I'm thinking of upgrading my £5 soldering iron for a gas powered one. Mainly because my old one is a bit buggered and the wire drives me insane. What's every ones thoughts on these are they any good? The one I'm thinking of buying is the SolderPro 50.
Probably not the right forum to be posting this in, but I would advise not to get a gas powered soldering iron, they're not easily temperature controlled. get a good soldering station instead.
Id second that, save a bit more and buy a temp controlled solder station. You will wonder how you managed before with a basic iron. Soldering is so much easier with a constantly controlled temp at the tip. I bought a cheapish one in a sale at Maplins for about £45.00 and its good enough to make a difference.
I use gas soldering irons only when working on my motorcycles or cars as the convenience of not needing a power supply outweighs the lack of control and generally the sort of soldering on vehicle electrics isnt as demanding of accuracy as electronic projects. and thats a very good quality Blue Point one from the SnapOn tool van that used to come round when I worked on bikes. Its lasted me over 20 years.
There’s this: http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/45w-adjustable-soldering-iron-8-99-lidl-from-31-01/860585/#post10465947 at Lidl, from today. Not sure how rubbish it is.
I’ve got a Weller butane iron (sorry, details on the label have long since worn away) that I really like. It’s awesome for emergency repairs in the field (balloon launches, etc). The butane seems to leak out over time, though, so I have to carry a can of butane as well.
I’ve seen one that looks almost identical at Home Depot/Lowes. No idea on how that unit performs, though.
I use one of the Home Depot butane irons for quick repairs at the RC field and at the race track for the car (i've never had to use it for my car, but have used it dozens of times on others (i keep a bit of shrink wrap with me in my kit as well). Works well for quick things, but even with my limited electronics skills i would not use it for any kind of primary heavy duty usage.,
There is a good review here, that also discusses the general features and theory of operation for these things. http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk/gas-soldering-iron.htm
Personally I would echo others' opinions that a good temperature-controlled electric iron would be a better way to spend your money.
I've had two gas irons over the years and both have been pretty useless, the only place they shine is in the field when there's no available power.
My vehicular repair and maintentance has always been done in close proximity to electrical outlets but I've found my big master something butane iron is the only way to go for high power soldering on heavy gauge wire and stud mount SCR's. It feels as though it's got 200 Watts worth of power.
I'd never dream of using it for microelectronics. I'd rather lug a car battery and and a small inverter to the scene and use my old (and not particularly expensive 40 Watt Weller WCC100) temperature controlled iron. I have considered retrofitting it with a longer power cord in the past though. It's old. What's to lose? It's unlikely to be more than a little cutting with a Dremel and attaching 25' long, 16/3 cord. I'd have to do it after hours at work though. How else am I going to solder my soldering iron?
Nyuk! XD Nyuk! XD Nyuk! XD DoH!
the one I'm thinking of getting has a flow/temp control on it. to be honest the wire on my...and any other iron ive used, drives me so mad as long as it melts solder and doesn't incinerate everything else thats good enough for me.
I've never used a gas powered one, but I have one of the Radioshack battery-powered ones in my toolbox. It works very well as long as the batteries are fresh. To be honest I use it all the time because I don't want to wait for my main-powered one to heat up.