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Author Topic: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?  (Read 649 times)

Offline Dennis Toth

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What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« on: January 06, 2018, 06:57:31 PM »
Guys,
Saw a neat Weller D550PK 260/200 Watt soldering gun at ACE Hardware today. I have an old Weller 8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts that seems at times to be a little weak even with a new tip. I like to use the gun cause it heats quick and has worked for electric wires, has worked OK for building tanks but not as good as a big chisel tip. What do you guys use?

Best,   DennisT


Online Tim Wescott

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 07:02:08 PM »
It depends.  I have an old Ungar "gun" that has a chisel tip which is my current favorite.  I have an even older god-knows-what iron that's over a foot long and could probably be used to solder up a battleship, which I prefer for doing jobs on things that have a lot of thermal mass.  I generally don't like the Weller guns, because they manage to be too hot and too wimpy both at the same time.
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Online Brett Buck

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 07:47:40 PM »
Guys,
Saw a neat Weller D550PK 260/200 Watt soldering gun at ACE Hardware today. I have an old Weller 8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts that seems at times to be a little weak even with a new tip. I like to use the gun cause it heats quick and has worked for electric wires, has worked OK for building tanks but not as good as a big chisel tip. What do you guys use?

Best,   DennisT

    I have the same Weller gun. It is prone to losing good contact on the tips and you need to tighten it up periodically during use.

   I prefer the gun because the tip mass is much less than a big old iron like the American Beauty. It permits you to limit the area that is heated with makes the seams easier. There used to be an even bigger/more powerful gun but I was unable to find it when my old one broke.

    Brett

Offline Howard Rush

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 08:04:31 PM »
I use a toaster oven for surface-mount devices.
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Online Tim Wescott

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 08:17:25 PM »
I use a toaster oven for surface-mount devices.

I use a skillet for that -- mostly because the day I went in, Goodwill didn't have any good-looking toaster ovens, but they did have a skillet for $5.

Works great, even for soldering up boards with components on both sides.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 08:37:49 PM »

 My preferred soldering tool is Keith, another guy in our club.

 For whatever reason I've just never been able to figure out how to do even a remotely acceptable soldering job.  HB~>
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Offline RknRusty

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 09:36:52 PM »
My go-to tool is my Weller dual heat gun, 250w/325w or thereabouts. I keep a 7/16" wrench ziptied to the cord for frequent tightening before every use.

I bought a butane iron with assorted tips thinking it would be good for tanks, but it doesn't have enough horsepower. The Weller gun handles the job with authority.

I have a 25w iron for electronics.
Rusty
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Online Tim Wescott

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 09:44:03 PM »
My preferred soldering tool is Keith, another guy in our club.

What's his SKU at Home Depot?

Not a bad choice -- if you can't do the job, ask someone willing.
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Offline Dennis Toth

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 09:45:13 PM »
One thing I found out while looking up the bigger D550 Weller gun is that the two position trigger (on either gun) has the HIGH position being the first position and LOW position is when you pull it all the way in . I always just pull it back all the way thinking that the high rate would be all the way back. This explains why it seemed colder than what was needed for some jobs. Just tried it and sure enough first position 191F; second position 147F, who knew!!!(dam instruction manual, should have read it, NAY).

Best,    DennisT


Offline RknRusty

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 10:04:44 PM »
I can tell the power level on mine by how loud it hums when I pull the trigger.
I wish the Weller cases weren't so brittle. I've only owned two since I was a kid, but hardly remember ever having a complete unbroken shell housing the guts that rattle around inside it. They got a lot of use over concrete floors.
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Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 02:35:22 PM »
I use a variety of soldering irons at home.  I once bought a little butane soldering iron, which doubles as a little torch.  I mostly got it to carry in my flight box for field repairs.  It came in handy once at VSC, where I was able to solder a broken wire in a contestant's spark ignition entry.  That repair kept him in the contest, and justified carrying the solder rig around for so long.
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Offline William DeMauro

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 06:08:37 PM »
At home I use the Weller 8200N for just about all of my soldering needs. It is very important to keep the tip tight and clean for proper heat transfer. I had a Weller 8200PKS but always had trouble keeping the tip tight enough and eventually gave it away. At work I use the Weller SP40NUS Medium Duty LED Soldering Iron. I am mostly soldering light gauge wires and need something that heats fast and that is lightweight. With this a clean tight tip is also a must. I could probably easily use this for most of my soldering needs at home too.
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Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 07:19:13 PM »
Got a soldering station from Tower some years back . Now for most part , it handles all of my U/C and R/C needs  and my ole' Weller gun and Weller irons/pencils  of various amps remain cold.
I solder  a lot and the station easily handles up to 10 gauge noodle wire on ESCs, Dean's connectors, etc.
I've got a huge high amp iron that Pop used in the 40s ,50s and 60s that I still go to when soldering  fuel tanks.

Offline Motorman

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 07:58:25 AM »
Going to be buried with my Weller 8200, might have to unsolder the pearly gates.


lol,
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Online Brett Buck

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2018, 10:01:09 AM »
    If your sole use is to solder tanks, probably the bigger the better, but to be honest, soldering is a function of technique more than it is equipment, and I have seen incredible jobs using anything from an American Beauty 600W uncontrolled industrial from the 40's to a 15W pencil iron from a convenience store tool display. The single best tank workmanship I have ever seen (and what I aspire to) was from Ed Robbert and he used a Weller or Unger 15 or 25W pencil iron normally used for PWB electronics work. It looked like it was cast from a single ingot of tin, the seams were nearly invisible.

     I have 6 different soldering devices, a 350W American Beauty industrial iron from the 50's,  the big Weller gun, a Weller temperature-controlled station, an ancient Ungar station with temperature control in the tip (and am still using the tips that my dad got in 1966, still all in good shape), a really inexpensive Weller 15W pencil iron that I got when I couldn't afford anything else, and one of the butane mini-torches that I used to carry around like Floyd, but haven't seen for about 20 years.   I use the Weller gun exclusively for tanks, I use the Weller station for essentially all my electronics work (very extensive, for the last 25 years), very occasionally use the American Beauty for soldering something to radio or audio equipment chassis, never use the Ungar (it's a backup), little Weller (although I used it for 15 years for everything), or the butane torch.

     That's different from brazing, I use a MAPP gas torch for that that I got at the hardware store, about 5 minutes every 10 years.

     Brett

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2018, 10:27:09 AM »
I have tried different torches and the iron I now have came from Hobby Lobby.   It is used for inlaying solder among the glass mosaics.   But the best iron I ever had was one the boss told me to cut the plug off of and throw in the trash as the cord was getting frayed.   Once in the trash bin I retrieved it and put a new plug on it.Lost count how much soldering I did with it.  Also didn't know how old it was as these irons would be plugged in 24 hrs. a day every day of the year.   Plus you learned to be careful as if you touched the barrel with the heating element. it would not blister the skin it would scorch it. H^^
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Online RandySmith

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2018, 03:46:43 PM »
Guys,
Saw a neat Weller D550PK 260/200 Watt soldering gun at ACE Hardware today. I have an old Weller 8200PK 120-Volt 140/100 Watts that seems at times to be a little weak even with a new tip. I like to use the gun cause it heats quick and has worked for electric wires, has worked OK for building tanks but not as good as a big chisel tip. What do you guys use?

Best,   DennisT

The Weller  solder   STATION  is what I like best

http://www.weller-toolsus.com/


Randy

Offline John Rist

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Re: What's your preffered soldering tool - gun or iron?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2018, 04:58:59 PM »
Cheep and works!  http://www.mpja.com/Mini-Solder-Station-ZD-99/productinfo/15860+TL   I have used one for years.   At $5 you can replace the heating element making it a new iron.  Also the tips are iron plated and last a long time.  Temp control works well.  Never soldered a tank but have soldered control system components (cleaves) , surface mount PCBs, and all kinds of connectors (dean's plug etc).  For the price it's hard to beat.   If you buy one order the spare handle and a bunch of tips and you will be set for a long time.   Only problem is if you leave it ON set to high over night it pretty much cooks the tip.  So don't be a dunce and forget to turn it off when done.   n1

At 50W and the big tip it should work on a tank?
John Rist
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