How Much Do You Know About Soldering Irons? Read About The Variety Of Types Here:

by Andy on September 23, 2011

While many are familiar with traditional soldering irons, there may be less familiarity with more specific types such as butane or resistance irons. These allow the user to get around some of the limitations of traditional irons, while having some added benefits as well. This blog features some of the pros and cons of each iron type, so your next project will allow you to choose the one that suits your needs best.

Traditional Soldering Iron Traditional soldering irons are typically heated through ceramic elements when plugged into a standard electrical outlet. Normally it takes a few minutes for the tip to heat up, but once it reaches its temperature range it will stabilize. This creates a uniform experience, allowing for speedy and consistent joints.

A benefit of using a traditional soldering iron is they come with varying wattages for different projects. Soldering irons with high wattages are not hotter in general, but are more resistant to heat loss. Having a high watt iron will allow you to work on more difficult projects, such as ones that have large heat sinks or ground plates. Some traditional soldering irons come with stations that allow you to change the temperature of the iron. By changing the temperature of your iron you can use it for both large and small projects.

Portability is an issue with traditional soldering irons, given most requires you to be close to a wall outlet. Wherever you use these soldering irons you need access to electricity, which could be a problem if you are working on a vehicle or another large project. While extension cords are always an option, some may wish to find a different type of soldering iron to become free of restricting cords.

Butane soldering irons can solve the problem of portability. These soldering irons typically Butane Soldering Iron ignite butane to begin heating the tip, and then extinguish the flame and circulate unburned butane to keep the tip hot. Because the heat comes from the reservoir of gas it is much more portable than the traditional soldering iron. It allows for easy soldering even in tight places or on projects far away from any building.

Resistance Soldering Iron If portability is not an issue then resistance soldering irons provide a way to solder without having to wait for the tip to heat up. Resistance soldering irons melt solder by passing a low voltage but high amperage current across the joint. That allows the iron to melt solder quickly without any need to heat it ahead of time. Also, the iron cools down much faster after use than traditional or butane irons. You do have to be careful when using resistance soldering irons on projects that are sensitive to static discharge. Because these irons work by passing a voltage across the solder to melt it, they can cause damage to electronically sensitive parts.

While traditional irons are the most flexible in terms of wattage and temperature, butane and resistance irons have their benefits as well. Whether you need a specific temperature, increased portability, or fast temperature change there are soldering irons fit for any job.

……What is your favorite soldering iron? Let us know!

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