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By kierenj

I'm getting back into electronics, and desperately need new soldering tools - I have a big, chunky, cheap iron with horrendous damage.

I am interested in soldering connectors and perhaps 0.1" stripboard, but also PCBs - I have ordered a couple from this site. Though I will not move on to SMD parts straight away, I *do* have plans to do SMD soldering in the near future.

I have done soldering before, but this time I'd like to get it right. If anyone could recommend a soldering tool (soldering iron, I suppose) which would meet my needs, it would be greatly appreciated. An added bonus would be a recommendation for solder flux / solder / any other tools I might need!

Most kind ... thanks !

By Caffeine
I use a hakko 936 station at home, which is excellent. We use weller wtcpt stations at work, which aren't temp adjustable like the hakko, but are still very good
By bsnowblind
Go to EBAY to purchase. Go to the techni-tool website and search for soldering irons. Look at all of the models. This will give you an idea of what is out there and what you need. The best iron I have ever used was a METCAL. Great iron, expensive, not good for home use. Even if you got the supply for cheap, tips are $25 minimum. Weller and Hakko are excellent home and work use irons. The tips are much cheaper also. Definitely look into a temperature selectable unit. This will be useful when doing SMDs. If you are not in a hurry, EBAY is the way. I got a Weller with adjustable temperature and digital readout for under $100 (BRAND NEW). My only suggestions on tips: conical shape tips are the easiest to use with SMD; I would get several sizes in conical shape and screwdriver shape. I have done all my work with both shapes. Definitely shut the iron off when not in use. I have had the same tips for over a year now. GOOD LUCK...
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By sparky
We've had a Weller WES50 for many years - you really can't kill a Weller. ~$110 - great little soldering iron - solid.

I agree - ebay is an excellent place to find cheap soldering equip.

But for the money, I would recommend a combined soldering/hot-air rework station. At ~$200, it's saved us atleast in chip salvage (removing expensive ICs off proto PCBs with the hot air gun).

By BigJP
i agree i got the combo with the hot air and i have only used it a few times but it pulls up smd components in a matter of seconds. But where can i find flux in a spray can i have head of it on here but have not been able to find it
You can get liquid flux and a syringe dispenser very inexpensively from almost any of the online electronics tool companies (Technitool, Contact East, Jensen, etc.).

That's what I do. I bought a small bottle of flux maybe 7 or 8 years ago. In that time I've used about 4-5 oz. of the original 16 oz. A small bottle will last you a long time. The needle dispenser works great for SMD stuff and the surface tension of the flux at the end of the needle wicks the flux onto the PCB pads and under the device leads..

I don't use no-clean flux as I like to do a final solvent/ clean on my boards but you can get no-clean, solvent clean or water soluble flux.