Recommend a soldering iron...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by hrstrat57, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Squier Talker

    Aug 18, 2020
    Rhode Island
    That’s cheap
    Gets hot
    Stays hot

    in other words it works with no fuss or nonsense for soldering to pots, jacks etc

    linky to online purchase will be most appreciated!

    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  2. Loin Lover

    Loin Lover Squier-holic

    Jul 26, 2018
    Backwoods, USA
    hrstrat57 and drewcp like this.
  3. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    There's no better than Weller. I worked as a tech in Silicon Valley for many years and in every company I worked for, all we used were Weller irons.
    Weller%20WTCPN%20Soldering%20Iron%20Station%20TC202%20with%20TC201.jpg This is what I used for decades. We didn't need the fancy ones with temp controllers. We would just swap tips for heavier/higher temp use.
  4. Horseflesh

    Horseflesh Squier Talker

    Sep 19, 2020
    I might say Hakko beats Weller... but a Weller iron is totally solid and a huge step up from a no-name iron. A Weller is my daily driver.

    For working on jacks and pots this plain Jane Weller would probably be fine.

    However, the tip that it comes with looks gigantic. It says it is a "ST3" tip that is 1/8" across but the picture makes it look enormous. If a smaller tip is required, this iron takes the ST series and something will be available.

    I would also recommend getting good old fashioned leaded rosin core solder like this:
  5. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier Talk Member ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    I would agree that Hakko beats Weller, but Metcal beats Hakko. But if you bought my Metcal soldering station today it would cost north of $850. Way too much for guitar work.

    There is nothing wrong with a Weller iron. Do not get the "gun" type. Buy at least 40W, better yet adjustable up to 90W or so is great. Buy some solder flux (I like the liquid type better, but others prefer the paste). Use 63/37 Eutectic solder. Watch a couple of videos on how to solder. Take your time and do not rush. Practice on dummy, broken, or spare parts first. It isn't that hard to do.
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  6. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Nut

    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Now we want to see pics of your Metcal @SubSailer671!

    I'm a Hakko fan myself now, but that basic Weller is where I started in high school too as an intern.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  7. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier Gold Supporting Member

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  8. late2guitar

    late2guitar Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2016
    Middle Tennessee
    I used Wellers for years to solder guitars, but its real daily job was to cut fabric (nylon and polyester). I was making hammocks then and a $20 med duty Weller 40 watt did the job every time, cutting thousands of yards of fabric daily for 3 years. It's done work on a dozen or more guitars and numerous home projects. I'd replace the tip periodically and keep trucking.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  9. Treehouse

    Treehouse Squier-Nut

    Dec 4, 2019
    The Arboritum
    get some flux too
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  10. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier Talk Member ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    My Metcal is boxed up and in storage and has been for a couple of years. I don't solder much anymore (including guitars!) but back in the day I was an electronics tech for a DoD R&D company. The big difference with the Metcal is that they are RF and not resistive heating elements. Computer controlled, but that really means pulse-width-modulated at a few tens of KHz. You change temperature by changing the tips, and the tips are coaxial plug in connectors. They go from cold iron to melting solder in about 7 seconds. Absolute temperature control and can add more thermal energy without increasing the temperature. IMO, well worth the money if you are a pro but not worth it otherwise.

    I like the Hakko irons too. They have excellent control and are really good for situations when you need a lot of heat. Both the Hakko and Metcal are overkill for guitar work.

    Here is a link to a similar Metcal station at Amazon:
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  11. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
  12. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    If the iron doesn't come with a stand, get a good one with a heavy base, not one of those flimsy plastic discs with the pop-up aluminum prong.
    SubSailer671 likes this.
  13. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer ^^ Doing what I do best^^ Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2018
    RC addiction....
  14. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    If I could piggyback on this post, can anybody also recommend either an overall Soldier kit with all of the minimum necessary parts ... or an accessory package to go with one of these soldering devices? I'm interested in getting one but I don't know what I really need just to get me started. I know there are lots of recommendations but what do you need just to swap in a pickup or a pot or something like that, folks?

    Again my apologies for perhaps diverting on this post. But my point is getting the soldering device is one thing but you need the other things too, right?
    hrstrat57 likes this.
  15. Jmv668

    Jmv668 Squier-Nut

    Feb 21, 2017
  16. Ahnlaashock

    Ahnlaashock Squier-holic

    Sep 21, 2014
    St. Louis Area
    I am using a cheap iron my wife bought to cut something, that came labeled as a leather burner/plastic cutter. I think she paid $4 on sale at Joann's.