Soldering iron advice

So i havent had a need for a soldering iron any of my past hobbies until now. So im new to soldering irons. What kind of wattage will i need and how hot does it need to get? I have about 50 usd to use on this and i wanted to ask first before i buy some random one from the auto shop i have near me and learn it isnt suitable.

I would seriously try to increase your budget and get a Weller WESD51.

If you must stay cheap, find the chunkiest looking Weller within your budget.


I was going to say the same thing until I saw the budget, then I left :rofl:

I’ve had many $50 ones fail but the WESD51 just always works, and works great.

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For the price weller is a solid choice, also a very solid option is this little guy:

It has the advantage of being small, portable and you can power it directly from RC lipo. (Or usb-C battery pack with a QC trigger, like I do)

This is a really high quality iron, you might think otherwise. Search for reviews online, everyone loves it.

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It needs to be able to do 450C for many of these esk8 things

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Weller 100% I have like 5 irons, for doing heavy lifting I go to the weller every time.

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The only issue I’ve had with Weller was a pencil too becoming wallered out. Probably could’ve just drilled a hole or two for set screws, but I just bought a new pencil. It was probably my fault as I was hot swapping tips and tightening with channel locks.

You might also think about an FX888 from Hakko. More expensive, but it’ll save you a ton of frustration down the line with trying to solder stuff.


I should mention this will probably be the only thing i use it with. I dont do a whole lot other then wanting to do wires for batteries and connecting wire together.

I checked it out and honestly i think that one will be in my budget.

Hakko is good too! As long as you do some research and maybe watch a review video or two you should be fine. Most soldering irons are “you get what you pay for” category. The one exception being the small little guy I mentioned, but yeah for battery stuff you’ll want something with more punch.

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Maybe I’ve gotten lucky… I found a cheapo $19 variable temperature, I think maybe 40W iron from microcenter that’s been going strong for about a year and a half, maybe two years. I couldn’t say what it is, some totally off brand, but I love it. It solders 10AWG and 5.5mm bullets great… But I’m thinking about picking up one of those cheap 100W $20 Weller irons for soldering 8AWG and below… I don’t want to hold heat on nickel longer than I need to.

TS100 or TS80

TS100 is about $55, TS80 is about $80, but includes everything you need.

TS80 has better performance.

Both irons feature temperature control, 100°C <-> 400°C.

TS80 can solder TO-220 drain tabs to 6"x6" ground plane, and I have no problems soldering 10 AWG wire with it.

Honestly, I’ve used a hakko benchtop station (cann’t remember which one) and the TS80 definitely beats it.


But you can become that guy with the soldering iron

And in a few years you’ll have so many panavises and homemade octopuses or third hands it’ll be great


I have this if your interest. 20190409_221759 20190409_221710


I think 450°C is much better for XT90 and battery stuff. It’s counterintuitive, but you can keep things cooler with a hotter iron.

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@Lucajo16 You should take him up on the deal :wink: @Rithblu

That’s a professional unit.

Is this real 450°C or just a 450°C setting?

Flux vapourizes instantly above 350°C and almost every iron I’ve used oxidizes at those temperatures.

The tip technology has a much more significant impact on heat delivery than the temperature difference from my experience. As I said, it can solder a heatsink to a huge copper ground plane.


Just put a brand new tip on it just now to test.

The Weller WESD51 climbs to 850°F (454°C) and as soon as you touch it to something, it drops significantly but then climbs back up.