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I'm going to be building a Vacuum Tube Audio PH16 phono stage next week. My cheapo Radio Shack iron finally died last year so I replaced it with a 40 watt Weller for an auto repair. Is the 40 watt ok for circuit boards? Or should I get something a little cooler? I've read that 40 might be too much, OR 40 is better because it stays hotter and you can solder quicker and not need to hold the iron on the board as long. It does get hot, and faster than my old one did.
I ordered one from amazon for $50. Adjustable temp with digital readout and a tip cleaner. Took a while to decide as I was between two models and both had decent reviews.
I've been wanting one of these for a while but I haven't bought it because I thought maybe the $50 ones were too good to be true and the "real" ones are pricey.
fifty bucks, everything youll need. I have one, its a great deal
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936
The Hakko 936 highly recommended. I believe it has been replaced by a newer model. Partsconnexion has a sale on a "knockoff" of the original version. I only have experience with the original Hakko.
"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."
Personally, I wouldn't use a non-temperature controlled 40 watt iron on a circuit board. Too much, and you may end up lifting traces off the circuit board if you're not careful. 750 degrees is a good temp for board soldering, and you'll get that with most 25 watt pencil-type irons if you don't want to spend for a temperature controlled station (although that's what I'd certainly recommend if you're going to put together a nice piece like the VTA).
I'd use the 40W, especially for point-to-point wiring and
terminal strips. If too hot, you can set up a low budget
heat control using a $5. light dimmer switch (for incandecent).
I've been as happy as a hog in a wallow with my Hakko 936. Temp easily adjustable. It's a pencil type, so if you're gun lover this one aint for you, but it is pretty sweet to use. Hakko's cost a bit more, but IMO they're well worth the premium.
+1 on the Hakko 936. It is a very
nice unit with a wide array of tips
available and excellent temp control.
The handle is very comfortable.
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