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soldering station recommendations ?


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Does anyone know why << this one on Ebay >> is so CHEAP for what you get?

I mean really, only $65.75 with shipping included?





The Chinese work their magic again... One of the issue one would likely encounter is a lack of replacement tips in the future, that's assuming the thing worked long enough to get to that point. Tempting...

I ended up buying the standalone hot air station, something I don't have and can use. At $35 including shipping, I figured it's worth trying it out. I already have a good Hakko soldering station and several variable power supplies, so the extra features would have been redundant.

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I recently purchased a Hakko 888D and I can't recommend it enough! I recently had to replace a faulty PLCC CPU socket in my Atari STe. I've been using a very cheap and cheerful soldering iron from from Radio Shack which besides being big and clumsy, had a tendency of damaging the circuit board as there wasn't any temperature control. I also had a look at these hot air rework soldering stations and almost bought one, but they had a lot of mixed reviews. If the price is too good to be true, it more likely is. More research came up with the Hakko and at around $100 on Amazon, I decided to buy it. it is just fantastic to use! It heats up very quickly to the selected temperature making desoldering with soldering wick a breeze. Soldering was even easier, none of this "is the solder going to melt properly?" It just works! The socket was removed successfully and the new one soldered cleanly and without any fuss or mess. My best repair to date!

Edited by wyerd
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hakko makes a good product, (I use their fume extractors) but I have yet to find a better soldering workstation than those produced by Metcal (later bought out by OK Industries.) If you know of a better one, I'd love to test one out.


Working in the aerospace industry, this is all I see used at all the contractors sites I've visited when high-reliability, ESD-safe soldering is required. Note there are only two controls, a power switch on top and a selector switch between two outputs (for a solder hand piece and a solder extractor) on the front.


No temperature controls are needed. The tip senses how much heat is required and the unit provides the power instantly. I've never burned a board, lifted an etch, or even measeled the laminate with one of these. I use one at home too. There's nothing cheap about these, but if you can find one in your budget, by all means grab one! Tips aren't cheap either, but last a long time. Metcals are the gold standard for professional solder stations.


Pictured is a Metcal 500 series.




Edited by CC Clarke
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