Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Preferred Soldering Iron

Several years ago, my very old and faithful Weller finally died, and its replacement, the Wahl - Cordless also died (or was dying). I had always wanted a Hakko 888, so I put one on order along with several tips, of different types and sizes.

But I needed a reliable Soldering Iron for a project that I was working on, and I needed the Soldering Iron NOW! I could not wait for the postal service!

So, I went to Radio Shack or Frys (do not remember which) and found a Hakko 980-V12/P to finish my project. I thought it would be a good (junker) backup iron, as it uses the same tips as the Hakko 888 that I had on order (so I thought, . . . NOT). Well it does not! The tips are different.

Now, after many months of having all three Irons on the bench, I prefer the cheap Hakko 980 (with the standard tip) for most things that I solder, even down to the occasional 0201 resistors. Most of my projects use 0804 or 0603 parts. I use the same old stand that I used with the Weller, along with the wire pad tip cleaner. The new Hakko 888 is very seldom turned on.
Hakko 980 on the far Left
Hakko 888 on the Right

Wahl at the Upper Right
The Hakko 980 has dual heat modes; 20w and 130w. A simple push of a button increases the heat, and only if necessary (very seldom used). A one or two second press of the yellow button on the handle, is generally all that is ever needed.

My dying Wahl is standing in the back (yellow, upper right), it was nice for a while, but its finger switch became too temperamental and needs constant attention, see previous post.

Knowing what I know now, if I were buying a Soldering Iron - I would ONLY buy the Hakko 980-V12/P, which is much cheaper than a Hakko 888, and more reliable than the Wahl.


For reference, I originally provided Amazon links for the Hakko Soldering Irons listed on this post, but now it appears that all of my links are no longer working (what up with that, Amonzon?), so I replaced them with generic Google Links. I hope the Hakko 980 is actually still available?


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