When you’re looking for the best soldering station out there, there are several questions you need to ask. This includes questions like what type of soldering iron should I use for electronics.
The answers to these questions will decide which soldering station you should buy. Considering the many choices out there, narrowing things down will make it a whole lot easier for you.
As a way to help you out, I looked at ten of the highest-rated soldering stations out there. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, with their own special features.
Take a look and see which of them best first your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Soldering Station: Comparison and Ratings
- 2 Top 3 selections
- 3 Why do you need a Soldering Station?
- 4 Best Picks of Soldering Station
- 4.1 1. Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station
- 4.2 2. Zeny 2in1 SMD Hot Air Rework Soldering Iron Station 862D
- 4.3 3. X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station
- 4.4 4. Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue & yellow)
- 4.5 5. Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station
- 4.6 6. Zeny® 3in1 SMD DC Power Supply Hot Air Iron Gun Rework Soldering Station Welder 853D
- 4.7 7. Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station
- 4.8 8. X-TRONIC – MODEL #5040-XTS HOT AIR REWORK SOLDERING IRON STATION & PREHEATING STATION
- 4.9 9. Aoyue 9378 60 Watt Programmable Digital Soldering Station – ESD Safe, includes 10 tips, C/F switchable, Configurable Iron Holder, Spare Heating Element,100-130V
- 4.10 10. Kendal 853D 4 IN 1 SMD HOT AIR REWORK & SOLDERING IRON STATION / DC POWER SUPPLY & DC TEST METER
- 5 How to Choose the Best Soldering Station?
- 6 Soldering Station Maintenance Tips
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Final Verdict
Top 10 Soldering Station: Comparison and Ratings
|Name||Features||Hot Air||View on Amazon|
|Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station||-Variable power control up to 40 watts|
-Cushioned foam grip
-Lightweight pencil iron
|Zeny 2in1 SMD Hot Air Rework Soldering Iron Station||-Low noise|
-Accurate temperature display
|X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station||-75 watt soldering iron|
-10 minute sleep timer
|Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station||-Excellent thermal recovery|
-Lower heating temperature
|Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station||– Easy iron replacement thanks to stand|
-Slim pencil iron
-Temperature recovery feature
|Zeny 3 in 1 853d Soldering Station||-Dual LCD Display|
-Samsung temperature control
|Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station||-Chip-controlled temperature|
|X-Tronic 5040-XTS||-Complete digital controlled||Yes||Check Price|
|Aoyue 9378||-Vibration sensor|
|Kendal 853D||-Rapid heating||Yes||Check Price|
Top 3 selections
Why do you need a Soldering Station?
Admittedly, a soldering station has only one purpose: to solder. There are several purposes that you can turn this to.
- Circuit boards will need transistors and resistors attached to them and soldering is used for this.
- You may use a soldering station to repair current electronics.
- A soldering iron can get pretty hot and having a soldering station lets you properly monitor that.
- You can use the hot soldering iron to cut a glass bottle.
- Use the soldering iron to burn through stencils for airbrushing
- Burn through leather and imprint some fancy designs on it.
- Solder stained-glass together for windows.
- Jewelry should be soldered in to get the best results.
- Wooden items can have designs burned on them via a soldering iron.
- Solder up some fancy pendants from various materials.
Best Picks of Soldering Station
1. Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station
It has a back-to-basics feel that makes you think that its just a soldering iron. As a cheap solder station, it already meets the requirements with its low price point.
Its best feature though is its pencil iron. With an ST3 iron-plated copper tip, the soldering iron part is very accurate and is made for constant use.
With a foam grip, you can hold this iron for hours on end.
It is also pretty expandable. Just buy an ST3 tip kit, and you can expand its use.
Besides the iron, the device has excellent power controls. Ranging from five to 40 watts, owners can turn up the heat or level it down.
With precise power controls, there’s less chance of a burnout or damage.
It also has the basic additional components of a soldering station: an iron holder to keep the iron while not in use and a sponge base where you can cool down the unit by placing a wet sponge.
Professional soldering stations can be too much for those looking for basic features. This soldering stating is ideal if you just need to do only basic soldering for once in a while, which makes it good for hobbyists.
2. Zeny 2in1 SMD Hot Air Rework Soldering Iron Station 862D
This is because of its two-in-one nature. There is the soldering iron and the hot air gun.
Hot air guns are great tools for electronics experts because they can help rework a circuit board easily. Instead of direct heat application with a metal tip, hot air is applied to the metal – which has the same results but with a more gentle touch.
Since this is not a hot air rework station review, I won’t focus so much on it. However, the hot air gun of this soldering station is the most affordable out there.
The soldering iron and hot air gun have several tips that come with the kit. This allows for more flexibility in what you can do with it.
For example, you can use one of the tips to help do some plastic welding.
Another great feature of this device is the very accurate digital temperature controls. With a range up to 480 degrees celcius, you can be sure to have the right heat for the job you need to do.
Soldering station reviews of this product are very happy about the soldering iron in the soldering station. The additional hot air gun is a nice addition that gives it added functionality.
3. X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station
I consider this product the top soldering station because, while it seems to be pretty basic, it manages to deliver on the goods.
First, the soldering iron is great. The 75 Watt Iron has an ergonomic heat resistant grip which lets you keep working without problems.
With a Temperature Range of 200°C – 480°C, it will get hot enough to melt anything that it touches. It also helps that it has a five foot silicon cord as its main connection to the main unit.
The main unit itself is pretty good. It has excellent temperature controls and displays it all in a nice blue LCD screen.
However, what’s interesting is the features the main unit enable. One of them is the Magic Temperature technology, which allows for quick heating and accurate temp maintenance.
Another interesting feature is the auto-sleep feature. This sets the iron to standby temperature when it remains in the stand for 10 minutes or more.
Combined with the brass sponge tip cleaner, the product functions and does its job well.
This soldering station is great for continued use and is ideal for those who work a lot on electronics. With the added lifespan of the heater, you can expect to get a lot of value from this purchase.
4. Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue & yellow)
This kit didn’t disappoint at all though. Though a bit pricey for its bare bones presentation, the product is a very soldering station.
There are several things that make it so.
First, there’s the Hakko soldering iron. The FX888D’s iron is powerful, with 30% more heater output.
This means it will heat-up fast and keep its warmth longer. Besides that, it has excellent thermal recovery.
The result is that the soldering iron will have a longer lifespan and operates well.
Besides that, the main unit has a very good temperature control. You will be able to accurately read the iron’s temperature with no problem.
Adjusting it though can be bit confusing, thanks to the two-button interface. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to change temps with ease.
Finally, there’s the brass sponge tip cleanser. It has the right abrasion to catch the solder properly.
For beginners who are looking for a basic soldering station, this product is exactly what you need. It has all the features that you can want with a top-of-the-line soldering iron as its draw.
5. Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station
However, the heart of it all is the temperature control unit. As an analog unit, there’s a simple power switch and a temperature dial.
Plug in the iron and set it at the temperature that you want. With a range that reaches around 480 degrees Celcius, it can be hot enough for many purposes.
Though this is far from the best professional soldering station out there, this device performs well in its job. With a quick heater, you can start working quickly.
Besides that, the device also has a temperature lockout. This prevents it from going beyond a specified temperature.
This is a nice layer of protection so that the iron would not be able to damage anything.
As for the iron itself, it has a stainless steel heating element that will last for a long time. The tip is also replaceable, as long as you have spares.
Besides that it has a non-burning silicone rubber cord, a solid plastic grip, and a foam sleeve for heat protection.
Jewelry is the second use for most soldering, however it can be repetitive and put a lot of strain on a soldering station. Fortunately, this particular station can handle it, while also performing very well.
6. Zeny® 3in1 SMD DC Power Supply Hot Air Iron Gun Rework Soldering Station Welder 853D
The simplest one is as a DC power supply. Some electrician tools require a power supply and this one is it.
Besides that, you can also opt to uses this product as a hot air rework station or a soldering station.
As a soldering station, it has a great soldering iron. With a temperature range of up to 480 degrees Celsius and a multitude of tips, it can do its soldering duties well.
As for its hot air gun, owners will also be quite pleased. It has a nice set of nozzles and solid heat generation and this combination makes it very useful.
The product also has a great a main unit. Using microprocessors and solid software, it ensures great heat distribution and constant heat.
All of this is thanks to the SAMSUNG chip control circuit. It ensures more stability in the temperature and can cool down the heater quickly for enhanced operation.
It is not just professionals who use soldering stations, but also hobbyists, though they are not as demanding in their requirements. This soldering station is great for them since it provides all the necessary features at a reasonable price.
7. Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station
This may not seem impressive considering its competitors, but the bare bones approach is what a lot of people like. This is especially important for those who plan to use this for hobbies.
Having too many features is a waste if you aren’t using it a lot.
The main attraction of this product is its electronic control system. This lets you accurately set it to the required heat levels.
The LCD display allows for accurate temperature ratings. This is important because of how it ensures that the iron is at the right temperature and stays that way.
A side-effect of this level of control is that you have faster heat-up times and an extended lifespan for your heater. Besides that, there is the temperature lock out feature,
This ensures that the iron’s temp never breaks a certain temperature level. For example, if you work with a load of plastics, you can set the max temps at a comfortably low level so it does not burn them out.
Another hobbyist’s soldering station, it has the basic features and low price point that many will like. Besides that though, it does have useful functions like auto power off and auto lockdown for longer heater lifespan.
8. X-TRONIC – MODEL #5040-XTS HOT AIR REWORK SOLDERING IRON STATION & PREHEATING STATION
First, it is probably the most feature-rich soldering station ever.
It has a soldering iron, hot air gun, a work stand, a lamp, and a set of tips. You can do a lot with that.
A great pride of place is the stand. It can keep a circuit board steady and has a hot air gun holder so that you can just place it over board and leave it alone.
Second, the base unit is very accurate in its temperature controls and readings. Cycling every 20 seconds, it maintains temperature controls so that no heat is lost and the iron is always ready to go.
In addition, the hot air gun is a useful tool. When working with electronics, it is easy to make a mistake.
With the hot air gun, you can rework a board to your heart’s content.
Overall, you can pretty much do anything with this device.
This soldering station is what you want to get so that you can be prepared for all situations. It has all the basic features and more so that you can get money’s worth.
9. Aoyue 9378 60 Watt Programmable Digital Soldering Station – ESD Safe, includes 10 tips, C/F switchable, Configurable Iron Holder, Spare Heating Element,100-130V
This particular soldering station features a solid soldering iron. It has a ceramic heating element, which will last it a long time.
Besides that, the kit has 10 soldering tips that come with it. This provides it with additional functionality.
The main unit of the station has an Auto Sleep and Wake function. The soldering iron will go on standby when left alone for some time and wakes up with any vibration on it.
The device has an accurate temperature reader that also doubles as its controller. Users can set it or program a set of temperature controls.
Overall, this device is a great product that delivers on its job as a soldering station.
The basic design and great performance make this a great product for those starting out and hobbyists. With the additional 10 soldering tips, you can exchange them for various jobs that require delicate work or something bigger.
10. Kendal 853D 4 IN 1 SMD HOT AIR REWORK & SOLDERING IRON STATION / DC POWER SUPPLY & DC TEST METER
First of all, this unit has a smart processor as its brain. This ensures quick heating and accurate temperature control.
That’s a big boon for those who use this as a hot air reworking system. There’s a lot of air flowing through the hot air gun and it can be difficult to maintain the heat.
It’s no worry with this particular kit.
Another advantage of this product is its soldering iron. It comes with ten tips, which will allow for more functionality.
Besides that, the iron has a sensor switch in the handle. When you hold the handle, it will automatically go into operating mode.
When you let it go, the iron will immediately go into standby mode, conserving electricity and extending the lifespan of the heating element.
The hot air gun works pretty much the same way.
The device also has regular diagnostics, which ensures its continued operation at peak efficiency.
The station also happens to work as a 5V DC power supply and meter tester, too.
With a hot air gun and soldering iron, this station allows users to be flexible in their soldering jobs. Combined with the nozzles and tips, anyone buying this will be able to handle any soldering job presented to them.
How to Choose the Best Soldering Station?
Soldering beginners and experts alike are always on the hunt for the ideal soldering station. The quality of the station can greatly affect the quality of your work.
However, there are a lot of soldering stations to choose from. This makes it difficult.
This is why when you’re looking for your ideal soldering station, you should focus on several characteristics to narrow down the choices.
This is the main tool for soldering. Whether it is an iron or gun, the results are the same.
Anyway, a lot of soldering stations use irons, but there are some that now use guns. You’ll need to decide on which type you’d like to use.
An iron works on the simple principle of heating up something and melting it. You hold it like a pencil and apply solder with it.
A soldering gun is different. Learning how to use a soldering gun is pretty easy actually.
It works similarly to glue guns. Just press the tip to the solder point and pull the trigger to start the process.
Iron and gun have their own advantages and disadvantages so you must decide on which one you will be using.
Besides that, you will also need to determine the materials of your iron. Different metals have different reactions to heat and you will need to pick the right one.
The iron is just one part of the soldering station. The heart of the station is the main unit.
A soldering iron alone provides nothing more than soldering. However, with a main unit, data can be gathered.
This includes temperatures and more. With a main unit, your iron can be tuned properly to the right temperatures.
Furthermore, added functionality like sleep mode and more are available. With these, you can get more out of your soldering station in the long run.
You’ll notice that a lot of soldering irons have a rated wattage. Low wattage soldering irons are good enough for most jobs. However, the higher the wattage of the device, the better they are for heavy-duty projects. The wattage represents how long an iron can stay heated with no problem.
There are also the additional accessories to consider. This includes things like the iron stand, hot air guns, and more.
Nowadays, it is popular to have a hot air gun come with the soldering station. A hot air gun allows you to correct your soldering errors easily.
The hot air does the same as a soldering iron would do and then when that’s done, repairs can be done and changes made.
However, if you’re not intending to work with electronics, a hot air gun is not as useful. Which is why you may want to skip it when buying.
Decide on what you want to do and look at accessories that will help you in your goal.
Soldering Station Maintenance Tips
A solder station is something that requires regular maintenance to work properly. There are a lot of things you should do to keep it in top shape.
- Never put too much pressure on the iron since it can damage the object that you’re soldering.
- After you finish soldering, apply a thin layer of solder to prevent rust from happening.
- The soldering iron tip is not a screwdriver so do not use it as one.
- Use only the minimum temperature settings so that the tip won’t burn out quickly.
- Turn off the soldering iron when not in use to ensure the heating element stays in good condition.
- Keep the tip clean by regularly wiping it off on a dam sponge while working.
- Always put the iron back on the stand for your own safety.
- Regularly check for any damage to the iron or the unit.
- Don’t use sandpaper to clean the tip of a soldering iton.
- Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure that your soldering station will last for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use the hot air gun?
This is pretty simple.
First of all, pick a nozzle head. There are different sizes and you need to pick the right size for the job.You then warm up the hot air gun and set it to the temperature that you want.
When warmed up, just aim it at the circuit board. Remember to not hold the circuit board yourself or you risk getting burned.
Watch as solder melts and stop when the job is done.
How do I replace the soldering tip?
Make sure that the soldering iron is turned off.
There is a locking nut that keeps the tip in place. Look for it.
Once located, start loosening the nut. When fully loosened, you should be able to slide the tip off and replace it with a new one.Tighten the locking nut again to return it to its original state.
How do I clean the soldering iron?
If your tip turns black, then you will need to clean it.
Just apply a tinning block on the soldering iron while hot. The ammonia will melt on the tip and start the cleaning process.
Wipe it way on a sponge and keep repeating the process until the tip is clean.
What type of solder do I use?
There are only two types of solder: lead-based and lead-free.
Lead-based solder is the favorite but can cause problems when inhaled.
Lead-free solder is a bit harder to work with, since it has a higher melting point. However, there are no health hazards from this.
How do I properly use a soldering iron?
Using one is pretty easy.
All you need to do is warm it up. Turn the temperature controls to your chosen heat.After a few minutes, press the iron to a wet sponge to see if it is hot enough.If it sizzles or steams, you are now ready to use it.
Just apply it to the soldering point and then press the solder to it so that it melts at the spot that you want.
How hot does a soldering iron get?
Soldering irons need to be hot enough to melt metal with low melting points. The optimum temperature is around 450 degrees Celcius.
Soldering has developed over the years to cover a wide variety of jobs. From electronics to jewelry, you will be called to solder different materials and surfaces.
This means that the different soldering stations on the market were developed to meet a range of needs. Picking one means taking into account various factors like what sort of materials you will be soldering and how frequently you will be working.
This article presents ten of the best on the market. Hopefully, I outlined what each of them is capable of and what they do best.
Judge them by these factors and compare them to what sort of soldering jobs you will be doing. In this way, you can be sure that you’re buying best soldering station possible for yourself.