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What wattage for a soldering iron?

7/21/2005 5:18 PM
Michael Camarena
What wattage for a soldering iron?
I only need the soldering iron for amp building and I don't plan on building more than a couple of amps.  
What wattage and decent price range?
7/21/2005 5:56 PM
Dai Hirokawa

I would say around 30-40watts. The better the iron (temperature stable, controllable temp.), the less hassle, but I think w/good technique, you can get away w/a cheaper one or even a cheapie. The cheapies will tend to overheat easy, so you have to turn them off to let them cool down. For big jobs like soldering to the chassis or the big brass plate, you'll need something bigger (around 80W on up) that has enough wattage and mass on the tip. The key is to learn good technique. Must be quick, don't glob, be steady, etc. Practice on junk 'til you get the hang of it. Good luck.
7/21/2005 7:02 PM

I built my Mission 5E3 kit with a 25 watt Hakko pencil iron and loved it. I believe, based on the temp ratings that Hakku must rate their irons conservatively. The only thing I had any trouble with was the grounds to the brass plate. I had an old Craftsman gun that worked for that.  
I've since purchased the Hakku 937 station on ebay, new for $60 + shipping (it's $120 retail locally). I really like the workmanship/design of the Hakko stuff.  
This thread over on Aron's Stompbox building forum had a nice station for only $39 from Circuit Specialists (scroll down to the June 06 post by Fret Wire for a pic). Looks like several have tried it and find it to be a great value.
7/21/2005 10:01 PM
I used a Weller 40w with variable power. Totally adequate. I used my gas stove to heat the brass plate.
7/22/2005 4:46 AM
Dai Hirokawa

neat idea to keep in mind. Using a hair drier to pre-heat the area (to make the soldering easier) is another one.
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