There are three types of soldering iron that you definitely have to know about. We will discuss all three and explain how different they are from each other in this article.
You will find out which one is the right soldering iron type for the job so you can prevent any potential mishaps that could occur when using the wrong one. They all have their own pros and cons, and they are all suited to situations and applications.
The basics of regular soldering irons
All soldering irons have varying wattage versions. They all have their own highs and lows as well as variable temperature settings. Some even let you adjust the temperature settings on the go while others require you to shut off the unit before you make any changes.
Regardless of which you use, soldering irons are typically used for smaller soldering jobs that require more precision than actual power. This is why it is a lot more common to see them being used on electrical applications like circuit boards. You get a lot more maneuverability with them, so you can solder the right components without damaging anything else around them.
Regular soldering irons work simply by plugging them to a power source. If you want something portable, you can always go for a refillable butane gas powered soldering iron. Most butane gas soldering irons have a usage limit of at least one hour which is enough time for continuous usage on precision-based applications such as small electronics.
The basics of soldering guns
Unlike regular soldering irons, soldering guns look like hand drills and are typically a lot bigger. You will find a wire looped tip and most soldering guns have an almost instantaneous cool-down feature so you will most likely not need a holster.
The tip has to be replaced every so often, but that is because you get a lot more usage from each tip before you actually have to replace it. A soldering gun is a lot easier to grip compared to a soldering torch and does not present a fire hazard because of its fast cool-down time.
You can operate a soldering gun with a trigger mechanism which gives you easy control over it. Technically, you just have to aim and pull the trigger of the soldering gun when using it, which is why it is used by many folks who want to move a step up from regular soldering irons. They are useful for applications that require constant heat such as automotive repairs and other related applications.
The basics of soldering torches
Now we come to the biggest of all three: soldering torches. They are typically powered by acetylene or propylene gases—whichever is considered to be safer in your state. In most states, both are sold in different versions of a particular model.
They give you a lot of power with the immense amount of heat that you can produce. You will find soldering torches used a lot by jewelers for melting precious metals like copper, silver and gold.
Since soldering torches deliver high temperatures, they are the best tools to use if you have to deal with metal works like jewelry. You have to make sure that you work in an area that is completely flame resistant and wear safety gears to prevent yourself from getting burnt.
Soldering torches present an immediate fire hazard which is why you have to practice safety precautions before you heat one up and start using it on your metals.