(Topic ID: 229583)

Solder Station Kit value for $150 Budget


By zermeno68

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 8 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by G-P-E
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    #1 7 months ago

    I have seen a few topics about Solder Stations here on pinside, but not recently updated and not tailored to my needs. Long story short I have a budget to be able to spend $150 on a Solder Station to do the following:
    - Circuit Board re-work
    - Wire connecting (building Wire Harnesses for Arcade and pinball systems)
    - Coil replacements
    - Other electronic fun using Raspberry Pi / Arduino.

    I have soldered in the past, but I consider myself a NOOB.

    I went to Home Depot yesterday and bought Weller's WE1010 (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weller-Digital-Soldering-Station-WE1010NA/304947077).

    Just want to know in the community, what would you recommend for a solder station with the budget of $150?

    My goal is to maximize my Solder Station with what I can afford. Is there something better for that value?

    Thanks in advance to the NOOB in soldering.

    #2 7 months ago

    That’s not a bad starter setup...have an older weller myself. Like it a lot.

    #3 7 months ago

    This is the soldering iron I've been using for several years:

    amazon.com link »

    Only $84. It's a good starter unit. There's also a similar model for a few dollars more with a digital readout.

    For desoldering, I really like the hakko FR-300 (the updated FR-301 looks good too), which I've been using for a few years now. It makes desoldering very quick and easy. I tried other cheaper tools before I splurged on this one, but those didn't work very well (I spent more time fiddling with them or doing tool maintenance than actual desoldering). Even though it's a little expensive, it's well worthwhile in the amount of time and effort you save.

    #4 7 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    This is the soldering iron I've been using for several years:
    amazon.com link »
    Only $84. It's a good starter unit. There's also a similar model for a few dollars more with a digital readout.
    For desoldering, I really like the hakko FR-300 (the updated FR-301 looks good too), which I've been using for a few years now. It makes desoldering very quick and easy. I tried other cheaper tools before I splurged on this one, but those didn't work very well (I spent more time fiddling with them or doing tool maintenance than actual desoldering). Even though it's a little expensive, it's well worthwhile in the amount of time and effort you save.

    Agreed. These work great.

    #5 7 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    This is the soldering iron I've been using for several years:
    amazon.com link »
    Only $84. It's a good starter unit. There's also a similar model for a few dollars more with a digital readout.
    For desoldering, I really like the hakko FR-300 (the updated FR-301 looks good too), which I've been using for a few years now. It makes desoldering very quick and easy. I tried other cheaper tools before I splurged on this one, but those didn't work very well (I spent more time fiddling with them or doing tool maintenance than actual desoldering). Even though it's a little expensive, it's well worthwhile in the amount of time and effort you save.

    That is the soldering station I have and I love it... after years (And years!) if buying cheap "radio shack" like soldering pencils I finally invested in a "real" soldering iron and I regret not taking the plunge sooner. Good for you for stepping up out of the gate. What finally got me to take the plunge was when I had a well respected tech over for a game he was picking up use one of my soldering irons and he literally laughed at me... not in a mean way but when he looked over some of the boards I was working on he pointed out everything a better soldering iron would have prevented. So now it has been over a year with the Weller and I couldn't be happier. Heat's up in seconds, stays at a constant temperature, is super comfortable, 5 stars from me . Now to invest in that Hakko One day!

    #6 7 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    This is the soldering iron I've been using for several years:
    amazon.com link »
    Only $84. It's a good starter unit. There's also a similar model for a few dollars more with a digital readout.
    For desoldering, I really like the hakko FR-300 (the updated FR-301 looks good too), which I've been using for a few years now. It makes desoldering very quick and easy. I tried other cheaper tools before I splurged on this one, but those didn't work very well (I spent more time fiddling with them or doing tool maintenance than actual desoldering). Even though it's a little expensive, it's well worthwhile in the amount of time and effort you save.

    I have that exact one also. I love it , does everything I have wanted it to do.

    #7 7 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Only $84. It's a good starter unit. There's also a similar model for a few dollars more with a digital readout.

    Ah, Seems like the few who replied agree with you. It appears the one I got from Home Depot is in line with that particular model (provides a higher temperature capability along with a 70W solder iron).

    Those higher temps seem like overkill if the intent of using the Soldering iron is for circuit board work. Still researching on temp ranges for application.

    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    That’s not a bad starter setup...have an older weller myself. Like it a lot.

    Sweet! Looks like i'm in the right direction for my first Solder station unit. Seems I could do well with less, but since I bought it already i'll be keeping this.
    Thanks all for the quick input.

    #8 7 months ago

    I have the WESD51 (digital controlled version of WES51 linked above). The WESD51 is also a good sub $100 iron.

    The WE1010 looks interesting - must be a new model of theirs.
    The WE1010 is a 70W iron versus the 50W used by WES51/WESD51.
    The 70W will hold heat better than the 50W but will take a bit longer to heat up.
    All three use the same tips.

    Overall - the WE1010 looks to be a good choice and a bit better than the WESD51.

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