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Old 09-10-2020, 02:04 AM   #1
Skunch
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Default Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Please let me know if I'm posting in the wrong sub forum, but I am looking for any recommendations for a soldering iron and hot air gun station for my workshop. I've been using a garbage plug in wand i found years ago to do quick patch jobs, but I'm finally done with it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Go for T12 soldering iron. KSGER seems very popular (haven't personally used it, but those who did gave good reviews) or hakko FX-951 (more expensive and very picky on 3rd party T12 tips).

Hot air station depends on the kind of job you plan on doing. For phones (and laptops with not too much thermal mass), even a cheap Chinese one would do. Otherwise, you might consider the "Atten ST-862D"
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider1211 View Post
Go for T12 soldering iron. KSGER seems very popular (haven't personally used it, but those who did gave good reviews) or hakko FX-951 (more expensive and very picky on 3rd party T12 tips).

Hot air station depends on the kind of job you plan on doing. For phones (and laptops with not too much thermal mass), even a cheap Chinese one would do. Otherwise, you might consider the "Atten ST-862D"
I'm trying to learn how to work on surface mount components, and I want something better than my 30 year old heat gun
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Just to make sure we are on the page here, are you referring to heat gun as in hot air station or those paint stripper guns?

If you plan on using the hot air station for long term instead of just learning, then the atten is worth considering.

If you just want to learn and for one off projects/jobs, then get a cheap chinese one in my opinion.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

The KSGER T12 soldering iron is not a bad choice however I would caution you about the switching power supply for them they are not necessarily the best made power supply in the world

I run mine off of batteries the results are very good with good quality batteries

You have choices when buying them from

Soldering iron controller ( only best way to buy it )

Soldering iron with switching power supply build in

Soldering iron controller battery operated not a bad choice however the battery that comes with it no name brand batteries quality not very good the BMS protection board decent quality ( one note you can only buy this version with batteries installed that a good choice and the batteries fit case is the plus side of it ( if you plan on having the batteries and the soldering controller is one case )

One other note you can buy the BMS board separately however I do not recommend this option because this BMS protection board has to many issues

The comment about 3 party tips are some what true but there is a work around when you first time you try to use them you get a error message and then the temperature readings as long as the temperature is climbing just do not pay attention to but set the temperature to maximum and then turn the controller off for about 5 minutes until the tip cools down then turn it back on again and see if you still get the error message if so it should not be as much as the first time

You might have to do this step a few times then it should be good
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Last edited by sam_sam_sam; 09-10-2020 at 01:12 PM..
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

I thought the newer revision of KSGER addressed the power supply issue, no?
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Because this soldering does not stay ON very long at any one time ( except when first turn ON ) these switching power supply probably be ok but probably would not last very long with out recapping the board

I personally would not recommend you use it untended just because I do not trust the quality of the power supply capacitors that are used

Now if you recap the board then I would probably trust it a little bit more

Last edited by sam_sam_sam; 09-10-2020 at 06:26 PM..
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

I'd be so pissed if my soldering iron died during a job and my 80W Weller has some crazy hours on it. It's about 10 years old now, but still everything original, even the tip it came with (but I don't use that same tip day in and out). I use either Weller or Hakko stuff... I have to count on my gear to fix up others, I don't want to have to fix and fiddle with my own.
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Thanks for the replies everyone, I recycle and refurbish computers as a side gig and hobby, and I'm looking to expand my skill set beyond playing with the adult lego.

I'm looking for a something simple, with serviceable parts. The two features I am looking for are soldering iron/hot air and temperature control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider1211 View Post
Just to make sure we are on the page here, are you referring to heat gun as in hot air station or those paint stripper guns?

If you plan on using the hot air station for long term instead of just learning, then the atten is worth considering.

If you just want to learn and for one off projects/jobs, then get a cheap chinese one in my opinion.
I'm pretty sure it's a paint stripper. I mostly use it for removing stickers and decals, I have warmed up some boards with it, and tried to cook some bad gpus with it, but I won't even attempt to use it for any serious application where money is on the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_sam_sam View Post
The KSGER T12 soldering iron is not a bad choice however I would caution you about the switching power supply for them they are not necessarily the best made power supply in the world

I run mine off of batteries the results are very good with good quality batteries

You have choices when buying them from

Soldering iron controller ( only best way to buy it )

Soldering iron with switching power supply build in

Soldering iron controller battery operated not a bad choice however the battery that comes with it no name brand batteries quality not very good the BMS protection board decent quality ( one note you can only buy this version with batteries installed that a good choice and the batteries fit case is the plus side of it ( if you plan on having the batteries and the soldering controller is one case )

One other note you can buy the BMS board separately however I do not recommend this option because this BMS protection board has to many issues

The comment about 3 party tips are some what true but there is a work around when you first time you try to use them you get a error message and then the temperature readings as long as the temperature is climbing just do not pay attention to but set the temperature to maximum and then turn the controller off for about 5 minutes until the tip cools down then turn it back on again and see if you still get the error message if so it should not be as much as the first time

You might have to do this step a few times then it should be good
wow thanks, that's a lot to digest! I'll admit a lot of what you said went over my head, but I'm leaning towards a device that uses mains power, I don't want to fiddle with batteries. I took a look at the KSGER T12 and it seems very affordable, but it's lacking hot air.

You bring up a good point with tips and compatibility; I'm very new to this market, so I'm not well versed. Is there some kind of standard implemented with these devices, or do they all use proprietary hardware? Is there still "dumb" soldering irons that don't tweet how hot the tip is?

I prefer discrete components, so I'd like to avoid micro controllers if possible. Is it even possible to find new products like that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapLeaker View Post
I'd be so pissed if my soldering iron died during a job and my 80W Weller has some crazy hours on it. It's about 10 years old now, but still everything original, even the tip it came with (but I don't use that same tip day in and out). I use either Weller or Hakko stuff... I have to count on my gear to fix up others, I don't want to have to fix and fiddle with my own.
I've been scraping by with a 25W weller that plugs right into the wall like a savage!

Last edited by Skunch; 09-12-2020 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Do not buy the all in one stuff. Better buy soldering iron and hot air station separately. Atten does have a combiner frame (model MS-300) model though which also includes a power supply.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...archweb201603_

I have no idea how reliable the soldering iron or how good its thermal recovery is but spare parts seem to be available and easy enough to replace. It uses 900 series tips which is fairly cheap and readily available but the main unit is MCU controlled. The advantage of T12 is its hot swap-able capability which is very convenient when you need to change tips often (Unlike the 900 series where you need to turn off, wait for it to cool, change tips, etc.) as well as having no downtime if your heater element dies since each T12 cartridge is self contained and has its temperature sensor and heater element built it. Its just a matter of putting in a new tip and you are good to go.

"Dumb" units I have seen mostly on cheap chinese one, but I would not recommend you buying those. They are only good enough for one off jobs but not reliable enough for delicate work where precise temperature control is important. As well as having crappy heater element. I had one of those and at some point my heater element died, after I replaced it my iron would literally glow red from overheating. I dumped it the same day

Alternatively, you might also look into the TS-100 or its newer version. It is T12 base, compact, has good thermal recovery and portable. You can plug in a laptop power brick and use it a desktop soldering iron but also have the option of using a power bank for offsite jobs if needed.

If you do a lot of through hole desoldering, you might also consider looking into desoldering iron station.

Last edited by Spider1211; 09-12-2020 at 02:21 PM..
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

The problem with most switching power supply is that they use no name brand capacitors
The quality of the switching power supply are ? able at best the tips are not best quality either
The soldering station controller quality is sometimes ? able

Case in point ZD-917 Desoldering Station Gun

The quality of the switching power supply on a scale

0 being the worst you have ever seen

10 being the best you have ever seen

I give a 4.5 reason being that the switching power supply is board line being able to supply enough current for unit ( older version had a problem with the switching power supply regulator ic chip failure) I have a post about this on this forum this unit also uses no brand name capacitors

The tips do not last long I give this a 5

I give the Desoldering Station Gun Controller

I give it a 7 because it’s temperature controller control is very good for the price you pay for it

The back light LED light are a little bit over driven so over long period of time they fail I give this 6

This company also has a ZD-915 soldering iron station

This one I would over all give 8

One issue it had was with the quality of the soldering joints on the power supply board were crap I had to repair it twice for basically the same problem but a different place on the board I give this a 3.5

The temperature controller board quality is maybe a 4.5 because this board had a issue once where one of surface mount capacitor shorted and caused the controller and the back light to shutdown and keep restarting very difficult to pin point the problem with this controller

The quality of the tips I give this a 7 only because of the way the tips would fail one side of the tip would be eaten up towards the lower half of the tip

The temperature sensor failure is a common problem with this iron I give this a 5
The iron heater element failure is a common problem with this iron as well I give this a 5

Last edited by sam_sam_sam; 09-12-2020 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

I also have another soldering iron station (Xytronic EDS 317 I think this is model number of it )
That was the top of line when I bought but even this unit has issues

The first one was after using the unit for a few years it started not heating as well put a new iron heater and temperature sensor in it did not make a difference

Ended up having to replace all the capacitors on the controller / switching power supply board plus the optic sensor before I could get it working correctly again

This one over all I give it a 7

But the temperature controller was okay but what I did not like about it you had to switch it to temperature set then you had to to switch it back to temperature read this an inconvenience I give this a 5

The recovery time on the iron tip was decent I would give it a 6.5

The tips would last a very long time I give this a 8.5 the only reason I would not give it a 9.5 is because of the way the tip would fail one side would eaten out the size of a ball point pen tip towards the top of the tip insert

Last edited by sam_sam_sam; 09-12-2020 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Wow, this is really helpful! Looks like I'll invest in a hot air station down the road, but for now I'm probably going to grab the KSGER T12, though it's going to be a while before I buy it, money is quite tight right now.

Thanks for all the information everyone, I'm not buying for about a month or so, if anyone wants to add any suggestions, please feel free to do so!
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

i use an atten 8586 both solder and hot air station from 6-7 years and im very satisfied with it. all spare parts available for cheap, and good soldering performance for all kind of work. on that time i paied it around 85-90€, but now i see it costs a little more like 120. u just need some good tips for it and good flux and ull do perfect soldering
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

KSGER T12 soldering iron same as everyone else says - and get good selection of bits - including the big chunky ones like BC3

Quick 861DW hot air station and get one of the original ones, you can tell if they look like this at the rear

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/220V-QUIC...AAAOSw0ZRb5Bk9

Oh and I also have one of the ZD-917 desoldering guns - they are very useful at times (motherboard capacitors etc)

Can't say better than that

Rich

Last edited by dicky96; 09-17-2020 at 03:16 PM..
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Atten ST-862D and Quick 861DW are very similar. The Atten actually has a few useful features which Quick does not and is also cheaper.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Quote:
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Oh and I also have one of the ZD-917 desoldering guns - they are very useful at times (motherboard capacitors etc)
what are you using for filters in the collection tube?
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:20 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Quote:
Originally Posted by dellxps15 View Post
i use an atten 8586 both solder and hot air station from 6-7 years and im very satisfied with it. all spare parts available for cheap, and good soldering performance for all kind of work. on that time i paied it around 85-90, but now i see it costs a little more like 120. u just need some good tips for it and good flux and ull do perfect soldering
is it possible to get curved tips for the atten 8586?
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:19 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

yes u can, but with all the code used in tips i really find out hard to know with one is...

also what kind of hot air u want ? 8586 use a normal fan for airflow, while some new model use a pump and the tube from station to hotair is much bigger

why someone suggest 1000watt of hot air ? do he need to desolder big chip ? with 1000 watt he cant desolder big bga and of a small qfn, 0201 resistor i think is useless

edit ive seen some review of atten st-862d and looks like a good hot air station.... if u have the money could be best buy for hot air.

Last edited by dellxps15; 09-18-2020 at 07:11 AM..
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tool Recommendation: soldering iron and hot air station

Quote:
Originally Posted by dellxps15 View Post
yes u can, but with all the code used in tips i really find out hard to know with one is...

also what kind of hot air u want ? 8586 use a normal fan for airflow, while some new model use a pump and the tube from station to hotair is much bigger

why someone suggest 1000watt of hot air ? do he need to desolder big chip ? with 1000 watt he cant desolder big bga and of a small qfn, 0201 resistor i think is useless

edit ive seen some review of atten st-862d and looks like a good hot air station.... if u have the money could be best buy for hot air.
I'd be doing work on parts with low thermal mass; desktop and notebook boards, personal electronics, etc.
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