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BHZ, MG, Brazil
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I am thinking of buying a soldering station and my current idea of a good one is the Hakko FX-888, however I don't know that many in order to properly pick one. Therefore I'd like you guys to recommend me a good hobbist soldering station that:

- is price-compatible with the Hakko FX-888 (sub US$ 100)
- accessories (such as tips) are easy to find
- works in 110~127V AC
- 60W+
- easy to find all around the globe (like the Hakko)

Wether it comes or not with hot-air station is not an issue, because I currently use a Dremel Versatip for hot-air when I need it. It don't like to use the Versatip for soldering because its tip is too big.



« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 08:22:27 am by AlxDroidDev » Logged

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I got one of these: http://uk.farnell.com/duratool/d00677/soldering-station-48w-240v-eu/dp/1498366

In fact, I was so impressed with the price, I got 2, along with a free reel of solder & one of those brass pad things. However, I notice Farnell's US branch don't do that one, but they do this similar one:

http://www.newark.com/tenma/21-10115/soldering-station-esd-safe-60w/dp/56T2208

TBH at $57, buy two, if one breaks you've got a spare to tide you over while you buy a better one (or just another one).
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ive had my weller since 1985ish, never broken down and looks pretty new and you can get spares for it. those soldering stations look good but will they be around in the next 20 years when you wand a new tip/spares, i know wellers are expensive maby a second hand one of ebay
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I picked up one of these about a year ago.  It has both an iron and an SMD tweezers.  It works very well and I've had no problems with it.  It is compatible with Hakko 936 series tips and irons so you can buy replacements everywhere.

http://sra-solder.com/product.php/6370/22/aoyue_950_dual_function_repair_station
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/FULL-PACK-GQ-5200-2-in-1-SMD-Rework-Station-Hor-Air-Soldering-Iron-TSOP-BGA-USA-/300610348908?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45fdc5e76c

I know it's an off-brand, but I have to suggest this station.  Had it over a year and has never skipped a beat.  Heats up fast and has everything you need.  Plus some extra parts like elements, though I never had to use them. 
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I got one of these as well and (in my limited experience) it's great value for money.

The only issue I have is that I don't know if there's a standard for soldering iron tips but I haven't been able to get any to fit it other than the ones supplied but they cover most of my requirements.
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I got one of these as well and (in my limited experience) it's great value for money.

The only issue I have is that I don't know if there's a standard for soldering iron tips but I haven't been able to get any to fit it other than the ones supplied but they cover most of my requirements.

The station is a good price and I've had three, mainly because they are not built to last.  I bit the bullet and got a Hakko from Dancap here in the UK, it was expensive but has been very reliable and a pleasure to use.

Please note that I solder 15+ hours a week so I need something reliable which is why I gave up on the Duratool stuff, it would be fine for occasional use though.
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I have a Hakko too, got the http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/170980566704?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649. It hasn't let me down +6 months and I'm really happy with it.
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Go with the Hakko FX-888. It's worth every penny!  I have never used a finer soldering station in my life.  Rapid heat up, great heat retention.  The FX-888 will make soldering a totally worry-free, hassle-free experience.  Avoid ALL the Hakko imitations.  The FX-888 performs far in excess of it's price point.  Nothing cheaper, and nothing at less than twice the price, will perform at even half the level of the FX-888.
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I still own my original Hakko, purchased in 1996 or 7. I've bought countless tips for it and never had a tip go bad. I've replaced the whole iron twice but never had a bit of trouble with any Hakko controller and with a schematic build one for about $15 dollars if your spares are up to the task.. It's just an LM358 some diodes and a triac. and any 900 series Hakko iron can be used with it. Full irons can be had on Ebay and China in general for $11,00 - $12..  I recently found a Hakko 936 for $60.00 (gone now) and since it 's parts are inter-changable except controller PCB shape and case with the $90.00 Hakko FX888 and uses the the 906/926 lines soldering irons. I found it a deal too good to pass up. This is especially true of the colors. All the stock I could find when I was looking for a new hakko was that awful yellow and purple. Bosity on Ebay and Uxcell in China are the same store and when I bought my iron both stores were selling 10 tips for 9.99 "Free Shipping" I particularly like the 45 deg hot knife tip. I can solder an RFM12B radio to a PCB or solder it to wires and turn up the temp 50 deg's F and desolder a TO-223 chip with the full side. takes a little practice but the only one I use except for fine pitch IC's. It's also great for 'flipping' an SMD part off a board with minimal damage. as soon as I can get the money together that dual soldering work station will be my next soldering purchase.

Bob
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 09:03:56 pm by Docedison » Logged

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I still own my original Hakko, purchased in 1996 or 7. I've bought countless tips for it and never had a tip go bad. I've replaced the whole iron twice but never had a bit of trouble with any Hakko controller and with a schematic build one for about $15 dollars if your spares are up to the task.. It's just an LM358 some diodes and a triac. and any 900 series Hakko iron can be used with it. Full irons can be had on Ebay and China in general for $11,00 - $12..  I recently found a Hakko 936 for $60.00 (gone now) and since it 's parts are inter-changable except controller PCB shape and case with the $90.00 Hakko FX888 and uses the the 906/926 lines soldering irons. I found it a deal too good to pass up. This is especially true of the colors. All the stock I could find when I was looking for a new hakko was that awful yellow and purple. Bosity on Ebay and Uxcell in China are the same store and when I bought my iron both stores were selling 10 tips for 9.99 "Free Shipping" I particularly like the 45 deg hot knife tip. I can solder an RFM12B radio to a PCB or solder it to wires and turn up the temp 50 deg's F and desolder a TO-223 chip with the full side. takes a little practice but the only one I use except for fine pitch IC's. It's also great for 'flipping' an SMD part off a board with minimal damage. as soon as I can get the money together that dual soldering work station will be my next soldering purchase.

Bob

Bob (I so want to make an Enzyte joke right now but won't smiley-twist) is 100% correct. There is no need to spend even $80 for a soldering station (without hot air device), unless you plan on soldering for long periods of time daily. The 936 series is very very robust. There are a million knock-offs made because quite frankly its briliant in its simplicity. More importantly, because it isi so simple, even the knock-offs are in general good quality. I have a knock-off (Quako, yup I lmao when I saw the box) 936 and its going strong 8 years later. Also, because even the knock-offs are good quality its easy to find VERY inexpensive replacement parts like tips, irons, etc.
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I don't see where Bob is recommending a cheap knockoff of a Hakko, I see him telling people that HAKKO irons last a long time.  The knockoff's are NOT Hakko's and will NOT last like a Hakko.  You are just throwing away your money buying a something that LOOKS like a Hakko instead of buying an actual Hakko.   Not even a real Hakko 936 performs as well as the FX-888, and since the 936 is no longer made by Hakko, the best that you can do is buy a cheap knockoff.

With all the complaints on here about people buying knockoff Arduino's, I'm rather surprised to see someone advocating purchasing a knockoff soldering station.
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BHZ, MG, Brazil
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I'll try to buy a FX-888 then, and if I can't find one, I'll get a Weller.

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I have an X-Tronic 4400, dual Hot Air and Soldering Iron controllers.  Has worked well for 2 years so far.

Not related, as you're not looking for hot air:
I bought some chip-specific nozzles from MPJA.com to direct & control airflow for working individual chips. Hold steady for 30 seconds & done!
http://www.mpja.com/SMD-Stations/products/479/
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 01:23:27 pm by CrossRoads » Logged

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BHZ, MG, Brazil
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Thanks for all of your replies.

I was in Paraguay and Argentina on the weekend, and unfortunately I wasn't able to find any of the brands you mentioned. All I could find was a cheap brand called "Best", but priced higher than a Hakko.

Paraguay has a city called "Ciudad del Este" ("Eastern City"), which is a Free Trade Zone, so there are zero taxes on everything... think of a duty free shop the size of a city! The only thing good to do there is buy stuff (since the city is one of the ugliest I've seen), although there is a limit of US$ 300 of taxable goods you can bring back to Brazil. Fortunately photo cameras aren't taxable as long as you bring back only one, so I was able to buy myself a Nikon D7000 kit for much lower than Nikon's MSRP, and it is a brand new, in box, non-refurbished item!

Since I looked everywhere for a good soldering station and couldn't find any, I ended up spend my $300 allowed limit on Jack Daniels (Gentleman's Jack and Single Barrel) and a rainbow of Johnnie Walker bottles! I bought them in the Argentine Duty Free, and yet they cost 1/6 of their prices in Brazil.

Anyhow, I'll be spending my honeymoon in the US (Miami + Orlando) in September, and I guess that will be a good opportunity to get the much-desired Hakko, unless I can find some seller from eBay that will ship it to Brazil and declare the value as below US$ 50.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 02:02:38 pm by AlxDroidDev » Logged

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