One of the tools that one needs for joining different pieces of a circuit for metal or electrical work is soldering iron. Soldering iron makes it easy to have a neat combination of circuits, which might not be possible via welding. As a result, this article focuses on the best soldering iron available.
There are many soldering irons as they come in different sizes, shapes, and Specifications. They are usually available enclosed in a kit, which makes them portable. This article will prove to be immensely useful for everyone who wants to choose the best soldering iron.
After hours of research and comparing several products, we made our pick based on user experience, customer feedback, ease of use, safety features, the tool’s versatility, etc. As a result, we are confident that you will find our review helpful and get a reliable tool to meet your needs.
We also have a detailed buying guide that directs users on essential things to keep in mind while searching for the best soldering iron.
Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station
For everyone that needs a robust and reliable soldering iron, Weller is a fantastic choice. It is the perfect tool to get your soldering job done with ease. It comes with a heat resistant Silicon Cable, which makes handling safe. Using it also will not pose an issue, thanks to the impressive safety features.
It features a temperature lock system that protects components and tips, giving you the ability to have a quality job. This tool is ESD safe with a compliance certificate for electrical safety. All professional jobs like electronic kits, PCB soldering, low voltage wiring, cable assembly can be done with this device.
Users will appreciate the cutting-edge features like standby mode, intuitive navigation, auto-check, etc.; it will find application in all audio and electrical repair work, small engines and appliances, hobby models, etc.
- 0W power
- Temperature range of 1000C to 4500C
- 0C temperature stability
- Pencil style
- Brand: Weller
- Voltage: 110 volts
- Product Dimension: 5.91 x 8.86 x 12.4 inches
- Product Weight: 5.51 pounds
Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station
For everyone that needs a reliable soldering iron, Hakko is a terrific choice. It is a soldering station with everything you need to have a smooth soldering section. The device comes with other components like a sponge, iron, station power source, etc.
This soldering iron is impressively fast as it heats up and could get to 750 Fahrenheit in less than 50 seconds, and ready for the job. The temperature is also stable, which ensures you have a neat and consistent job.
Users will love the excellent thermal recovery, which comes from using the T18 series tip for improved heat conductivity. With this, users can solder at a lower temperature, which also brings down the device’s thermal impact. Users get to enjoy as much as five programmed temperature settings, which are easily accessible.
- Five temperature settings
- Huge operation range of 120F to 899F
- A combination of metal and plastic material
- Brand: Hakko
- Voltage: 120 Volts, 70 Watts
- Product Dimension: 9.6 x 9.6 x 7.3 inches
- Product Weight: 2.6 Pounds
X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station
Beginners and professionals will find the X-Tronic soldering station useful. It is the perfect component to take care of various soldering jobs with ease. The kit comes with everything users need to have a good soldering experience. The unit heats up pretty fast, from 200°C to 480°C in less than 30 seconds.
The soldering iron is made of a stainless steel shank, which is very comfortable to hold as the handle is heat resistant. Users will love the bright LED fully adjustable display with the toggle switch that allows you to easily switch the temperature from Centigrade to Fahrenheit.
There are two detachable helping hands alongside other accessories that come with the device. Users will find them helpful when working on small PCBs and other small devices.
- Anti-Static Designed
- Centigrade to Fahrenheit Toggle Switch
- 0 Inch Very Pliable Soldering Iron Cord
- 0 Minute Sleep Timer
- Magic Temperature Compensation Technology
- Brand: X-Tronic
- Voltage: 110 volts, 75 Watt
- Product Dimension: 6 x 5.5 x 8 inches
- Product Weight: 1 pound
Antibes Soldering Iron Kit Electronics
Antibes stands out because users get a complete set of tools without the need to purchase additional accessories. You get everything you need for a seamless and easy soldering job. The safety feature is impressive because the tools have features like heat insulation and anti-scalding that keeps users protected and comfortable.
Users get a firm grip thanks to the screw thread of the iron head. The device features a robust metal construction alongside an aluminum body frame. With this, users can easily use it with one hand. Also, it is pretty easy to use the device to work on PCBs.
This is a device for home and DIY operations, hobbyists, etc. It is portable and easy to carry, which makes it easy to take the device anywhere.
- Temperature range of 200 to 450-degree centigrade
- Screwdriver head style
- Feature a steel soldering iron stand
- Brand: Antibes
- Voltage: 110V, 600W
- Product Dimension: 10.3 x 6 x 1.9 inches
- Product Weight: 1.1 pounds
LOVE Soldering Iron Station Kit
If you want a heavy-duty soldering iron at a reasonable price, consider the Lonove soldering iron kit. This is an anti-static soldering iron that is ESD compliant, and comes with a variety of top features. It is a kit that both beginner and professional users will find helpful.
It has a temperature range of 90C to 480C and temperature stability of ±1°C. The device features a protective cord shield, reusable soldering iron, which helps extend the device’s life. The device is made of stainless steel, which guarantees long life and allows the material to withstand excessive temperature.
There are also several soldering kits included in the device. All these make life easier for the user and make the soldering process comfortable. The product comes with enormous power – 60Wattage power. This translates to fast heating up as the device takes a whooping six seconds to rise to 392F – the solder’s melting point.
The timely temperature control capacity helps prevent virtual welding that could arise due to a change in solder temperature. This saves power and allows the user to have a durable tip.
- Temperature range of 194F to 896F
- Fast heating up
- PID temperature control
- Digital LED display
- Brand: Love
- Voltage: 110V, 60W
- Product Dimension: 9.6 x 5.1 x 5.1 inches
- Product Weight: 1.86 pounds
LEXICON Butane Soldering Iron Multi-Purpose Kit
This is a multipurpose butane torch kit that will remove all hassle and issues with soldering for users. Professional and new users will find this tool practical and convenient. It provides the perfect solution to cutting heat-sensitive materials and soldering iron. This is an ideal tool for various jobs like decorative wood burning, jewelry manufacture, wire soldering, etc.
The presence of a frame locking button alongside the self-igniting trigger makes it a terrific choice for use in a series of applications. Users get a working temperature of up to 2400C, which delivers impressive performance with the soldering tips. It is durable when compared to cheap soldering irons.
Users will love this metal refillable fuel tank, which will last pretty well as the component has been tested for ignition capability and leakage. Besides, you get to finish your job without bothering to refill the tank. It features a vast capacity butane tank that gives you 75 minutes worth of a job. There is also an ignition stopper to prevent sudden ignition, which could trigger a fire.
- Cordless soldering torch
- Electronic self-ignition trigger
- Precise flame control
- Extreme working temperature
- Brand: Lexicon
- Power Source: Butane
- Product Dimension: 1.8 x 6 x 11.7 inches
- Product Weight: 1.08 Pounds
Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station
Here is a 40 Watt soldering station with a light pencil iron and a foam grip with heating elements that can be replaced. Professionals, DIY, and students will all find the product helpful. The soldering station comes with everything users need to have a smooth soldering section and form an effective and efficient electrical connection.
Weller features a superb quality pencil iron alongside an ST# iron plated copper tip. The product was designed with a cushion foam, which forms a comfortable grip with the end. With this, you can enjoy long operating hours without fatigue. You can adjust the power control from 5 to 40Watt, all with a knob. This allows you to customize every operation.
You get to work with a workstation with a built-in iron stand, which helps organize your space. This device enjoys solid copper tips while it was plated with nickel and chromium to prevent corrosion. With this, you can enjoy the device for many years to come.
Weller WLC100 soldering iron is UL-listed. This means the device meets all required safety standards. Users also get a year warranty to cover defects.
- Heats up to 900F to handle varieties of soldering projects
- Power ranges from 5W to 40W.
- ST3 iron-plated tip for long life
- UL Listed tested
- Brand: Weller
- Power Source: Electricity (40W)
- Product Dimension: 8.8″ X 3.76″ X 6.3″
- Product Weight: 1.4 pounds
Antibes Soldering Iron Kit
Antibes soldering iron kit is another top device that beginners and experts will find reliable as they go about their soldering job. This tool comes with many top quality features, which makes it appealing to users. It is a 60W soldering iron that heats up fast, and it has a temperature range of 200C to 450C.
The grip is comfortable, ensuring long hours of operation without hand fatigue or any form of stress. This soldering iron stands out as an 8 in 1 multifunctional screwdriver that comes with eight magnetic bits that can be replaced. It is a portable device that you can move around quickly. Like welding circuit boards, electric repair, PCB manufacturing, etc., various types of jobs will be comfortable with this tool.
The convenient on/off switch makes it easy to turn the device off anything. As a result, you get to conserve energy during long hours of operation.
- Comes with on/off switch
- Anti-slip handle
- Multifunctional screwdriver
- Brand: Antibes
- Power Source: Electricity (60W, 110volts)
- Product Dimension: 7.5 x 4 x 2.8 inches
- Product Weight: 1.1 pounds
Vastar Soldering Iron
Vastar soldering iron is a terrific choice for everyone that needs a good soldering iron at a reasonable price. This is an analog soldering station that can give temperatures as high as 480C, enough to handle melt series of metal and help you manage all sorts of soldering jobs.
Users can adjust the power from 5 Watts to 60 Watts to give the needed precision to handle various jobs thanks to the power control knob. The device’s efficiency is high, which ensures that users have a good and long life with the device.
Also, users get the opportunity to control temperature settling using the latest temperature control circuit. This allows you to work on various materials that require different settings.
- Adjustable temperature
- Built-in welded bracket
- Internal ceramic heating elements
- Brand: Vastar
- Power Source: Electricity (60W, 110volts)
- Product Dimension: 9.8 x 5 x 4.1 inches
- Product Weight: 1.63 pounds
Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit
This Plusivo soldering kit is a complete set of soldering equipment directed at beginners, professionals, hobbyists, electricians, and DIY enthusiasts. It is the perfect tool for various jobs like electronic repairs, DIY projects, welding of circuit boards, and many more.
Users are assured of a high-quality product that comes with every essential accessory like a soldering iron stand, sponge, and others. It has a heat resistant cap that serves as insulation to make the user comfortable while soldering. The manufacturer prioritized safety, which explains some of the accessories that come with the device.
Plus soldering iron is a 60W device with a temperature range of 392F to 842F. This allows users to adjust the temperature in a bid to meet various soldering needs. There is four ventilation hole to help ensure good breathability of the device.
- Heat-resistant cap
- Heat-resistant anti-skid handle
- Spring holder
- Brand: Plusivo
- Power Source: Electricity (60W, 110volts)
- Product Dimension: 10.35 x 5.51 x 1.77 inches
- Product Weight: 699 gram
Buying Guide for Best Soldering Iron
We have explored the top 10 soldering iron available. We are confident that you will find a terrific choice that will serve your needs.
This section will shed light on what to consider before selecting the best soldering iron alongside other information that will help you make a terrific choice.
What is a Soldering Iron?
A soldering iron is a device that finds application in many projects. It looks like a tiny blowtorch that sends heat to the part that will be joined. Soldering iron comes in different forms like adjustable soldering irons, soldering iron stations, pencil irons, and wireless irons.
Each type comes with its pros and cons. As a result, there are some models suited for some projects compared to others. However, all these models work based on the same theory.
Soldering tools do use a filler material known as solder to assemble metal pieces together. The temperature at the tool’s tip rises, which converts the solder to liquid. The liquid flows over both objects, cools down, and forms a rigid assembly. It differs from welding because welding involves heating and fusing together of objects.
This makes soldering a better option for delicate jobs like working on PCBs, manufacturing stained glass mosaics, working on electronic circuits, joining copper pipes, manufacturing jewelry, etc. Also, a soldier makes a bond that is conductive to electricity. This makes it a top choice for use In linking wires alongside other electrical components.
How to use a Soldering Iron
Whatever you are doing that requires the linking together of two parts of a circuit or object: making jewelry, working on electronics, simple home repairs, a soldering tool will prove invaluable. Even though it might seem intimidating to handle a device with extreme temperature, there is simple and necessary knowledge to assist a beginner in operating the tool well. The steps someone needs to get the hang of soldering is not complicated.
The first step is to heat the soldering iron to the temperature that you want. Before that, however, make sure to clean the tool. Using a wet cleaning sponge, wipe the tip. You will continue the cleaning process throughout the operation. When you have a clean tip, touch the device you want to join with the hot tip. After about three seconds, put a little solder into a particular area where you want to have the connection. There will be heat transfer from the solder to the area, which turns to a molten liquid.
Make sure to allow heat transfer to the solder and not try to press the tip on to heat the solder. If you place the tip straight on the solder, the joints will not be strong, which will reduce the capacity of the connection to conduct electricity. After melting, the solder and the contact are joined, put the tool away, and allow the solder to cool.
Types of Soldering Iron
Soldering iron used in the process of the electronic circuit comes in several types. We discuss them below:strong>Pencil Soldering Irons: the temperature for this cannot be adjusted, and the user will connect them to a wall socket directly. Adjustable Pencil Soldering Iron: This is a pencil soldering iron with adjustable temperature. Cordless Irons: for people that need a portable soldering iron, or a device that is small to carry about and fit your work station perfectly, this is a terrific choice, Soldering stations: These devices come in two distinct parts – there are the base part and the soldering iron part itself. The base has a holder, a temperature dial alongside a cleaning sponge.
Features to Explore Before Selecting a Soldering Iron
This section will guide you on essential factors that should guide your choice of the best soldering iron. We discuss these below:
We recommend a soldering iron that has nothing less than 30 watts worth of power. The high power will make the soldering iron heats up quickly, which will ensure you do not waste time on the job. On the other hand, soldering iron with low wattage takes a pretty long time to heat up and might not give a consistent holding temperature.
Temperature Settings and Control
Soldering iron in the olden days has a single temperature setting that cannot be changed. With what we have today, it is possible to adjust the heat and get them as high as possible. One of the things that affect your choice of a soldering iron is the temperature control, as it can affect your choice, mostly if you will work on various materials.
Some soldiers work better at specific temperatures. For instance, Brazing copper needs an alarmingly high temperature compared to what you will need for an ordinary soldier. As a result, if you aim to achieve excessive temperatures and mild ones, make sure you consider the temperature range of the device. You are better off with brands that are powered by electricity.
It should be easy to replace the iron’s tip; also, it should be compatible with varieties of tips. Tips come in different sizes for various jobs. As a result, when you want to buy a soldering iron, be sure to check the price of the tips. There are soldering irons that are not compatible with tips from other brands.
Many people do not consider comfort when choosing the device. It, however, is pretty essential as it determines your experience with it. In other words, how does the device feel when you hold it? A device that gets too hot while handling is not recommended, especially if you will be using the tool for an extended period. As a result, check to see that the device has an insulated hand.
While most devices have this feature, some might still get hot. If the hotness will not make you injure yourself, that is a terrific option. Users should be able to work with a device at the hottest temperature without hurting their hands. However, it is essential to handle a soldering iron with a safety glove.
An iron stand is essential as it serves as a place to put the hot soldering iron while working.
This depends on the frequency with which you use the device. The soldering iron for someone that wants to work on small jobs or simple repair jobs will differ from what you will need to build a circuit PCB assembly. Make sure to pay attention to the essential features available depending on the applications.
For beginners or people fresh with soldering, we recommend getting the following accessories:
- Solder: 60/40 lead/tin is the best and easiest to work with
- Solder wick: it helps in cleaning off excess solder as the wick helps to soak the molten solder
- Cleaning Sponge: this is useful to clean the iron tip during soldering
- Tip tinner: this is the right component to clean the soldering iron tip, re-tins it when black and oxidized.
- Diagonal Cutting Pliers: This helps trim the lead when done soldering
- Helping hand: this helps grasp the components together during the soldering process.
- Flux Pen: the content in here makes it easy for the lead-free solder to flow easily
- Solder Vacuum pump: with this, you can remove the left solder while desoldering components.
- Solder Mat: this helps keep your workbench surface safe during the soldering process.
Safety Precautions While Soldering
- Touching the tip or element of the soldering iron is a terrible idea. They are usually hot with extreme temperatures of about 4000C; hence burn is inevitable.
- Use a clamp or tweezers to hold the wires you want to heat.
- While soldering, the cleaning sponge should be wet.
- When you are not using the soldering iron, return it to the stand.
- When the tool is not in use, turn it off or unplug it.
FAQs on Best Soldering Iron of 2021Q: Is a 30-watt soldering iron good? A: We recommend soldering iron with higher wattage – in the range of 40W to 60W. The main con with a low wattage soldering iron is the high heat loss rate. They lose heat faster, which leads to bad joints. Q: Are soldering iron tips Universal? A: Soldering iron tips are not universal and cannot be used interchangeably except the same manufacturer designs them. Q: Can a soldering iron damage a circuit board? A: In a situation when soldering leads into a circuit board, the aim is to apply heat to the board and metal contact on it, alongside the lead. Excessive heat application can compromise the board and associated components. If the solder is not enough, on the other hand, you will not have a strong connection with the circuit. Q: What metal does solder not stick with? A: A zinc chloride flux and a soft solder bond pretty easy with other metals like tin, brass, and copper. Here are metals that will not combine: stainless steel, iron, aluminum, steel. One should note that solder flows smoothly, and once the surface is hot, it will stick well Q: Soldering Iron or Gun: Which is Better? Compared to soldering iron, soldering guns are powerful. You have greater flexibility when working with a soldering gun compared to a soldering iron. Also, a soldering gun heats on time, making it energy efficient to heat and cool down efficiently. Q: When should I replace my soldering iron tip? A: Before and after all the soldering session, it is essential to tin your tips. It is also necessary when soldering like two or three joints together. It is essential to have the tip tinned every time. Q: What should you not do after soldering? A: It is only when you are about to start soldering that you should switch on the soldering station. When going on a break, to the toilet, or for meals, turn off your soldering station. Bear in mind that most soldering station does not take a long time to heat up – a maximum of 50 seconds. Q: How hot should a soldering iron be? A: While the tip temperature is not the central element in soldering, it is essential to commence at the lowest temperature. We recommend that people put their soldering iron tip temperature to around 260 C. You can also increase the temperature to get the result you desire. Q: How do you control the temperature of a soldering iron? A: In setting the temperature of your device, you will use a Potentiometer VR1. One can house the circuit in a box and fix the Potentiometer on the side. With this, it is possible to use the knob from outside to control the soldering iron’s temperature.
This article has shed light on the best soldering iron available for all in 2021. We are confident that whatever decision you make from our suggestion, you will have a good time with the tool.
Or a top recommendation for the best soldering iron is Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station. It is a 70-watt soldering iron that will handle all your soldering jobs easily. The safety feature is impressive and other additional features make it worth it.
Also, there is a comprehensive buyer’s guide that answers the needs and questions of the user about picking a suitable soldering iron.