If you plan on getting things built, maybe your kids’ toy cars, your own personal server or fixing up issues with your phone and/or laptop, general electrical and electronics repairs and building from scratch—then you need to have a soldering iron that can deliver on standby.
Soldering irons are a handyman’s tool for fixing metallic parts and/or glass components together. Soldering irons are defined as hand-operated tools that are used for melting solder and applying the melted solder to metals that needs to be joined or fixed (soldered). Soldering irons are no doubt an important tool for electronics hobbyists.
Soldering irons are sold on just about every online marketplace, as well as your local hardware store, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a proper one that is able to serve your soldering needs.
You should know that soldering irons come in different sizes, varying shapes, varying wattage (power retaining capacity), and different temperature-control systems. Once you’ve considered these factors, you can then go ahead and decide to get yourself a soldering iron.
Soldering irons can be grouped into two:
- The wired soldering iron
- The cordless soldering iron
They both serve the same purpose, except that one will only work when connected or plugged in to a power source, while the other doesn’t need to be always attached to a power source to smelt metals.
The wired soldering irons are the very popular types of soldering iron available on the market today with almost everyone having a model. Interestingly, most of the cordless soldering irons are relatively inexpensive with their pricing, usually ranging from $10 to $50; the wired variants are priced from inexpensive to ultra-expensive (from $30 to over $300).
If you plan on constantly using your soldering iron, even on the move, then a cordless soldering iron, which is battery operated or powered by a refillable standard butane fuel, is highly recommended. These cordless soldering irons get the job done, and perfectly too, with heat temperatures reaching up to 700° Fahrenheit.
Generally, before opting for a soldering iron, be it cordless or wired, it is important you consider various factors like:
- Your budget, which is the most important factor because you won’t want to spend all your money on a soldering iron now, would you?
- The temperature control type
- The soldering iron type
- The tip size and shape—take into consideration what you plan on using the soldering iron for.
- How convenient is the soldering iron?
- The overall quality of the soldering iron—check reviews if need be.
- Wattage of the soldering iron (even cordless non-electrical soldering irons have an estimated wattage).
On a final note, yes you should buy a cordless soldering iron if you require a convenient (ease of use and ease of carriage) soldering iron, or if you tend to work a lot on the move. Simply do a review of your own to find the best model fitting your needs.
- It is important to become familiar with some the basic principles of using a soldering iron before getting started.
- Always ensure you clean your soldering iron tip before and after each use. Before use, its best to wipe the tip on a damp sponge. You should also apply new solder, enough to completely cover the soldering area of the tip and let it cool; doing this, you are ready to get soldering!
- Always make sure you already tinned both sides of the material to be soldered before soldering them together. By tinning, you should have whetted with flowed solder. Doing this ensures there are no issues encountered during the soldering of the materials, especially if one of the two materials has issues with soldering flow.
- Rub the solder on the first piece of the materials to be joined, gently place the tinned piece on the second piece, and make sure the melted solder flows properly and covers both parts evenly with a shiny metallic solder.
- Let it cool for a few seconds to confirm if the job has been done properly.
- If you notice any visible flux, it’s best to let it cool and then clean with a little alcohol.