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Author Topic: Hakko or Weller  (Read 11533 times)

Bob Leonard

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Hakko or Weller
« on: May 01, 2016, 12:38:25 pm »

I know this has been discussed before but I recently dumped 3 soldering stations, all of them Weller, but all of them over 20 years old.

I'm leaning towards Weller again. Tips are easy to find, parts always available, and they work well. I'm also interested in Hakko. I hear good things about them and tips/parts seem to be available.

I solder everything from components level to grounding steel chassis in vintage amplifiers, but for the heavy work I use dedicated soldering irons, no problems there.

Digital to about 60 watts makes sense to me. Tips up to about 3/16" screw driver type are needed. Any suggestions based on personal use??
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 12:46:54 pm »

Hakko.  My 936 station has outlasted my boss's last 2 Weller cheapies.

There have been a ton of Metcal stations on fleabay over the last few years.  Excellent products...
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2016, 12:55:44 pm »

Hakko is good too...

JR
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Steve Payne

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2016, 01:14:54 pm »

Hakko.
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2016, 02:10:41 pm »

Hakko. I went through 2 Wellers before "Seeing the light" about 15 years ago.
Metcal has a good rep, but I've never used one.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 02:43:17 pm »

I started using Hakko several years ago.

By far better than any Weller I ever had.

They just last longer.
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Sam Feine

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 02:54:50 pm »

I have used all three and own a Metcal.

My personal favorite is the Metcal but is is certainly not an iron that I would recommend to everyone.

The Metcal is likely the most versatile iron of the bunch due to the large variety of tips and accessories available for it. I have used the same iron to solder socapex as I have to solder components that are no larger than a grain of the salt that you might find on a pretzel. That said it's tips are remarkably expensive as is the iron itself. It is also worth mentioning that in a Metcal the "heating element" is built into the tips and due to this quirk if you are not careful with the tips and bang them about or drop them often they will stop working.

What really sets the Metcal apart is just how fast it heats up and recovers its tip temperature. This is due in large part to how it functions. Instead of a standard restive heating element and temperature sensor the iron uses RF induction heating which heats the metal in the tip up until it reaches its curie temperature (at which point it no longer can sustain a magnetic field and stops heating). What this means is that the full power of the iron is always available to the tip and as soon as it falls below the temperature that the tip is designed to maintain just enough power is dumped into it to heat it back up to the metal's curie temperature which leads to an incredible soldering experience.

My observation has been that with the right tip in a Metcal (my favorite for general purpose soldering is the STTC-147) the iron performs better than any other that I have ever used. However if you have the wrong tip in it for the job you are doing no matter how expensive it may be it is no better than anything you could pick up at Radio Shack a few years ago.

Having expressed my love for Metcals, as far as a soldering iron which is used mostly for making cables and occasionally repairing a pcb goes I can wholeheartedly recommend a Hakko FX888D or similar. I've only ever had one break on me and that was in a communal lab setting where people often mistreat equipment.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 03:13:57 pm »

I know this has been discussed before but I recently dumped 3 soldering stations, all of them Weller, but all of them over 20 years old.

I'm leaning towards Weller again. Tips are easy to find, parts always available, and they work well. I'm also interested in Hakko. I hear good things about them and tips/parts seem to be available.

I solder everything from components level to grounding steel chassis in vintage amplifiers, but for the heavy work I use dedicated soldering irons, no problems there.

Digital to about 60 watts makes sense to me. Tips up to about 3/16" screw driver type are needed. Any suggestions based on personal use??

I had an Edsyn 951 for years and was quite happy with it. If you are looking for soldering / de-soldering equipment, these folks are very knowledgeable and helpful http://www.howardelectronics.com/
They are a family run outfit, no relation to me but have served me well over the years and deserve the plug.
Best,
Ike
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Doug Johnson

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 04:20:18 pm »

After many years on Wellers and others, I got a Hakko for Christmas this year.  By far the best I have used.  Tips are easy to get thanks to Amazon.
Doug
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Daniel Levi

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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 04:47:44 pm »

Only recently had my Wellers go wrong (element issues) and although I hadn't used them that much they were previously in use at one of the local prisons education dept. where they probably had quite a hard life, the magnastat tips are a bit weird in terms of temperature regulation but it works, the newer units obviously use more modern and more adjustable forms of temperature regulation.

Another option to try out is one of those cheap Chinese soldering stations (Huakko/Yiuha), they are actually not that bad, not go the same thermal mass as some of the most expensive items but at the price they sell them for they can be seen as disposable. My combined soldering station and hot air rework tool (both temperature regulated with LED readout) cost 35 (~$52) shipped locally and except for a smallish transformer seems relatively well built and electrically seems perfectly safe (correct mains plug, correctly fused) . The replacement element for my Wellers were going to cost more than that.
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Re: Hakko or Weller
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 04:47:44 pm »


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