose. But you can’t go wrong with any of the other choices. So whether you’re working on a circuit board, home appliance or creating jewelery any of the tools present will get the job done. Keep your long- and short term work requirements in mind and ultimately purchase according to that.