No matter if you’re a tradesman or you’re just willing to try on a new hobby that implies melting various metals together, you’ll definitely need to get the best soldering irons to get the job done. Being able to build that perfect circuit board or easily fix your kid’s toy car when it gets broken, is something that any man dreams about.
However, no matter if you have the know-how and the time, you’ll still need the proper tools. Or, if you’re not sure about your ability to fuse two metallic materials together, you might as well give it a shot while using the best soldering irons. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with cheap ‘made in China’ models that don’t perform well, and that can totally ruin your experience.
That’s why we put our experts to work, and they spent hours in a row judging and testing the most popular devices so that you have a way easier job when it comes to deciding on the best soldering irons 2020 has to offer. Without further ado, we bring you a complete article on soldering irons. You get a thorough comparison table, detailed reviews for each product and an exhaustive list of FAQs and buying guide so that you’re sure you’re making the best choice.
Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision.
ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
We’re opening the list of the best soldering irons with a small but extremely powerful and capable product from Hakko. This soldering iron will make, even an absolute beginner, feel confident thanks to its multiple amazing features. A small soldering iron is equipped with a CHP170 cutter and thanks to the adjustable temperature control, you can perform a wide range of operations.
It’s small enough to fit on any workbench properly, and it’s easy to use with the two operating buttons. The 70 watts Hakko soldering iron, provides more than enough to take the iron from 120 to 899 Fahrenheit, thus eliminating the need for two such devices for low and high temperatures.
Why We Like It
The number two spot on our list of top electric soldering iron models takes Aoyue 469 station. This item actually got very close to taking the first position, if not for its bigger size. Otherwise, everything about it is built to impress.
Starting with the removable tip, the sturdy ceramic heating element, and the more than 50 variable tip sizes, this 60-watt soldering iron means business. In just a few seconds it can reach the base working temperature of 392 degrees Fahrenheit, being able to go up to 897 degrees. The variable power dial allows you to control the temperature easily for various types of projects, and the built-in sponge is very efficient for cleaning the excess materials off the tip.
Why We Like It
Looking for a cheap soldering iron that will do an awesome job? Look no further. This model takes the third position for the optimal price/quality it delivers. It is considered by most hobbyists as a starter soldering iron kit, thanks to the easily adjustable temperature control dial, that easily allows you to select any temperature between 842 degrees Fahrenheit.
Furthermore, the absence of a soldering station makes it even easier to use as you just plug and play. You can easily use it for a wide range of operations from building circuit boards, fixing various toys or electronic equipment, or even cutting or engraving wood. This small soldering iron for electronics operates with 110-volts AC power and is able to deliver a maximum of 60 watts, more than enough for any operation.
Why We Like It
If you are here for innovation and to discover the newest models of excellent soldering irons, this is the one for you. The Weller butane soldering iron can be considered the Ferrari of soldering irons thanks to its slick design and cordless functionality. It has a gas reservoir that allows it to run for one hour and a refill only takes 20 seconds.
The self-igniting Weller butane soldering iron can reach melting temperature in 40 seconds and thanks to not being tied down to a socket, you can use it anywhere you need it. It’s also very light so precision won’t be a problem even for beginners. Offering a power input that can be easily adjusted between 25 and 75 watts and reaching temperatures of up to 850 Fahrenheit, this can be the best soldering iron for you!
Continuing our journey through the best soldering irons, we stop to admire the ANBES Soldering Kit and the multiple tools it offers. Indeed, it may not be a fair fight comparing an entire kit with individual devices, however, that’s why this model sits in the middle of the list.
In total, you have 14 components and that’s everything you could ever wish for. Beginners and experienced individuals will appreciate the complete kit provided by ANBES. It contains the soldering iron, obviously, five different tips, desoldering pump, tin wire, the stand for the iron, tweezers, wire cutter, and two electronic wires.
Using this kit there’s nothing stopping you from trying even the wildest projects and, despite the multiple tools offered, it is easily portable. You can try anything from hobbies, circuit boards, making jewelry, or repairing various electronic devices.
The sixth position brings us another Weller soldering iron. This time, we’re dealing with a corded iron but one brings exceptional features. You’re getting a small but powerful soldering iron that ensures enough accuracy thanks to the round handle. It is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit and that makes it suited for any type of DIY job.
The thing that we appreciated the most about this Weller soldering iron tool is the three-point LED system that provides the perfect light for making sure even the tiniest wires are perfectly melted together. When to all that you add the 5-feet cord, you get an awesome tool that will make it easier to discover the inner craft smith.
So far, we’ve helped you find a good soldering iron. But what about de-soldering? Most of the time, people that are into repairing electronic devices will need to de-solder the old piece before mounting a new one in. This means a lot of wasted time if you don’t have the proper tools. Well, thanks to the ECG J-045-DS you can get rid of old solder in just a few seconds. This de-soldering iron station reaches a tip temperature of over 788 Fahrenheit and the vacuum pump is more than capable of sucking away all the old solder, leaving the component free to be removed.
It can be combined with various iron soldering stations presented above and it is a lot cheaper than a de-soldering gun. On the other hand, some users recommended that if you are working on bigger circuit boards, saving for a de-soldering gun is a good idea.
You don’t have to be an expert to know that the best soldering iron for electronics requires a lot of precision. Circuit boards can sometimes be only a few centimeters wide and you need pin-point precision in order not to damage anything.
Thanks to the increased power it produces, this adjustable soldering iron is capable of heating up and recovering faster for optimal precision. Also, the molded grip gives you all the control you need while the 3-button LCD screen helps you to keep the temperature under control.
The entire iron gives away a premium feeling and even though the price range is also reflecting that the wide range of operations you can perform, it’s worth every penny.
We bring you what could easily be the best temperature-controlled soldering iron. Produced by Sywon, this is a 60-watt electric tool that can operate between 200- and 850-degrees Fahrenheit for great DIY projects. Its ceramic core takes no time to heat the iron and the temperature remains stable thanks to a very efficient system.
There’s a green LED indicator letting you know the selected temperature was achieved and a red one indicates that the iron is still heating up. You can easily set the temperature by using the dial and the 6 different tips make this tool very versatile as well.
We’ve reached the last review in our list of the best soldering irons available on the market. This model is offered by Tabiger and it stands out through impressive cooldown times. While most users focus on the time it gets for iron to heat-up, nobody seems to care about how fast such a tool cools down. Well, those of you that work with multiple tips know exactly how time-consuming waiting for an iron to get cold is.
Of course, just because it is an excellent ad cooling off, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t heat up just as fast. The 110 V 60-watts make it extremely easy for the ceramic elements to reach the maximum operating temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is where we are looking closely at each of the properties you need to watch out for when shopping for the best soldering irons 2021 can offer.
When talking about size related to a soldering iron, there are at least two points of view. First of all, you need to consider the size of the entire device. It’s usually this attribute that specifies the type of task you can achieve with it. If you’re going for something super-fine, you need a small soldering iron. If you’re dealing with big circuit boards and devices, go big!
Then, there’s also a discussion about the size of the iron tip. Playing with various sizes of soldering irons and their tips can achieve remarkable results. With many models supporting several sizes and shapes of tips, there’s literally no limit to how many combinations you can make.
Adjustability refers to how the temperature can be set for each soldering iron model. While most of them offer you heat control, some models are better than others. Some go for dials that have temperature values printed on them while others display it on an LCD. If you’re working on a job that requires very precise temperature adjustability, make sure to go for one that reads the current temperature even if the price will probably be higher.
If you have more room when it comes to heat adjustment, then an iron with a dial should be enough for your DIY projects. As a general rule, it’s best to try with a lower temperature first and then increase it rather than using too much and risking damage.
When discussing power related to a soldering iron, you need to think about wattage immediately. The standard power range lies between 20 and 60 watts, however, a 100-watt soldering iron for industrial work isn’t unusual at all.
However, for DIY projects and small maintenance of electronics, you should be good with a 60-watt device. The more power your iron has, the better it will be able to handle the required for all types of jobs and anything over 60 watts can be considered too much for the vast majority of projects.
Like with any other device you buy, it’s ideal that it lasts long enough to be worth the investment. With irons, durability shouldn’t really be an issue, especially if you go for any of the models we reviewed above. With almost no moving components and a pretty straightforward design, these devices can easily last for years in a row. Of course, the cheaper models have been reported to break down more easily due to less-qualitative materials used in them. However, the iron, the tips, and the ceramic heating mechanism are guaranteed to be durable enough.
Any other feature that a soldering iron comes with is always welcome. For example, buying an entire kit that also contains tweezers, wire stripping tools, and extra solder bars or clay can bring you more value than just getting the components separately. Of course, when checking out the features of different irons you should always consider the projects, you’re going to use them on. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy an iron with multiple features for basic work only.
The first thing you should know about irons before buying one product or another, is the different types out there. While the principle is the same for all devices, the sizes and types of jobs they can perform vary.
Perhaps the best example of a pencil is the Weller butane model that is excellent for simple and easy DIY projects. Most of the time cordless, these pencils are ideal for maneuverability and can reach high enough temperatures for most DIY projects. However, if you’re going to do some high-precision work, you should know that these pencils rarely offer temperature control. The excess heat may damage certain components on the circuit board or another project you are working on.
A soldering station is usually composed of a pencil that is connected with a power station. The soldering iron workstation is where all the controls are, and this gives you a lot of fine-tuning possibilities. You can control the temperature, wattage and make sure the tip has the proper values for any type of job. Stations are versatile, being capable of dealing with through-hole components as well as very delicate operations. They also require more space on your workstation so make sure also to take that into consideration when shopping for one.
We’re now discussing professional soldering. Usually found in high-volume facilities, these systems come with an entire arsenal of tools. You get a de-soldering gun as well, tweezers, wire strippers and a lot of other accessories that should cover all potential jobs no matter the difficulty or complexity. Of course, the price also goes up for these types of шкщт systems, however, you can be sure of professional-level equipment.
A soldering gun is basically a portable station that doesn’t have so many control options. You have a transformer capable of converting alternative currently at 110V into a lower voltage and a higher amperage to generate heat. They usually have an on/off switch that you need to press to operate and they get heated very quickly. However, there’s little control when it comes to temperature so more delicate circuits could get damaged in the process.
So, are you ready to start building that digital clock you’ve been thinking about since childhood? With all the info you have now, picking the best soldering irons should be a walk in the park. You know all about power, adjustability, various tip and designs for each type of job. It’s good to know that for most projects you won’t have to spend a lot of money as the top soldering irons are quite affordable.
And, if you’re still having a hard time making up your mind between two similar iron models, we’re going to give you one extra tip. Even though the entire analysis was made from a completely objective standpoint, our experts fell in love with the Hakko Digital Soldering Station Station for all the features it offers, increased durability and versatility it offers. Hoping that you’re now on your way to make the best purchase, we would like to thank you for reading our homemakerguide. Good luck with all those DIY projects!
Electronics don’t require a very high temperature for various repairs, so you don’t need an extremely powerful iron. However, due to the fact that you will probably deal with many components on a small circuit board, you should look for precision. That’s why the Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station is an excellent choice. The grip on the soldering iron is very good and the tip is specifically built for delivering precision when dealing with various electronics. With accurate temperature control, this soldering iron model is great for both beginners and professionals that wish to work on electronics.
The wattage of iron doesn’t necessarily affect the maximum temperature it can reach. Instead, it can influence the efficiency you get at a certain temperature. In other words, the higher the wattage, the more heat you can expect for the iron tip to generate. While the temperature may be the same – both 40-watt and 80-watt irons can reach temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit – the amount of heat dissipated by the 40-watt device is lower. This makes it ideal for doing precision jobs where heat has the potential to damage the nearby components.
After going through dozens of reviews and spending countless hours testing various stations, our experts see the Aoyue 469 Variable Power 60-Watt Soldering Iron Station as the best. It is, without a doubt, an impressive model thanks the variable power, removable tips, and a very good ceramic heating element. It perfectly combines sturdiness with easy handling on a big variety of projects. Heat retention is also very good, which makes it a great choice for delicate jobs as well as beginners that want to experiment more.
Yes, for most irons you can choose from multiple tips, depending on the project you’re working on. With various sizes and shapes, the tips can dramatically influence the precision and accuracy of your work. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to use tips from the same manufacturer as chances that a tip made by a different manufacturer to fit a soldering iron is quite low.