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Topic: Looking for better soldering iron (Read 790 times) previous topic - next topic


Could anyone with somewhat extensive experience in soldering share some insight on reasonably priced soldering irons that can handle soldering thick wires (e.g. all the black wires in an ATX power supply which end up acting as a heat sink and making it impossible to melt solder) as well as precision soldering (e.g. SMT).

One I'm considering is the Weller WTCPT 60w which a lot of people seem to like. Are there any others? Pretty much burned through 3 Radio Shack soldering irons (25-35w) and am starting to modify them to force accept tips that don't fit, so I think I'm ready to move into the big[ger] leagues.


No single soldering iron is going to work for both large masses of wires such as from the ATX power supply as well as SMT work.  For the large masses of wires, I recommend a soldering gun such as one of the Weller guns.  For SMT work, you would be much better off with a hot air rework station such as a WEP 858D+




Mar 01, 2013, 02:10 am Last Edit: Mar 01, 2013, 02:17 am by DanDare Reason: 1

I think also that a 60W iron is enough for wire type we can find on ATX PSU wiring. Though "60W" doesnt mean all and better to look into iron max temperature. Anyway I able to solder such wires using a 50W one (dont know exactly what's the max temperature of my iron :p ). Also ot much difference using different tips, that said, of course a larger tip will help a bit getting it done.
I think that the main point about these wires is that they aren't made ou of copper but steel or something "silver" that doesnt accept solder very well, these wires are more for crimping.
Anyway, doesnt matter too much the iron or the tip you're using: It will not work (almost), if you dont plenty put solder flux on the wire youre trying to solder.

I hope it helps


I have been very successful at soldering bundles of ATX wires with my Hakko FX-888, but if I were planning on soldering them frequently, I would still prefer a soldering gun.


Well, I went out and invested in a 140/100 watt Weller soldering gun (loving it for these thick ATX wires) and a Benzomatic butane micro torch with a fine tip for electronics soldering. Both out the door for around $45 - if it proves to suffice as this next intermediate step for the next few months, I'll be happy having saved myself from spending an additional $100 for a professional grade station.

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