serowman wrote:What differences would I see between the 30w Iron and a Hakko fx-888?
I found there was nothing much wrong with a good quality basic iron for general (through hole) work.
I used one for years and so for me it's not so much about the performance but other things.
A much larger selection of tips, for example, is a good reason why I like my soldering station.
Another is a better stand for the iron, and the iron has a thinner and lighter power cord, which makes it easier to move around etc.
If you think you're going to really get into electronics, you might as well just get a good station. Then you don't have to buy things twice, and you've got a nice piece of equipment from day 1.
That said, my old iron does come in handy, if I want to work on something that can't be brought to the bench or when I'm at a friend's house etc.