If you consider the methods of soldering, then the work produced by the soldering iron is the most common and convenient. For many people, soldering iron is considered as a device with a spiral heater.
Although there are many types of soldering irons that differ in the type of energy consumed, methods of conversion to heat and methods of transferring heat to the place of soldering. If you are looking for a perfect soldering iron to use, I will help you with that.
Without further ado, let’s dig into it!
Types of Soldering Iron
So let’s learn in greater detail about which main types of soldering irons are there. The most common known devices powered by electricity are electric soldering irons.
Electric Soldering Iron With a Nichrome Heater
Made with a nichrome spiral. An electric current passes through it. Innovative models of soldering irons have control of heating the tip with the help of a temperature sensor, which gives a signal in order to disconnect the coil in time when the temperature has reached the operating mode.
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The temperature sensor is made on the principle of a thermocouple. Electric soldering irons with a nichrome heater have several different designs. Simple soldering irons have a nichrome spiral in their design.
It is wound on a casing made of insulating material. A heating rod is inserted inside. In more advanced designs, nichrome is built into insulators, which reduce heat loss, increase heat transfer.
Ceramic Soldering Iron
There are also designs of soldering irons, in which the heater is ceramic, in the form of a rod. It heats up from the voltage applied to its contacts.
Such heaters are recognized as more advanced. They have their advantages: fast heating, increased service life (if you take care of it), a wide range of power and temperature.
Induction Type Soldering Iron
In this device, the rod is heated by an induction coil. The tip is made of a coating of ferromagnetic material. In this material, the coil forms a magnetic field, from which a current is induced to heat the soldering iron core.
When the temperature reaches the required value, the ferromagnetic coating no longer has magnetic properties, as a result of which the core no longer heats up.
When the temperature drops to a certain value, the ferromagnetic properties of the coating are restored again, core heating starts again. Thus, the temperature of the soldering iron core is automatically maintained in the operating range without using a sensor or electronic control.
Impulse Soldering Iron
This type of soldering iron belongs to a special category. The order of their inclusion is as follows: press the start button and keep it pressed. The tip of the soldering iron heats up quickly, in a few seconds, reaches the operating temperature.
The soldering of the required place is carried out. After soldering, the button turns off, the soldering iron cools. Innovative soldering irons are equipped with temperature and power regulators, which allow soldering both large parts and elements of small electronics.
Gas Soldering Iron
They belong to autonomous devices. Apply anywhere. This is their main advantage. The heating of the soldering iron tip comes from a gas flame.
A gas cylinder is built into the soldering iron, which you can independently refuel from a can for lighters. If the nozzle is disconnected from such a soldering iron, it can act as a gas burner.
Battery Soldering Iron
This device also applies to stand-alone tools. It has a small power, up to 15 Watts, is used to solder electronic small parts.
There are two types of soldering stations. These are infrared type and hot air stations. They are not so common, but have their advantages.
The hot-air version of the soldering stations is equipped with heating of the soldering zone from the pressure of hot air that leaves the soldering nozzle. They resemble hairdryers, the outgoing air of which comes from the nozzle.
Compressor and turbine soldering stations differ in how air pressure is generated. In hot air in the case of the soldering iron there is an electric motor with an impeller that supplies air flow.
In compressor stations, pressure is generated by a diaphragm compressor. The compressor is also located in the station building.
The infrared version of the stations produces heating by infrared radiation. The heating zone may have a size of 10-60 mm. Its dimensions are determined by the adjustment system of the infrared emitter window.
A different shape of the window is obtained using reflective tape made of foil. It covers areas of the electronic board that do not need to be heated.
What Are The Best Soldering Irons?
I made some researches in order to find out the best soldering irons in 2020 and came up with the list of products. I hope this will help to make a right choice.
- Best Overall: Anbes Soldering Iron Kit
“Perfect product for reasonable price, all needed tools are included in the package.”
- Best Budget: HANDSKIT Soldering Iron
“Great value, lightweight design and not difficult so set up.”
- Best for Electronics: Weller WLC100 Soldering Station Iron
“Multi-purpose tool, analog station, good-quality product.”
- Best for Stained Glass: Hakko FX601-02 Soldering Iron
“Ergonomic design, durable material, temperature set.”
- Best for Guitar: Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit
“For creative people, perfect for guitar wiring.”
- Best for Circuit Boards: Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit
“Safety, 5 replaceable tips, guide e-book.”
- Best for Beginners: Hakko FX888D-23BY Soldering Iron
“No experience is required for the perfect use of the tool.”
- Best for Keyboards: X-Tronic Model Soldering Iron
“High temperature, great quality, for different purposes.”
- Best for Jewelry: Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit
“Suitable for your hobbies, DIY projects and interesting creations.”
- Best for Led Strips: Vastar Soldering Iron Kit
“Compact station, not hard to use.”
- Best for Fabric: Weller WSB25WB Soldering Iron
“Simple and safe to use, quick heating, portable product and compact size.”
Best Soldering Irons Comparison Chart
I made this comparison table for quick learning about best soldering irons of 2020, their differences, features and properties.
|Best Soldering Irons||Type||Power||Voltage||Temperature|
|Anbes Soldering Iron Kit - Best Overall||Soldering Pencil||60 Watts||110 V||200℃ - 450 ℃|
|HANDSKIT Soldering Iron - Best Budget||Soldering Pencil||60 Watts||110 V||200℃ - 450 ℃|
|Weller WLC100 Soldering Station - Best for Electronics||Analog Station||5 Watts to 40 Watts||120 V||Up to 900°F|
|Hakko FX601-02 - Best for Stained Glass||Soldering Pencil||67 Watts||120 V||Up to 540℃|
|Tabiger Soldering 5 Pcs Kit - Best for Guitar||Soldering Pen||60 Watts||110 V||200℃ - 450 ℃|
|Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit - Best for Circuit Boards||Digital Station||60 Watts||110 V||450℃|
|Hakko FX888D-23BY - Best for Beginners||Digital Station||70 Watts||120 V||Up to 350℃|
|X-Tronic Model - Best for Keyboards||Digital Station||75 Watts||110 V||392°F - 896°F|
|Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit - Best for Jewelry||Soldering Pencil||60 Watts||110 V||200℃ - 450 ℃|
|Vastar Soldering Iron Kit - Best for Led Strips||Soldering Pencil||60 Watts||110 V||200℃ - 450 ℃|
|Weller WSB25WB - Best for Fabric||Soldering Pencil||25 Watts||120 V||900°F|
|Weller WE1010NA||Digital Station||70 Watts||120 V||100⁰C - 450⁰C|
|Aoyue 469 Soldering Station||Analog Station||60 Watts||110 V||200⁰C - 480⁰C|
|Aoyue 9378 Soldering Station||Digital Station||60 Watts||110 V||392°F - 896°F|
|UY CHAN Pocket-Size Soldering Iron Kit||Digital Pencil||65 Watts||24 V||212°F - 752°F|
Top 15 Best Soldering Irons Reviews
Time to move to the most important and interesting part of my article! Reviews! I wrote detailed information about each 15 best soldering irons of 2020, their pros, cons and product specifications.
1. Anbes Soldering Iron Kit
The Anbes Soldering Iron Kit is an electronic soldering kit perfect for beginners. You get not only a 60 W adjustable soldering iron, but also several tips, as well as a number of accessories.
These accessories include; support station, solder removal pump, wire stripper and cutter. You also get tweezers and even two pieces of wire in case you run out of projects. It will be difficult for you to find another starter kit.
- Reasonable price
- All features included
- High power
- Lightweight design
- Quick heating
- Not easy to change the tip
|Dimensions||10.3 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches|
Check this video review out:
2. HANDSKIT Soldering Iron
A plastic handle provides protection against electricity and heat from the heater. Comfortable work is facilitated by a soft pad on the corpus. The replacement tip is easily removed by loosening the nut. The indicator light indicates the presence of power.
The main advantage is the adjustment of the heating temperature, for which the wheel on the housing is designed. This allows you to work with different solders and reduces the risk of failure of radio components due to high temperature.
- Perfect for beginners
- Great to carry around
- Easy to use
- Simple to set
- Hard to keep the tip clean
|Dimensions||10.1 x 5 x 2 inches|
Watch the video for more information:
3. Weller WLC100 Soldering Station
(Best for Electronics)
The 40-watt Weller WLC100 packs everything you need in one package. If you’re just looking for the basics, this model has them and more. The WLC100 heats up quickly and can get up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit – ideal for basic electronics.
It also works for jewelry and hobby models. This item is equipped with an ST3 iron tip with a Weller certificate, which will last you a long time. When it comes time to change tips, the WLC100 is compatible with soldering tips.
- Reasonable price
- Analog station
- Good heating
- Great quality
- Doesn’t hold heating for long
|Dimensions||8.8 x 6.3 x 3.8 inches|
Review about this product:
4. Hakko FX601-02
(Best for Stained Glass)
The universal lightweight Hakko FX-601 soldering iron with temperature adjustment is used for a wide variety of soldering work, including when soldering large components, chassis and transformers.
The peculiarity of this soldering iron is that with the help of a temperature controller located on the handle of this thermal tool, the operator can choose any temperature in the range of 240 – 500°С.
Light weight and dimensions of the soldering iron allow soldering in places requiring special accuracy and accuracy.
- Quick heating
- Good quality product
- Durable product
- You can set needed temperature
- Ergonomic design
- Instruction comes in Japanese
|Dimensions||10.75 x 4.4 x 1.4 inches|
5. Tabiger Soldering 5 Pcs Kit
(Best for Guitar)
A complete set for soldering electronics, which comes with a large number of accessories. The set is well suited for beginner electricians and hams, who do not have at all any necessary soldering accessories.
You might notice about the poor quality of the cleaning sponge and the relatively weak soldering iron stand. Nevertheless, taking into account the low price, the set is seen as a worthy acquisition.
- Comes with a toolbox
- High power input
- Fast heating
- For DIY enthusiasts
- Plastic might break easily
|Dimensions||9.8 x 4.7 x 1.5 inches|
6. Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit
(Best for Circuit Boards)
Plusivo Soldering kit includes common tools for good welding and soldering. It comes with the beautiful bag. Therefore, it is very easy and convenient to carry the tool everywhere. Also, it is very handy to store the soldering tool in the PU bag.
Plusivo soldering iron brings you pleasure to use it. Very easy, very handy. In addition, you get the e-book that guides you through your work. It helps you to keep safety and learn more about the product.
- Multi-purpose product
- Guide e-book
- 5 replaceable tips
- Comes with a PU bag
- Safe product
- Has safe stand
- Needs more heating
|Dimensions||10.4 x 5.7 x 1.8 inches|
7. Hakko FX888D-23BY
(Best for Beginners)
If you’re looking for precision digital control, the 70-watt Hakko FX888D is a great option. Here you will find the functions of much better soldering irons, as well as all the necessary accessories.
Do you always use multiple temperatures? The FX888D presets will help you quickly and easily get to them. This, combined with a powerful heater, means that you will not wait for the right temperature.
- Small footprint
- Temperature alarm
- Many tips are suitable with the product
- Shows current temperature
- Poor heating
|Dimensions||9.6 x 9.6 x 7.3 inches|
Some great soldering tips, watch this video below:
8. X-Tronic Model
(Best for Keyboards)
If you are looking for an iron with higher power consumption, but you do not need a lot of functions, try the X-Tronic Model. This soldering iron has a power of 75 watts with a similar function installed for many middle-class models from this list.
One of the most important considerations of a soldering iron is safety. After all, you are dealing with high temperatures, which can be dangerous.
The X-Tronic provides you with safety features such as a sleep timer and automatic recharge. It also has a self-test function to check for short circuits and overloads.
- High temperatures
- Ergonomic handle
- Safe product
- Quick heating
- Unimpressive design
|Dimensions||6 x 5.5 x 8 inches|
Hope you would enjoy this video:
9. Tabiger Soldering Iron Kit
(Best for Jewelry)
It may be an affordable soldering iron, but the Tabiger soldering iron kit does not save on extras. You get not only a proven 60 W soldering iron, but also a number of accessories and additional functions.
You do not get a built-in stand, but there is still a stand. The iron comes with five different tips, a de-soldering pump, tweezers, a cleaning sponge and solder. If you are looking for everything you need to get started in one package, then that’s it.
- Various temperature range
- Suitable for beginners
- Comes with a sponge and de-soldering pump
- Good-quality product
- Perfect for repair
- Heating issues
|Dimensions||9.8 x 4.7 x 1.5 inches|
10. Vastar Soldering Iron Kit
(Best for Led Strips)
This compact station is ideal for professional use. Soldering can be performed and adjusted from the control knob from 200°C-450°C.
Replaceable iron tips are available so that the soldering station is excellent for electronic and electrical use. This professional soldering tool is great for lead-free solder semiconductors with temperature-controlled soldering irons: 200-450°C.
- Good for beginners
- Easy to use
- Quick heating
- 5 different tips included
- Suitable for various purposes
- Temperature control issues
|Dimensions||13.4 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches|
11. Weller WSB25WB
(Best for Fabric)
This soldering iron is perfect for any kind of crafts, your hobbies and wood burning. Even though the product has lightweight design, it still has great quality and fast heating. The container which it comes with is ideal for storage.
You have to remember that not all tips are suitable with the soldering iron. The needed tips are included in the toolbox. The tool is suitable for both beginner and experienced user.
- Lightweight product
- Suitable for DIY projects
- Good for wood burning
- Price matches the quality
- Fast heating
- Not tips are suitable with the product
|Dimensions||9.8 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches|
12. Weller WE1010NA
High-power product is perfect for you to use for any purposes. It has beautiful design and it is very easy to replace the tip. You will appreciate the screen which navigates you during your work. This product is more suitable for experienced user.
The LCD screen has three buttons for temperature control, on/off switch and intuitive navigation. Also, the handle provides you safe storage of soldering iron.
- High power
- Beautiful design
- Easy tip change
- Screen navigation
- Hard to find replacement tips
|Dimensions||5.9 x 8.9 x 12.4 inches|
13. Aoyue 469 Soldering Station
Another 60-watt adjustable model, the Aoyue 469, also uses the classic form factor that can be seen in many models on this list. 469 stands out among others on this list, as it is equipped with a two-color LED. This makes it easy to visually control the temperature.
The Aoyue 469 comes with only one tip, but it is rechargeable and fits over 50 different tips. The package includes a soldering iron, stand, cleaning sponge, stand for solder coil and user manual.
- Long-lasting heating
- Temperature control
- Fast heating
- The tip burns easily
|Dimensions||10 x 3 x 6 inches|
14. Aoyue 9378 Soldering Station
Aoyue 9378 is a digital soldering station with high power input and temperature. It comes with needed tips for comfortable replacement. You can switch the tool from Centigrade to Fahrenheit. One of the advantages of the product is auto sleep and wake up mode.
You can easily turn on the needed temperature for your purposes. This is the perfect product for reasonable price. This package consists of soldering station, iron holder, tips and spare heating element.
- Comes with vibration censor
- LED Display
- Quick heating
- Different tips
- Weak heating
|Dimensions||11 x 5 x 9 inches|
15. UY CHAN Pocket-Size Soldering Iron Kit
Very portable for home or field use. This universal soldering iron heats up instantly. The temperature is displayed on the OLED screen. It is equipped with sensors with an STM32 chip.
And it also has a shutdown mode and an automatic overheat warning. This soldering iron has an accelerometer that will reduce heat when no movement is detected, the heat will be restored very quickly with repeated movement.
- Lightweight design
- Compact size
- Has a fast heating
- Not cordless
|Dimensions||5.9 x 0.8 x 3.5 inches|
How to Choose the Best Soldering Iron?
I would like you to read this useful buying guide before you buying a soldering iron. This part might help you to select the perfect tool for your own purposes.
The soldering iron should be selected based on its parameters in terms of temperature and power, as well as application conditions, personal requirements of the user.
If you need to use a soldering iron where there is no electricity, then you get autonomous types of soldering irons, these are battery or gas. Infrared and hot-air soldering stations are used more often for special work for soldering electronic components.
Electric soldering irons with pulse heating have a high speed, are widespread among people who do not like to wait for a long heating.
There are some criteria for choosing a soldering iron:
The required power of the soldering iron is selected depending on the type of work performed. If you need to solder electronic parts, then up to 25 Watts is better.
You can use the device with a power of 40 Watts, but then you will have to wind a copper wire on the sting or make a nozzle. For tinning and soldering thick wires, as well as removing solder, it is also the best choice.
For more extensive work on soldering massive and tin parts with significant heat dissipation, it is better to purchase a soldering iron with a capacity of 100 to several hundred Watts. A hammer type soldering iron is well suited for such purposes.
For professional shareholders, the most convenient type of soldering iron was a sample with thermal stabilization, which increases usability, speed and quality of soldering.
For ordinary fans who occasionally solder, this model is also convenient, since you can set the required temperature on it with its automatic maintenance.
It is better that the soldering iron has the ability to accurately set the temperature, and not just the upper and lower limits. Instead of adjusting the temperature, a power change may be suggested that is not related to temperature.
Without load and heat transfer, the soldering irons will overheat, and with good heat transfer during soldering, the temperature may not be enough for operation. The power regulator for the soldering iron is based on a dimmer.
An important thing when choosing a soldering iron is the ability to change different configurations of the tip. If the core of the soldering iron is made of copper, then the configuration of the tip can be easily performed in any shape, if you sharpen it.
You can also flatten it with a hammer instead of sharpening. And if the core is covered with fireproof material (nickel or other metal), then sharpening it is not recommended.
Therefore, when deciding on the choice of a soldering iron, you need to ask the seller about picking it with spare tips. There are various shapes of tips: cone-shaped, in the form of a needle, with a beveled edge, in the form of a screwdriver, etc.
Nichrome or Ceramic Type
Advantages of nichrome wire as a heater: low cost, less than that of the ceramic model, drops and bumps are not dangerous.
Disadvantages: slow heating, limited service life, as the wire burns out gradually during operation. But this only happens with long daily use. If you solder occasionally, then the nichrome wire will not burn.
The advantage of a ceramic heating element is durability. With careful l work, the soldering iron will serve for many years. The rate of heating above nichrome.
Among the shortcomings can be called the danger of breakage when hit or dropped. The soldering iron works only with its own tips.
Here is the section for questions which might come up in your mind. I hope it will help you to find right answers, so you can follow them.
My Top Pick
I would be really grateful if my article helped you to come up with good ideas and you enjoyed it as much as I do while writing. Read the article careful and select the best product for yourself, using some tips and instructions from the post.
What can I say about my favorite product? First of all, it is Anbes Soldering Iron. In my opinion, it’s the best product on the market right now. This soldering iron is everything I could ask for. All needed accessories are included in the kit.
It’s very easy to store and carry the product, thanks to the included bag. Even a beginner can manage how to work with it. With this tool, you can work with jewelry, electronics, circuit boards, DIY stuff and other things you need to solder.
Did you enjoy the article? Leave some comments below! I would love to know what you think!