Best soldering station has put together some simple guides, comparison charts, reviews and buying recommendations for some of the best and most popular soldering stations and soldering kits you can buy. To get started, take a look at the soldering station comparison charts to help you determine what type of station will be most suitable for you.
You can also take a look at our “best soldering station for the money” post that will give you a good idea of what to look for when buying a soldering station.
After scouring the internet for information on the best soldering station, I was amazed at the lack of soldering kits and soldering station reviews and comparisons that were available online.
By writing this side by side soldering station review hopefully I will save you the time and effort of going from Radio Shack to Lowes to Home Depot to Amazon and comparing each Solder Station individually.
I decided to review the middle price range of stations ($50 to $150) due to the fact that these stations are the most popular and they will also fulfill the majority of most user’s needs and requirements.
If you are still unsure of how to choose the most ideal soldering station for your needs and requirements, read our guide below, it will show you what you should be looking for when choosing a station and give you our recommendations on the top soldering stations to consider.
What is a soldering station?
A soldering station is made up of a docking base (holder) for the soldering iron, a variable electric power supply unit and the soldering iron itself. When compared to a conventional soldering iron a soldering station makes it possible to precisely regulate the temperature that the iron operates at, giving you much more control for different types of soldering projects.
A typical “plug into the mains” soldering iron has no such heat regulator and has a fixed power consumption dependent upon the wattage of the iron. A 30 watt soldering iron will dispense 30 watts of heat to the tip of the soldering iron and relies upon the dissipation of heat into the air to reach its thermal balance. These types of soldering irons are adequate for some soldering jobs but may be too hot or too cold for many others causing either overheating and damage to the component or a cold solder joint.
The other major drawback of the unregulated Soldering irons is the lack of static protection. Many electronic components are susceptible to ESD (electro static discharge) and can be damaged or destroyed by a static discharge. All of the stations in the Soldering Station Comparison are ESD safe which means that when you pick the Soldering iron up the static charge from your body will be dumped to ground.
There are many more advantages of the soldering station when compared to the unregulated soldering iron, these include:
Many Soldering Stations now have the ability to pre-set and store temperature settings, this allows the user to quickly select a “favorite” temperature setting at the push of a button.
Stations like the Hakko FX888D have the option to password lock the settings which is great to stop others from changing the settings without your knowledge.
Another nice feature that some stations have is an inactivity sensor that detects when the iron has not been moved for a set period of time and puts the soldering station into sleep mode.
Some of the most popular soldering stations and rework stations come as a complete kit, including just about everything you need to start soldering immediately. One such solder station is the X-TRONIC” MODEL #4010-XTS that even comes with 10 SOLDERING TIPS, an extra heating element, anti-magnetic tweezers and a magnifying lamp!
Overall, if you value the components you are working on (and your safety) you should consider taking a look at our soldering station reviews.