Best Soldering Iron Reviews 2017 – 2018

The best soldering iron comes in handy when repairing electronics, jewelry, guitars, circuit boards, and more. This tool can supply you with heat in melting solder that flows between two materials while forming a connection eventually. The main composition of a soldering iron is a metal tip, which is heated in an insulated handle by either gas combustion or electricity.

Today, electronics soldering iron is widely used in repair jobs, installations, electronic assemblies and so on. It is also used for pyrography as well as plastic welding, although very rarely seen.

Over the years, this tool has become in demand in a lot of job sites, accomplishing so many tasks, both for commercial and personal purposes. Hence, soldering irons are used by DIYers and the tradesmen alike. With that said, having a good soldering iron is crucial for many consumers. So, below are the top-rated and the best soldering irons the market has to offer, giving you a full grasp on the most reliable items that have been used and reviewed by actual users.

PictureModelEditor RatingsOur Review
Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station (BEST SELLER) (4.5 / 5)
706 Reviews
Our Review
Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station (4.8 / 5)
218 Reviews
Our Review
Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station (4.6 / 5)
275 Reviews
Our Review
Aoyue 9378 Programmable Digital Soldering Station (4.5 / 5)
136 Reviews
Our Review
Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station (4.4 / 5)
127 Reviews
Our Review
Aoyue 469 Variable Power 60 Watt Soldering Station (4.4 / 5)
304 Reviews
Our Review

Best Soldering Iron Reviews

Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station

The best soldering station for electronics is the Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station, which receives an average rating of 4.5-Stars on Amazon. It is the best soldering station because it includes everything that you need as a starter, although it has also been designed with the hobbyists and the pros in mind as well.

The entire kit offers high-quality and lightweight soldering pen with variable power control. The pencil iron also features a cushioned foam grip combined with a replaceable heating element, plus a safety guard iron holder.

From the global leader in soldering, Weller introduces a durable and easy-to-control soldering pen that boasts an ST3 iron-plated copper tip, ensuring a comfortable use for long periods. The replaceable heating element, on the other hand, allows a continuous use for years to come.

The variable power controls are very easy to use, unlike the basic kits. This is the best soldering iron for electronics due to this feature, allowing you to adjust the power the level and the most precise setting for every job. The ‘power on’ light indicator helps you from accidentally leaving the iron hot. Moreover, the built-in iron stands aids in keeping your work station organized at the same time, including a natural sponge tip cleaning pad.

Indeed, the Weller offers top-notch accessories for reliable performance, providing the nickel and chromium materials in protecting the tool against solder creep and corrosion. Thus, you are assured that the soldering iron will perform reliably over time. Also, the tips are pre-tinned with lead and tin solder. Overall, the Weller is a reliable soldering kit because it is UL-listed, meeting independent safety standards. Read our detailed review of the Weller WLC100!

Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station

With a perfect 5-Star rating is the Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station, featuring an upgraded digital version of its predecessor – the FX-888. This kit includes a lot of new features, including a preset temperature which can be selected by the user, plus a digital calibration that simplifies the operation and setup simultaneously.

This electric soldering iron also offers a new password protection, while its low-temperature alarm simply offers process control and protects the unit from cold solder joints. The Hakko is considered as the best soldering iron for circuit boards in its class as it can serve its purpose for several years. Indeed, a great choice for the money.

The features are unbeatable as it is useful in unlimited soldering tasks. Reviews about the best soldering kit indicate these impressive features of the product, saying that the temperature setting can be programmed easily, as long as you read over the instruction manual. The temperature indicator can be changed from the Fahrenheit reading to the Celsius unit. Finally, setting the password is also a convenient feature of the product as the parameter setting can do all these tasks.

Certainly, the Hakko FX888D is one of the top-rated and most reliable soldering iron brands today, offering high-grade construction, durable materials, and safety features, compared to the basic units out there. This unit receives many soldering iron recommendations from actual users, making it a perfect tool for both the starters and the professionals alike. Read our Hakko FX888D-23BY Review!

Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station

The Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station is also a reliable soldering tool, garnering an average rating of 4.5-Stars from customer reviews. Unlike other tools on the market, the best selling point of the Weller WESD51 is its electronic temperature control, allowing precise performance.

The soldering temperature allows you to adjust from 350 degrees Fahrenheit up to 850. This quality soldering iron also features a combination of built-in heater and a sensor for very quick heat-up times. This feature results in temperature recovery for a better heat control throughout your job.

The WESD51 is considered as the best solder iron also because of its wireless temperature lockout, preventing you from increasing the temperature beyond the recommendation for a certain component, board, and any other workpiece. Thus, this feature surely eliminates the possibility of damaged components and further accidents.

This soldering gun for electronics includes the WES series power unit, the PH50 stand, PES51 soldering pencil, PW50 probe, and a sponge. The slim and comfortable pencil have an ETA tip, reducing operator fatigue. It is also a UL and cUL-listed tool, similar to the Weller WLC100.

After all, the WESD51 is produced by Weller, a renowned manufacturer of wide ranges of products such as televisions and washing machines. Since the 1950’s, the company has provided innovative products to consumers – products that tend to reduce energy consumption. Today, Weller is a reliable manufacturer of soldering guns and other consumer electronic tools that continuously generate positive customer reviews from around the world. Check out our Weller WESD51 detailed review!

Aoyue 9378 Programmable Digital Soldering Station

With a 4.5-Star rating is the Aoyue 9378 Programmable Digital Soldering Station. This is the soldering iron for circuit boards and other components as it includes ten soldering iron tips. It features a long-life ceramic heat element together with a design boasting in a removable tip.

Compared to the basic solders out there, the Aoyue 9378 offers an automatic sleep and awake vibration sensor in its handle to detect movement, thereby, providing optimum convenience to the user. Moreover, this tool has two quick jump buttons that allow you to pick your most favorite settings. Similar to the other products above, this one is also switchable between the Celsius and the Fahrenheit with temperatures of 200 to 480 and 392 to 897 respectively.

All the more, the Aoyue 9378 has a 24V output, just perfect in preventing circuit damages. On top of those impressive features, the design of this soldering gun is ESD safe and CE and RohS compliant. It consumes 60W of power and comes with 110V AC adapter.

Besides the 10 iron tips in the kit, this model has up to 50 sizes available for the tip. Hence, the Aoyue 9378 is surely a top-rated tool as it has generated a lot of reviews, especially in Amazon, creating happy customers from time to time. Based on reviews, the Aoyue 9378 is a cheap soldering iron, while having the same quality and performance as the expensive varieties and brands.

It is one of the best irons today that looks nice, feels sturdy, and is well-built. Many actual users love the 3-button layout on the front, which are the menu button, increase, and decrease, including the power switch that is very convenient, compared to irons with the power switch at the back. This small soldering iron also features a red LED display, helping you browse the menu, while showing the current temperature, while in use. Read our Aoyue 9378 Review here!

Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station

Moreover, the Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station is a 70W solder gun for electronics with a smoke absorber. This 4.5-Star-rated tool also features a digital display for the temperature, including a Vacuum Pickup Kit, a soldering iron holder, 10 iron tips, and spare heating elements.

The Aoyue 968A+ is said to have the highest quality features, making it the most reliable soldering iron for electronics. It has an adjustable sleep timer and digital calibration for the soldering iron, while making use of low-cost standard tips. The digital display calibration offers a microprocessor-controlled element, allowing a precise temperature control. The digital display calibration also features a microprocessor-controlled element, resulting in a precise temperature control.

The tool’s configurable holder makes use of brass or sponge coil. It can also maintain a consistent set temperature once the setting is reached. Moreover, this soldering gun provides an automatic cool-off process, leaving the blower on up until the nozzle has cooled down, thereby, prolonging the lifespan of the heating element, while ensuring safety at the same time.

The Aoyue 968A+ is an ESD-safe unit, meeting the CE and RoHS safety standards. It is also a 4-in-1 repairing solder iron that is much-loved by many users today. Among the most sought features of this tool are its knob adjustments for the air flow, including the built-in air flow gauge. Indeed, it is a high-quality electronic soldering iron, made of durable materials and top-notch technologies. This tool has unbeatable features packed in a very affordable kit, making it perfect for starters and pros alike. Read our Aoyue 968A+ Review too!

Aoyue 469 Variable Power Soldering Station

The Aoyue 469 is a 60W soldering iron for small electronics, which also meets the ESD safety standards. This tool garners an average rating of 4.5-Stars on Amazon, featuring a long-life ceramic heat element, plus a removable tip design. The temperature it offers ranges between 200 and 480 degrees Celsius, equivalent to 392 and 897 degrees Fahrenheit.

The kit includes the Aoyue 469 soldering iron, an iron stand with a solder spool holder, and a sponge for cleaning. However, this kit does not include the solder, unlike the above-mentioned items, although there are more than 50 tip sizes available for this iron.

Additionally, the Aoyue provides a PTC element, allowing a fast heat up as well as an accurate temperature control. Hence, it is ideal for starters and pros alike, considering the fair price range and a trusted manufacturer – Aoyue that produces very durable and reliable irons for consumers worldwide.

This circuit board soldering iron has everything necessary to start a repair job, most especially its adjustable temperature that makes it very useful for a wide array of jobs. The standard point tip that comes with the kit is surely compatible with most soldering tasks; so, there’s no hurrying in buying new tips.

Unlike other irons, the Aoyue 469 is inexpensive, making it the perfect solution for urgent soldering needs. It heats up very fast and indeed works great, regardless the soldering skill level of the user. Also, customer reviews say that the assembly of this tool is flawless and can last for a longer time than expected. All in all, the Aoyue 469 soldering iron station is highly recommended by actual users. Check out our detailed review of the Aoyue 469!

Soldering Iron Buying Guide

After learning about the top-rated and highly recommended soldering irons for electronics, it is now time to talk about some of the critical factors and aspects, surrounding this tool. Keep in mind that customer reviews are undoubtedly helpful in finding the best product. However, there are other helpful tips that will certainly come in handy throughout your search.

Basic Types

Today, manufacturers develop different types of soldering irons in handling a wide variety of soldering jobs. Some of these tools tend to emit heat that ensures quick melting points, while others have basic designs, allowing users in entering small openings. Due to these reasons, a lot of electronics professionals and enthusiasts purchase most of the following kinds of soldering iron.

  • Simple Iron – This is the most famous and most common type, which operates on a power rating from 15 watts to 35 watts, just enough wattage in handling most of the electronic repair tasks. This type runs at uncontrolled temperatures, which are determined by a thermal equilibrium. The simple iron is widely used by DIYers who usually work in electronics like computer hard drives and boom boxes. They find the simple iron as the best soldering iron and the most essential in their tool box.

  • Soldering Station – Similar to most of the reviewed products above, the soldering station is the complete set when it comes to soldering iron types. The station is composed of electrical power supply, a display and temperature control circuitry, a soldering head and a tip temperature sensor. The best soldering iron brand will also offer a stand for keeping the iron when not in use, plus sponge for cleaning and maintenance. Some manufacturers today even offer options such as a vacuum pickup tool, a vacuum pump, and hot air gun.

  • Soldering Tweezers – These are specialized irons that can solder and desolder very small surface-mounted elements. Soldering tweezers typically have two electrical terminals. Thus, these types tend to work very well on resistors, capacitors, batteries, and diodes. Most manufacturers design soldering tweezers as freestanding tools.

  • Soldering Gun – The best soldering gun resembles a cordless hand drill, having a looped wire tip, which cools rapidly. Hence, soldering guns do not need holsters for storage, while diminishing fire hazards at the same time. The easy-to-grip feature of soldering guns is much-loved by many DIYers, including the gun’s convenient trigger mechanism.

  • Soldering Torch – A not-so-common type of soldering irons is the soldering torch, which makes use of propane gas or acetylene as its power source. These types of solder irons create considerable heat, even in short bursts. People in the jewelry industry utilize the soldering torch in melting precious components like copper, silver, and gold. Therefore, the soldering torch is a recommended soldering iron for professionals, and not to beginners and DIYers.

Key factors to Consider

So, what is the best soldering iron? Due to circumstances, specific tasks, personal requirements, safety standards, and the skill level of every user, identifying the best product could be a daunting task. This is more so when considering the boundless selections of solder irons for electronics, circuit boards, and so on.

Soldering is not a tough task to learn, so the starters and DIYers can still include this tool to complete their tool boxes. However, many professionals greatly consider the following factors, before buying this equipment.

Temperature Control

This feature of the electronics soldering kit allows the user to control the heat level of the soldering tip. Take note that most irons can produce temperatures of up to 850 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, there are sub-categories in determining the basic design of a good quality soldering iron when it comes to the temperature control feature.

  • Non-regulated – Non-regulated soldering irons have unregulated temperature once plugged in. It is said that this form is best for the DIYers who often accomplish small projects as well as household and standard soldering jobs. It is a cheap soldering iron.
  • Controlled Temperature – A soldering iron review would tell you that the best feature of this tool is having a control on the temperature. Hence, a temperature-controlled iron assures that the metal’s temperature is retained at a certain level. This type more pricey than the non-regulated counterpart, featuring a built-in thermocouple, which monitors the temperature. Other models also feature adjustable temperature control.
  • Complete System – Finally, the complete system is the sub-type of temperature control option that is composed of a whole bench control unit. Hot air soldering gun, thermal tweezers, and capacitors can be plugged into the complete system. Thus, this is mainly for professional use in rework stations and high-volume manufacturing areas.

Cordless Variety

Considering the cordless feature makes sense, while choosing a soldering iron. Going cordless means portability and convenience. These are the main reasons why many professionals and beginners opt for the cordless versions. A cordless iron allows the user to move from one direction to another without limitations, thereby, increasing productivity. Keep in mind, however, that cordless versions make use of gas combustions from separate tanks for operation.

Wattage

The wattage provides the heating power, which is required for objects. The reviewed products range between 60-watt soldering iron and 70-watt iron. Excessive wattage can cause burning and boil flux, before the cleaning of specific electronic components. Nowadays, electronics professionals usually go up to the 60W versions, while 15W to 35W are ideal for starters.

Brand

Without a doubt, choosing the best soldering iron brand means top-notch quality, state-of-the-art technology, and reliability. Reading about reviews on good soldering iron for electronics and circuit boards will greatly help you in finding the best brands. Keep in mind the good reputation and lengthy track records of soldering iron manufacturers without disregarding the customer ratings and reviews. Choosing a brand with high recommendations is likewise sensible throughout your search, while carefully comparing the products simultaneously.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The best soldering gun for electronics and other components should also offer safety standards and parameters. However, proper and regular cleaning of your equipment is always a must, ensuring a longer lifespan of your tool than expected. Dirty irons are likely to create terrible solder joints, thereby; cleaning and maintenance are of utmost importance.

For your optimum convenience, choosing the best soldering station for electronics may be practical as soldering stations provide the cleaning and maintenance materials that are necessary for your soldering iron. As for electronic soldering irons, unplugging the unit when the task is done or when the unit is not in use are tips in preventing damage, oxidizing, or burning up the soldering tip.

Conclusion

At this point, this article has provided you with a comprehensive soldering iron and soldering station review, giving you the best-of-the-best soldering iron brands with top customer ratings. The given guidelines will likewise help you in finding the best soldering equipment, keeping in mind every factor and aspect mentioned above. To top it all, the brands and models of soldering irons for circuit boards are unlimited, but, take note that the biggest benefits of a reliable unit are quick heating options, high temperatures, and comfortable grips.

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3 thoughts on “Best Soldering Iron Reviews 2017 – 2018

  1. Hi…
    Your review is very explicate and your recommendations go straight to the point. All the irons have their pros and cons so it’s really a matter of what my needs are and my budget ($$$). I do quite a bit of soldering for I make audio cables for Hi Fi stereo systems. It’s a simple procedure and my needs aren’t very demanding so I have decided to get the Aoyue 469 station. From your review and others on Amazon I see that it’s a very good & dependable station and the price is just right. This station will fit my needs just perfectly and the plus is that it uses Hakko tips which are excellent. I was looking at the Hakko FX888 station but that would be more than what I need and it just doesn’t justify the extra cash. So I have ordered the Aoyue on Amazon ($29.99) and they have a 15% discount so it’s $25.49 which is great. I am 66 yrs old & retired and carry-out my small business, Best Audio Hi Fi Cables, from my home to just keep myself occupied and the extra cash is definitely welcome. Thank you so much for your advice and the excellent review and recommendations.

    George

    Humacao, Puerto Rico

  2. Exist different kinds of solder iron, so we can easily manage with various projects of soldering. And your review is very good always is good to know now theng about soldering. When you need to buy a soldering iron first you must know for what project you will use and choose the right one for you. Or if you choose a Solder Station they have a Temperature Regulator and you can make Temperature enough for the project you manage. In your review we can see everything about that, this is helpful.

  3. Any solid tungsten tipped soldering iron? Im an expert electrician. I design oblong speaker, wristwatch, pants, tunggsten cooking pan, shoes, even gun parts. I need

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