What soldering stations are the best?

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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I have 2 Hakkos, 4 Wellers, a couple of no-name types, several assorted adjustable irons, a box-full of fixed irons, and a Kendal hot air re-work station.

They all do what they're supposed to do, and are still working well.

What sort of duty are you looking for a soldering station for, and what's your budget?
 
^Hakkos and Wellers are the big names. Google for Surplus Electronics Catalog, some of these places may have old models and can be had for more reasonable$ than retail$.

Look for one with a temp control (knob) stand, interchangeable tips of course. I prefer the pencil-thin kind 'cuz my small hands, YMMV.

Now if you are looking to work with surface mounts, oy, that require a hot gun. Watch rossmanngroup.com utube videos.
 

AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
2,552
533
3,240
78
Well, the OP seems to be absent, and we have no idea what sort of duty is desired for soldering equipment, so I'll toss-out a few opinions....

If you need a soldering iron in the "out in the field" setting, Portasol is the first and last word in the butane-fired category: https://www.amazon.com/product/dp/B003H6NN2Q

For at the garage workbench, or out in the driveway, these are good:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012B8NW8
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077JDGY1J
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DGZFSNE
Stand-alone irons:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000WT5TA
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006MQD7M4

If you're doing stained glass, Weller has a very Ungar-like offering: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000N6ODDQ

For SMD re-work tasks, Weller has a competent offering: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1RL5AF/
With Hakko weighing-in with their version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072XX74CT
And for pre-heating boards: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FZPTJ2A

If you want to drop some serious money on full-blown, professional re-work stations, the you want to drill-down into both of the Weller and Hakko websites to select what will be best for your needs.
Needless to say, if you are going that far, do not forget about multiple replacement tips for the irons you select, tip cleaners (both chemical and scouring pad types), and do yourself a favor and pick-up several solder reel stands, because it just keeps different solder types sorted, and at hand for ready use.

[EDIT]
A note about use frequency:

If you are going to be using your soldering equipment on a daily basis (pretty-much 4 to 6 hours per day, or more), then do not compromise on quality, and restrict yourself to Hakko or Weller, and select equipment in the top-end of their product lines.

If your use is merely occasional (several times a month, but not daily), then you can move to more economical offerings and select something that is more wallet-friendly, in terms of price--but DO NOT EXPECT to receive high quality products that will stand-up to professional use.
 
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AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
2,552
533
3,240
78
(grin)
I'm admittedly biased in the butane category. Portasol was the first butane-powered iron that I picked-up, back in the late 70's or early 80's (made in Ireland, even) and it saved my keister a number of times out where electricity is nothing but wishful thinking.

That iron served me from the time I bought it, until I replaced it a little before 2010; and I instinctively bought another Portasol. (If I'm under the hood or dash of a car, and need to solder, that's what's getting used.)

Weller an d Hakko may both have excellent butane-powered irons, but I just wouldn't know anything about them. ;)
 
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Mandark

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I love butane powered as there is no electrical discharge from it as well because it's gas powered, it doesn't need a fancy station to regulate all that.

Mine saved me more times than I can count and is really the only one I have left.
 
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AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
2,552
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3,240
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Totally OT, by now, so apologies....

There are times when I do miss the days when I was earning my tech chops, out in the field all day long; and have actually been tempted to just apply to some organization to get back out on the road--but family life just won't allow me that kind of freedom, anymore.
 

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