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Soldering iron suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by 338_MtRushmore, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about getting a used Hakko FX-888D for $60. It uses T18 series tips. Have those tips been around a while and likely be available in the future? Is there anything better I would likely find used in that price range, or am I just being silly and wanting too much for my money?


     

  2. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  3. sunbulls

    sunbulls Well-Known Member

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    Like most solder station irons, the tips are proprietary to their particular brand. If you purchase that station, I would buy and extra set of tips anyway. It’s a popular model. Odds are you will be able to buy more tips in the future. I have a 5 year old solder station that’s not near as fancy and I’ve yet to replace any tips. I don’t leave my iron on all day like some people. It’s a pain reheating sometimes, but I attribute that to my tips longevity.
    For heavier work, tube radios, large cables etc. I highly recommend the Wen soldering gun model 199. Since the 50’s, I’ve had several of these over the years. IMO they beat everything else in the gun category for speed, far better than any Weller gun. All the Weller guns (large or small) take too long to heat up. The bad news is Wen went out of business years ago. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to find used ones in good shape. They were a popular gun in the past, especially for TV repairmen during the tube days. The other issue is finding one that has a good original tip. Some Weller tips will work, but not near as well. The link will show you what a good original tip and the gun looks like. I typically buy the works without hesitation just to get an original tip. That’s how much I like this gun.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-WE...Home-Utility-Kit-Model-199-RF865/113379340779
     
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  4. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the info, but unless someone states otherwise, Ill probably get the Hakko 888. I have never had any success with a gun. I thought soldering heavy stuff was hocus pokus until I got an old craftsman 200 watt iron. Now I can solder 6ga wire to .25" plate if needed. My problem is tip life with pencil irons. One use and I'm going to town with a file because the tip eats itself away. Maybe a good station will make a tip last, or maybe I just destroy things, I don't know.
     
  5. TheRealPorkchop

    TheRealPorkchop Certified Sith Pimp

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    I have the Hakko 888D and I've owned it since Aug 16, 2017. I'm still using the factory tip that came with it although I ordered extras of different types for different situations.

    I don't leave it on all day and all night, I turn it off when I'm not going to be using it for awhile. It heats up to the 570 setting within seconds, never fails. Keep the tip clean, re-tin it when you see it needs attention. Within a few months of owning it, I ordered another to keep as a backup, that's how much I like it. I've got a few crappy Radio Shack soldering iron stations, a pair of Tenma's, knock-off Tenma and a Weller. None can hold a candle to my Hakko... Just my opinion, I won't ever use anything else.

    Far as the gun goes, I'll have to agree with Sunbulls but unless you need that much power, the Hakko is the way to go. I also bought the hot air station too because I was so pleased with the 888. I was gonna buy the desoldering station too but it's a good bit more expensive than the other stuff I've bought by them, so I cheaped out..

    I bought an Aoyue off Amazon... no regrets. For the money, it's been awesome and like every other desoldering gun, it requires cleaning and often if you use it a lot. I got the 474A++, pretty good unit and had no issues with it except it doesn't heat up as fast as a Hakko unit would.
     
  6. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Don't use regular copper tips. Use the iron clad tips instead. They have a silvery grey colour to them and last MUCH longer as they do not oxidize nearly as bad. That's all I have ever used. They stay much cleaner and solder flows better as well.
     
  7. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    I also have the best luck with the clad tips...A Scotchbrite pad and copper/brass fuzz ball is all you need to keep clean...
    I re-tin my tip every time it begins to chance color... if making multiple joints on boards...etc. I clean with the wet sponge and recoat the tip with fresh solder every time.
    My Weller has auto-shutoff and variable heat. I keep it just warm enough to make the solder flow quickly upon touch. I otherwise keep it turned down to minimum heat if it will sit for 10-15 minutes between use. This seems to save tips for longer usage...Just me.
    Most HAKKO stations have great reviews.
    I have a couple different Weller Stations, these have always serve me well...so have never changed.
    All the Best
    Gary
     
  8. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...6.TRC1.A0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=Hakko+FX-888D&_sacat=0
     
  9. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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  10. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    iron.jpg
     
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  11. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    American Beauty??
     
  12. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    :) radiator repair
     
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  13. Mudduckmobile

    Mudduckmobile Well-Known Member

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    Is not that Snakes iron for putting in the power in his radios?
     
  14. Mudduckmobile

    Mudduckmobile Well-Known Member

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    Sorry had to say it...
    I'm gone.
     
  15. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    Where is a good place to buy solder, flux and tips? I've been using lead free solder and flux from radio shack. What is is a good all around solder to use?
     

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