Is this a good budget soldering iron?

I don't like this type of iron because the tip is not grounded. Most part don't have problems but a part that is commonly use with arduinos is very sensitive and easily damaged with an ungrounded tip of a soldering iron. That part is a MOSFET. One of the other thread started about just such a problem. The tips of these iron has a small capacitance to about 1/2 the line voltage. Most parts have protection that can easily handle this small of a capacitance. The MOSFET's input is essentially a capacitor. A small capacitor. The voltage of the ungrounded iron can easily go over 70 volts, damaging the gate lead. Dwight

Direct powered irons shouldn't be used for electronics. They are only good for wires, connectors, etc. Sensitive electronics need an ESD-safe soldering station. Leo..

If you want to solder a mosfet safely with a cheap hot poker, do this.

Use a thin bare copper wire to connect/short all pins of the mosfet together, close to the body. When the mosfet is soldered in, remove the wire. Leo..

dwightthinker: I don't like this type of iron because the tip is not grounded. Most part don't have problems but a part that is commonly use with arduinos is very sensitive and easily damaged with an ungrounded tip of a soldering iron. That part is a MOSFET. One of the other thread started about just such a problem. The tips of these iron has a small capacitance to about 1/2 the line voltage. Most parts have protection that can easily handle this small of a capacitance. The MOSFET's input is essentially a capacitor. A small capacitor. The voltage of the ungrounded iron can easily go over 70 volts, damaging the gate lead. Dwight

Can you recommend a good iron sold on a Canadian website?

Jiggy-Ninja: FYI, most things that cannot be washed will be mechanical things, like switches or relays that aren't sealed, or something like an atmospheric sensor with an open port. The thing these have in common is little nooks and crannies that the cleaning gunk can easily get into, but not so easily removed.

Most electronics components won't care about being washed, as long as they are dried before powering up.

Using the Hakko page that INTP linked, your best general purpose tip is going to be a shape D chisel tip, probably the 1.6D or 2.4D.

Also, do not forget solder wick and a solder sucker.

Do not forget to get solder wick. I said it twice because it's important.

Would https://www.amazon.ca/SODIAL-Aluminium-Desoldering-Solder-Remover/dp/B00JFOR9G0/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475415878&sr=1-1&keywords=solder+sucker and https://www.amazon.ca/MG-Chemicals-424-LF-Temperature-0-05-Inch/dp/B008O9WEUS/ref=sr_1_12?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475416071&sr=1-12&keywords=solder+wick work?

Wawa: Direct powered irons shouldn't be used for electronics. They are only good for wires, connectors, etc. Sensitive electronics need an ESD-safe soldering station. Leo..

Don't jump to conclusions without checking with an Ohmmeter. If they have a 3 wire power cord, the tip is grounded. Look for the UL label.

Paul

I would assume one can by a Weller soldering station in Canada. It won't be a cheap as the you you got. Dwight

CanadianCyanide: Can you recommend a good iron sold on a Canadian website?

Would https://www.amazon.ca/SODIAL-Aluminium-Desoldering-Solder-Remover/dp/B00JFOR9G0/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475415878&sr=1-1&keywords=solder+sucker and https://www.amazon.ca/MG-Chemicals-424-LF-Temperature-0-05-Inch/dp/B008O9WEUS/ref=sr_1_12?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1475416071&sr=1-12&keywords=solder+wick work?

Yep, exactly the kind of thing I was talking about.

I bought a used Hakko FX-888 for 60 USD off ebay a few years ago. SSSOOOOOO much better than the worthless fire starters that just plug into mains. You should be able to find a Hakko or Weller for a good price if you hunt well enough. Even an older model will still work fantastically.

Also, the iron holder on that third hand thing is worse than worthless, it is dangerous. Never, EVER use a holder with a base with such a small footprint like that, it will have no stability at all when the weight of the iron is on it. It'll tip easier than an alcoholic after a night at the bar, and then your 350oC iron is rolling around on the table, maybe falling off the table, who knows?

Any proper soldering station will have a big, chunky iron stand that has no chance of tipping over. My Hakko one has some proper weight in it, I could probably club a burglar unconscious with it. I cannot stress enough to never use that crappy thing attached to your third arm that claims to be an iron stand.

ArduBogus: ... And when it comes to clean the board after, do you recommend anything? ...

I dip a soft bristled toothbrush in 70% isopropyl alcohol (drug store 'rubbing alcohol'), and clean my solder jobs with small circular scrubbing, just like brushing my teeth, but with a lighter touch. Then blot it dry with a q-tip. The work shines after that!

The helping-hand station you gave a link to is junk. Look at those alligator clips. In a few weeks, they will all come loose, and have a tendency to fall off, and even at their best, they aren't very good at holding a board. Save yourself money and grief. Put the money you've saved into a better soldering station. It is a better investment.

Take a look at the PanaVise. Use google to find it. Yes, it is expensive. Look at it carefully. Notice the several axes of motion. Now look for cheap clones. You may find one. But anything less than a PanaVise functionality is just a waste of money, because you will want to (or have to) throw it out in less than a year. Even a simple bench vise would be a better investment.

I bought a good one about twenty years ago. It is still in service. The one you referenced is in the makerspace I inhabit. They have two of them. Everyone avoids those except those who don't know any better. They use one of them exactly once. Then they use the PanaVise. We only have one PanaVise, so it can get kind of desperate. I bought my own, which I keep in my toolbox, and therefore I avoid the contention for the good one.

The problem is that good tools last a lifetime, or nearly so, and cheap tools last weeks. You will end up disappointed by the cheap soldering iron, but you don't need a top-of-the-line to start. But the comments about ESD are relevant, and the use of a "mains iron" has many risks, for both the user and the circuits, all of which have been described. Poor tools have no lasting power, and you will soon tire of how bad they are. Yes, I agree, that buying good tools has a very negative impact on cash flow, and it doesn't matter how good something is if you can't afford it. But you also can't afford to waste money. Doing without is so much better than doing-with-really-crappy-stuff. Don't say no one warned you. joe joe

If you're feeling creative, you can make your own helping hands setup with coolant lines used for cnc machines and alligator clips. Infinite possibilities for range of motion and angles and number of hands.

It wasn't mentioned that these cheap iron usually don't have temperature control. This causes problems. One is that they over heat, possibly lifting pads from circuit boards and oxidizing the tips quicker, requiring more regular cleaning. If the tip is uncoated copper, it will rot out faster. If iron clad, it will need more aggressive cleaning that will cause the coating to be damaged. One of the biggest problems with new people using soldering irons is not keeping the iron clean and tinned. The other is using the iron to transfer solder to the work, causing typical cold solder joints. As for grounding, one can add a clip and ground wire. A light dimmer makes a coarse temperature controller. One can get a inline dimmer for an incandescent lamp. Still, I would not go for cheap when used for tools. I've wasted a lot of my hard earned money on bargain tools. I'm too old now to even think of using cheap junk. Dwight

dwightthinker: It wasn't mentioned that these cheap iron usually don't have temperature control. This causes problems.

The one he linking to in OP claims to have temperature control. Whether it's worth anything or not is the question.

Temp knob works, I have one. Set it and forget it once paired with a good solder. Nothing scientific, didn't bring out the temp gun, but it self regulates instead of just getting hotter and hotter as some people who have never owned one like to claim for no reason.

I actually have one of the cheap "Helping Hands" that I find very useful for holding certain things while soldering such as wires and components, for example a switch. I never use it for circuit boards though, for that my panavise is so much better. I took the magnifying glass off right away because it just got in my way and that soldering iron holder is idiotic. I put some shrink tube over the alligator clip jaws because they were too sharp and damaged the things they held. I haven't had any problems with the alligator clips falling off and they look just like the one at the link.

The one on the link you posted is overpriced. You can get them way cheaper on eBay if you don't mind waiting a while for China shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Third-Hand-Soldering-Iron-Stand-Helping-Magnifying-Tool-OE-/122118568705

flounder: Take a look at the PanaVise. Use google to find it. Yes, it is expensive. Look at it carefully. Notice the several axes of motion. Now look for cheap clones. You may find one. But anything less than a PanaVise functionality is just a waste of money, because you will want to (or have to) throw it out in less than a year. Even a simple bench vise would be a better investment.

Would the Panavise Model 201 "Junior" work? It's sold here on Amazon.

Based on suggestions for Hakko and Weller, I was thinking of getting a Yihua 936 (Clone of the Hakko 936) as a real Hakko or Weller is a bit out of my budget. It's sold on amazon.com here and I've seen it recommended on other sites as it's only $25-30. If I buy this in combination with this solder , would it work well and would the iron last me a while?

Anyone has experience with AOYUE soldering equipment ?

For example this station.

I dip a soft bristled toothbrush in 70% isopropyl alcohol

I do the same, but use 99.9% Anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. Airdries really quick. I have a gallon bottle of this http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/824-500ML/473-1150-ND/2602438 that I refill a taller version of this with http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/static-control-esd-clean-room-products/accessories/2228308?k=isopropyl and a hog hair brush, the longer bristles fit nicely over the legs of shields. http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/mg-chemicals/857/473-1050-ND/949492

Does smell like a doctor's/vet's office afterwards.

CanadianCyanide: Based on suggestions for Hakko and Weller, I was thinking of getting a Yihua 936 (Clone of the Hakko 936) as a real Hakko or Weller is a bit out of my budget. It's sold on amazon.com here and I've seen it recommended on other sites as it's only $25-30. If I buy this in combination with this solder , would it work well and would the iron last me a while?

I believe Dave Jones did a teardown of that exact Yee-haw! (as he pronounced it) model. I believe he found that it was just a superficial clone, the interior control circuitry was different and the temperature regulation wasn't as good. Only the appearance was copied.

Good enough I'd imagine, and it has a proper iron holder.

Watcher: Anyone has experience with AOYUE soldering equipment ?

For example this station.

I've used an Aoyue rework station a bit. My main iron is a Weller WESD51 soldering station with digital temp control.

I bought one of these to evaluate it as a beginner iron for OlyMEGA:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013JM4AW4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage

I also bought a pack of Hakko tips. This iron is NOT compatible with Hakko tips.

I will be doing a video of it.