Soldering iron suggestions

I currently have a crappy R75 soldering iron I bought years ago, and have realised that it’s time to upgrade.

Assuming a budget of R500 to R1000, and taking into account that I’ll largely be soldering small electronics, what’s a good option (that’s available in SA)?

I like the look of the TS100, but it seems to have been largely discontinued.

No idea… My most useful soldering iron is a Dremel butane fueled portable kit. Bit temperature control is too poor for electronics.

My regular work-horse is a good old Magnum station - but I don’t even know if those are still available.

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I am quite happy with my basic 80w Magnum. Link to cheaper 50w below.

Recently had need to replace just the iron handle part on a faulty unit I received from my brother. Simply unclipped the old handle and replaced with the new. Large variety of tips also available from Communica.

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I own an iron from when I was in school (maaaaany moons ago) that you can adjust how much power it applies. That is very useful. 50-90W would be what I suggest (more would be better).
Those soldering stations is very useful, but you can make your own easily out of some sheet metal if the budget does not allow it.

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I went through this a little over a year ago. I wanted a soldering station… not just any old iron.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Ersa brand (cause that’s the iron I used all through high school, after I lost my Weller), but the cheapest one was quite expensive.

Of course the one you should get is the Hakko, but you have to beware of knock-offs.

In the end I went with the RS-Pro brand. Tips are easy to come by, and the price was right. I got this one.

But if you must go cheaper, I would suggest a Magnum.

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bought a simple magnum (1220) from these guys (hottools) - not the fastest shipping but price was best I could find

EDIT 03/11/2020: noticed some very annoying pop-ups on the hottools site (did not previously have it… disabling java script on my browser got rid of them… no idea how/if it will affect the shopping component… any case, apologies if anyone had issues with their site. I will be a bit reluctant to enter credit card details etc. currently on their site but I bought from them 05/08/2020 without a problem though…)
EDIT2 03/11/2020: apparently their hosting provider sorted the pop-ups…but still struggling with a slow site

I know this is very late, but I forgot to mention these. Its about R250 above of your range but these I like the most.

A nice one for fine work, but keep the tip clean and tinted at all times, my kids used it to melt holes in Plastic for a school project and i ended up cleaning it for weeks before it worked fine again. A rebranded version is available from Micro Robotics.

And this is my absolute favourite, even for soldering the D1 Minis, The picture below shows the result of one I have done in less than 2 minutes, heating time included. It draws about 150 watts although its rated at 100Watts. I am by no means a pro in soldering, but enjoy this Weller a lot. (My very first soldering iron in primary school was the same type, and if my memory serves me well it was a Weller as well)

This is how fine that tip can solder:

And just for interest sake, my favourite soldering fluid/flux is MTS Crystaline Soldering Fluid, available from most hardware stores at R75 for 500ml

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I remember those soldering guns.

My dad had one that I used to learn how to solder.
That was until the one day when I got the very bright idea I need to buy my own soldering iron. :electric_plug: The thing was that the iron got a short somewhere and every time you pulled the trigger you will get a nice jolt of electricity through you. It was this jolt that made me realise I need to grow up and get my own solder. :smiley:

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