Upgrading from Harbor Freight 30W soldering iron
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Upgrading from Harbor Freight 30W soldering iron

by efnord on Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:14 pm

I've got this cheap iron right now: it gets the job done soldering headers on boards, but I don't think it's ideal for delicate work, and it has no temperature control.

https://www.harborfreight.com/electrica ... 69060.html

I'd like to get a proper soldering station set up, and I'm looking at 3 options: the $130 Hakko FX-888D, the $45 Atten AT-937, or a $20 soldering iron kit direct from Shenzen. With both the cheap irons, I think I'd need to drop $10 or $20 on a real Hakko tip or two, but that's still substantially cheaper than a real Hakko iron. Per the kit, I've got a suitable case and some spare wall warts - I like the idea of knowing I built my first proper soldering iron with a cheap one, but at the end of the day I need something reliable. Has anyone bought or built one of those kits? There's a ton of 'em on eBay, all looking pretty similar.

For the Hakko FX-888D versus the Atten AT-937, what am I getting for twice the price? A good brand name, a replaceable soldering iron, and more longevity? Is the real Hakko going to be appreciably easier to use than the Atten?

Any suggestions on good places to look for used soldering stations? Craigslist et al are full of rewire-your-house soldering guns, but not so much soldering stations, and I don't want to buy a fake.



https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-24V-Digita ... 0677.m4598
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 11:05 pm

Re: Upgrading from Harbor Freight 30W soldering iron

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:23 pm

The Atten is a good step up from a basic iron. It has very good temperature control and takes Hakko interchangeable tips.

The Hakko is a professional-grade iron that is built to last. The temperature control is excellent, and has very quick recovery between joints. I especially like the digital display because you can see in real-time what the actual tip temperature is.

Not sure about the kit you linked. It does not appear to include a power supply.

Posts: 77422
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:11 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.