Buy a new soldering iron or repair my old Weller WTCPs ?

I'm in a dilemma.

Tonight my trusty old WTCPs finally gave up the spirit!

I bought it used ten years ago, and it has done good service since then.

Now the switch in the handle is finally worn beyond repair, the plastic in the handle has turned brittle and is cracking and tonight it got stuck in "on" and got pretty hot!

But should I get a new handle (the powersupply is still OK) or buy something from this century instead?

I like the old weller, but I can buy a new soldering station with electronic temperature control for less than the price of a new handle. I have considered one like this:®-Digital-soldering-temperature-fixpoint/dp/B001G2LVE0/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1367528842&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Ep5+soldering

I'm not using it all day long, rather a couple of hours a week.

Your link doesn't work, i don't know how to link to that amazon page.

I've never heard of the fixpoint brand, and the pics show an iron that is much like a lot of real cheap ones i've seen. No doubt it's in a complete different league compared to any Weller product.

That said, you could very well be using this iron happily (ever after...) without any problem, who's to say. It wouldn't be my choice if i needed it on a daily basis.

I started with Weller irons and I can't count the number of defective switches (an interesting part the switch drops out when the slug at the end of the tip reaches the "Curie" point.. {Named after the lady that discovered the phenomena in the 1890's as I remember} the "Curie" point is the temperature at which a ferrous material looses it's attraction to a magnet... And heaters I've replaced many. I switched to a Hakko 906 variable temp iron in the early 90's and in the time since I've replaced 5 heaters from a 906 to a 926 (Which I still own and works) and finally to a 936 (Discontinued). If you can find a 936 'discontinue and they are available still [$50.00 or so] or better, a dual use hot air and soldering iron (Typ $100 to $150.00 you would be better off. All I've seen use an iron similar to the Hakko product... even to the plug... and are available for $10 - 15 dollars (replacement cost) and the tips are cheap I bought an assortment of 10 different types from Ebay @ Uxwell (Bosity on a web search) for $9.95. US cost is about 4.95... EA. Buy the Hakko, You'll come to like it more than the Weller. I did...


Sorry about the defective link, I’m afraid it is because I’m on an iPad for the moment.

I’ve attached a picture instead.
This seller calls it “EP5”

But so far nobody has called me names for doubting the old weller. That could be a sign!


Nice looking iron... But in looking at it and wanting that fancy LCD on mine... I realized that I only infrequently look at the temperature and I would be making/buying something I rarely use and have not needed in the 20 years I've used the Hakko product. It stays @ 350 - 375 C or 650 - 700 F... Unless the job demands a different temperature... Like soldering TO-263 parts or other SMT work... It's "Cute" but useless in production or hobbyist use... It's a hobby for me today but was my profession for nearly 40 years... Engineering.


I bought one, and so far it is working flawlessly.

I'll keep you posted whether it breaks down or keeps going.

The link works fine if you cut'n'paste the entire thing. That iron looks 100% perfectly fine, and appears to be in the same league as dozens of other similar devices. That price range will buy a decent unit - my $50 40W adjustable unit has worked fine for years and years.

40-48W will handle most electronics requirements. LCD readout is ok, but adjustability is of primary concern.

I prefer wedge-shaped or chisel-point tips for most work, as they distribute the heat much faster than the pencil-point tips, but the latter are better for small smt parts.