What Soldering Iron/Gun Works Best For You?

I think I’ve purchased 11 or 12 soldering irons over the past couple of years and can’t seem to find a good one. I bought a Weller 60 Watt iron from Lowes finally and THE SOLDER SOLIDIFIED ON MY GUN and soldered my gun to the wires… it wouldn’t even get hot enough to seperate it from the wires. But lets look at our situation. We are typically soldering 10-12 gauge heavy duty wire, not circuit boards. I want to do a quick poll to see WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. I finally decided to just buy a soldering GUN. So we will see how that goes.

What do you use?

  1. 20-30 watt generic soldering iron
  2. 45-60 watt generic soldering iron
  3. Weller/Haako soldering station
  4. Soldering Gun
  5. Other

(I don’t know how to do a poll)

The one I use.



I use this one:


It’s cheap, you can control the temp, and it does the job. Much better than all the cheap-o soldering pens I’ve owned. I had a gun for awhile, but it was kind of big and heavy to hold for finer work. There are much better soldering stations out there, but if you don’t solder all the time, this will probably do the trick.


standard 40w iron, to solder 10 awg wire I let it heat for a while, the secret is to apply a bit of solder on the iron so that it makes enough contact and heats the piece you’re soldering. @stuxtruth probably your soldering iron was not hot enough when you tried to solder that wire lol :slight_smile:

It was a 60 watt. At full temp.

wow, maybe it is/was broken or maybe on one side of the tip it didn’t get hot (it’s possible that if you hold it on the same position the lower side remains cool because heat goes up), anyway very strange, never happened to me even with 30w irons

I have a nearly identical one to @Jinra - nice digital Iron, and Hotair rework together. Great for shrink tube too! Some reducer tips usually come with it, and setting airflow low is how i plan to replace a dead DRV chip.

I use an 80 watt for thick gauge and a couple of smd stations for everything else. You can use a brass wire sponge to clean your tip when it is hot and it will make better contact. Adding solder to the tip before soldering is actually bad practice since it will lead to pitting the iron tip and eventually eroding with use. Guess it doesn’t matter much to most people since they don’t solder often but it does if you are soldering daily.


once in a while I sand the tip a bit so it becomes flat again, I didn’t know that tinning ruined the iron tip, thanks for the tip @chaka :smiley: as I solder mainly only wires/connectors/etc and I have a 40w I will keep tinning it to speed up things a bit, I guess that if I will need to solder something preciesly I will sand or turn (use the other side of) the tip.

Sanding will kill a tip too. You want to do you best to keep the iron coating intact. If you wear through it the copper underneath gets pitted quickly.


When you power up an iron for the first time you want to wrap the tip with solder before turning it on, a little flux helps too if you have it. As it heats up you can use a balled brass wire and make sure the tip is coated well in the molten flux. The tip is now tinned and ready for use. If you clean it in the brass every so often it will last a very long time and your soldering will be more successful.


Yep I use this very often. Maybe I just got yet another shitty iron.

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i have that exact same one :smiley:

Weller Soldering gun, 260/200W. Something with that much power really helps when you’re soldering 10 & 8 AWG wiring.

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Hakko 888d heats up in 15 seconds and can solder 10 gauge no problem

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+1 on the Hakko 888D. I think the similar Wellers have a little more punch but I’ve been happy with my Hakko. I’ve been using it for about a year with no issues. 10ga is no problem if you save some skills.

Brass sponge is my go to as well.

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I’ve been using one like this for years to solder batteries and heavy connectors like 5.5 bullets onto heavy gauge wire like 10-12 awg. It never burns the tip because it’s only on when you hold the trigger. It heats up very quickly and solders heavy stuff quickly with no cold joints I used to have the 300w version and it was even better especially for soldering batteries. I also have a low watt temperature controlled solder station for PCB and small gauge wire. When soldering connectors onto wire, it is important to tin the wire first. Dipping the end of the wire in flux before tinning helps a lot. Then put a little solder on the iron tip and hold it against the very end of the wire, not the side. Add a little solder if needed. The flux will cause the solder to run up the wire. Don’t overdo it because the solder will run up the wire past where it is stripped and make the wire stiff.


I used a wet sponge to clean my tips for many years. Then I got one of those brass wool cleaning pods by Hako and they work so much better. I clean my tip before and after every solder joint.


If you want to invest in a good soldering station, METCAL/OKI is the way to go, the soldering station are made for high production, and operation with smart heat technologie, witch is pretty helpful to protect the tip.

I use the Weller WESD51. Great for a hobbyists like most of us. With a nice chisel tip, you can melt any joint in a second or less. Runs up to 850 F, which is hotter than you’ll ever need (I usually run at 750 F). A little bit pricey, at around $140 usd, but you can’t go wrong with it. I just soldered an 18650 7s4p battery the other day with it, about to solder up the rest of the pack to make a 10s4p today. It does a great job.


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