The Best Cordless Soldering Iron: Complete Reviews with Comparison

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Whether you are building circuits, fixing, or crafting jewelry, a soldering iron is a handy tool you need in your tool kit. Cordless soldering irons are rather popular among users looking for portable irons. They come in two categories: battery-powered and gas-powered irons. Gas-powered irons are heated through the combustion of gas (usually butane) stored in a small tank. They make a great alternative when there is a power outage, or a cordless operation is required. Here is a roundup of five most popular cordless soldering irons.

Comparison Chart

51AJpm0YZZL. SL500
Iso-Tip #7977 SolderPro 120 Butane Soldering Iron
Hakko. FX-901/P Cordless Soldering Iron
41pDvpIAeML. SL500
Portasol P-1K Professional Kit
41bSeW n4FL. SL500
Soldering Iron, ISO-TIP inQuick Chargein – 7700
31No0P1fwmL. SL500
Weller P2C Professional Self-igniting Cordless Soldering Iron

​Detailed Product Information & Reviews

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1. SolderPro 120 Butane Soldering Iron

51AJpm0YZZL. SL500

The iron delivers temperatures between 408-1000 degrees, which is pretty impressive for a gas-powered soldering iron. SolderPro 120 is ready to use within 15 seconds of ignition and holds up the heat for up to two hours.

Additionally, it comes in a kit that consists of a protective cap, soldering tip, and a blowtorch tip. The torch delivers temperatures of up to 2400 degrees, ideal for other applications.

The iron has a sturdy build, and its small, compact size makes it easy to navigate tight spaces. As such, it is ideal for jewelry projects, repairs on electrical components, and automotive applications.

Product Highlights

  • Has a power range of 30-125 watts
  • Ready to use within 15 seconds
  • Has fuel that runs for 2 hours
  • Soldering temperature of 480-100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Torch temperature of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit

What I Like

Its power range is pretty impressive for a gas-powered soldering iron. Also, its ability to provide two hours of operation with such a power output is one of the features that had the Iso-Tip SolderPro 120 rank first.

What I Don’t Like

While the SolderPro 120 was the best in this category, I found the lack of childproofing safety features rather worrying. I had to buy a grounded plug to store it when not in use.

What We Like

  • ​Heats up fast
  • ​Holds up the heat for a long time
  • ​Comes with a blowtorch
  • ​Flame settings are easy to adjust

What We Don’t Like

  • ​It is expensive
  • ​ Lacks childproofing safety features

​2. Hakko FX-901/P

This battery-powered iron is ideal for DIYers and hobbyists. It makes a great portable iron for projects that need low temperatures, e.g., repairing an RC car. Hakko FX-901/P uses four AA batteries and comes fitted with a precision tip for detailed work.

Additionally, the iron is compatible with rechargeable batteries, so you don’t need to replace batteries often. It also works well with Ni-MH batteries. Despite its low power output, it can hold up to power for a long time (60-120 minutes) thanks to the famous Hakko brand.

The maximum temperature depends on the type of batteries you are using. For example, if using alkaline batteries, the temperature output peaks at 600 degrees Celsius but their life is much shorter. Ni-MH cells, on the other hand, produce 400 degrees Celsius but have longer battery life.

Product Highlights

  • Temperature range of 400-600 degrees Celsius
  • Quick-release tip replacement
  • Lasts 60 minutes with alkaline batteries and 120 minutes with Ni-MH batteries
  • Equipped with a ceramic heating element
  • Includes T11-B cone tip

What I Like

I loved the fact that the iron could last up to two hours using the four fresh batteries. Two hours is a pretty long time for small DIY projects. Its bit was an impeccable feature for a cordless soldering iron. I found it particularly useful for small spaces.

What I Don’t Like

Despite its high precision, I found it heating up rather slow compared to other cordless soldering irons I had used. Also, its low-temperature applications meant I couldn’t use it on re-soldered joints. I had to use a different iron for such applications.

What We Like

  • ​Lightweight and good ergonomics
  • ​Decent battery life
  • ​Solid metal tip for precision

What We Don’t Like

  • ​Takes long to heat up
  • ​Not ideal for big projects

3. Portasol P-1 Professional Soldering iron

41pDvpIAeML. SL500

Portasol Professional was the first brand to construct a catalytic butane soldering iron. This model is designed for soldering applications, but it can perform other tasks using the attachments in the kit. Its tank has an ultra-conical design that enables it to resist damage when dropped or exposed to high and low temperatures.

The iron is ready to use within minutes and has an output of 60 watts, which is relatively decent compared to an average-sized electric iron. What’s more, its power varies between 10-60 watts and can achieve a temperature of up to 400 degrees Celsius.

Product Highlights

  • Powered by butane gas
  • Attains a temperature of up to 400 degrees Celsius
  • Can use it for up to an hour
  • Adjustable power from 10-60 watts
  • Is ready to use within a minute
  • Kit includes attachments like a hot knife, soldering tips, hot air blower, and flame

What I Like

I found it easy refilling Portasol Professional soldering iron (10 seconds at most). I only needed to invert the iron, place the nozzle on the valve, and pressing it down firmly.

Additionally, you get to monitor the gas level using the viewing window. I also loved the additional parts included in the kit. Upon testing the mini blow torch-like flame tip, I found it reached a maximum temperature of 1300C, making it ideal for soldering pipes and bending the steep wire.

What I Don’t Like

The only downside to this iron lies in its design. It has plastic threading on the body where the tips are attached. The plastic construction makes it prone to damage within a short time.

What We Like

  • ​Is versatile
  • ​Heats up fast
  • ​Operates for an hour between refills
  • ​Able to monitor gas level

What We Don’t Like

  • ​Poor construction
  • ​Lacks precise temperature control settings

4. Iso-Tip 7700

41bSeW n4FL. SL500

The soldering iron provides a seamless cordless operation thanks to its nickel-cadmium batteries. It reaches a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 seconds, pretty fast for a battery-powered iron.

The batteries can power 125 solder joints per charge, depending on your speed. What’s more, they are designed to last long as you will only need a battery change every five years. It is fitted with an isolated tip to protect your iron from damage and a lighted tip that illuminates your working area.

Product Highlights

  • The battery recharges within 4 hours
  • Delivers 25 watts of soldering heat within seconds
  • Recharges within four hours
  • Works on 125 solder joints between charges

What I Like

I haven’t used a cordless soldering iron that heats up almost instantly once switched on; the ISO-Tip 7700 soldering iron heats up within ten seconds, beating the other’s hands down. I also loved the fact that the battery lasts a long time and recharges within a relatively short time.

What I Don’t Like

I found the design of the tips somewhat awkward. Once inserted to the end of the iron, they are held in place by tension. As such, any pressure exerted on them will cause them to fall out. I also didn’t like how the power switch operated. I could turn off the iron accidentally in the middle of a task.

What We Like

  • ​Heats up fast
  • ​Fast charging action
  • ​Long-lasting battery life
  • ​The battery recharges quickly too

What We Don’t Like

  • ​The tip is not held firmly
  • ​Poor construction of the power switch
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5. Weller P2C Soldering Iron

31No0P1fwmL. SL500

This lightweight cordless iron boasts fast-heating action, usually within 40 seconds. It heats up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used for up to an hour. Its rapid heat time makes this iron ideal for jobs that need multiple connections. The refill process is straightforward, as it takes 20 seconds to complete.

Additionally, the unit is fitted with a push-button ignition, which can be adjusted between 25-75 watts. Weller P2C soldering iron comes packed in a kit that has up to 7 heating tips for crafting, soldering, cutting, among other applications.

Product Highlights

  • Butane soldering iron
  • Gas capacity lasts an hour
  • Refill in less than 20 seconds
  • Heats up in less than 40 seconds

What I Like

I found Weller P2C butane soldering iron pretty lightweight in comparison with other butane soldering irons I have used. Its compact nature makes it easy to stash it in my pocket without feeling bulky. I also loved the fact that the kit came with seven additional tips, which enhanced the tool’s versatility. Also, the iron remained consistent from start to finish.

What I Don’t Like

Despite all the great features, I found it difficult to ignite the iron. It needed a few minutes to light up. also the instructions are a little difficult to follow.

What We Like

  • ​Lightweight and compact
  • ​Fast-heating action
  • ​Comes with ESD safe components
  • ​Easy to refill
  • ​Works well even in acclimate weather

What We Don’t Like

  • ​Ignition jammed severally
  • ​Does not have temperature indicators on the flame adjustments

Buyer’s Guide

Given the different types of soldering iron in the market, it is essential to buy one that suits the nature of your project. The frequency of use also affects the kind of soldering iron you use. DIYers performing heavy-duty jobs, for example, need cordless irons that provide adequate heat for their projects. Since they drain batteries relatively fast, you need to invest in rechargeable batteries. Here are more ways to help you identify the right soldering iron for your projects:

The Type of Soldering Iron

Soldering irons come in different designs to tackle different handheld jobs. Some irons allow users to work on small openings while others are designed to emit intense heat. Here’s a breakdown of three types of soldering iron:

Basic soldering iron

This kind does not have a temperature control setting but is fitted with an air-cooling feature. Basic soldering irons are designed to work at uncontrolled temperatures usually determined by thermal equilibrium

Temperature-controlled soldering iron

This type comes with a thermostat to help you control the temperature. It makes it easy to maintain the right temperature for better soldering and set the equipment at a high wattage without increasing the temperature

Soldering iron stations

This kind consists of a soldering head with a tip temperature sensor, a control circuitry, an electrical supply. The electrical supply unit allows you to maintain the temperature more accurately. It is this feature that makes them so popular for most soldering projects

Repair or rework systems

These are complex soldering systems designed for professionals working on high-volume projects. The systems consist of a combination of a range of handpieces including de-soldering guns, a soldering iron, hot-air guns, and thermo-tweezers

Source of Heat

Cordless soldering irons are either battery or gas-powered. Gas-powered irons like butane irons heat up fast hence ideal for jewelry projects and automotive use where professionals work in tight spaces without electrical supply. Since their tanks need refilling frequently, it is essential to look for an iron that allows a long period of use between refills and makes the process easy.

Battery-powered irons, on the other hand, have similar performance and power levels as corded soldering irons only that they don’t get too hot for delicate electronics work.

Wattage

It is the most crucial feature to look at when buying a cordless soldering iron. It shows the power output of the iron and allows you to control how fast the iron tip heats up. Most butane irons have a wattage of 20W-40W, making them suitable for DIY projects and those that have a low power requirement.

Look for an iron that can produce low and high watts. It makes it easy to fine-tune it to a specific task. Automotive repairs and jewelry materials, for example, need high wattage. Low wattage irons tend to lose heat faster, hence likely to make inferior connections. Opt for irons that can produce at least 50 watts.

Functions

You also want an iron that comes with a set of tips. They help shape the flame, letting a single iron suitable for small and larger repair applications. Also, look for an iron that comes with a blowtorch function, which enables you to achieve temperatures beyond the average soldering temperature. Their temperatures go as high as 2000 degrees, making them ideal for repairing strip paint, leaky pipes and make crème Brulee.

The Burn Time

It is an important consideration, especially if you are working on lengthy operations. While it is easy to refill the iron with butane or recharge the batteries, it essential to plan the soldering time to avoid getting interrupted. Irons with a burn time of an hour or more make a good buy.

Grounded Plug

If you are working on sensitive electronic equipment like circuit boards, ensure the soldering iron comes with a three-prong grounded circuit. It prevents a buildup of static electricity, which damages electronic equipment. However, if using the iron to fix jewelry and other small items, you may not need a grounded plug.

Ignition Time

Opt for irons that heat up quickly. It should not take more than 30 seconds to produce a flame. Also, consider the melting time.

Level of Comfort

Find an iron that won’t cause fatigue, especially if you are working for an extended period. An iron with an ergonomic design enhances your overall comfort. For example, irons that have slip-resistant grips placed at the temperature and ignition knobs make it easy to grip for long periods.

Safety

Look for EDS-safe products. They are designed to control the flow of static electricity and minimize the probability of electrical shock.

FAQs

(Q) My battery-powered iron does not hold the charge as it used to. What could be the problem?

(A) Battery-powered irons have a life cycle. As such, they are likely to wear out after several charges and usage cycles. Some parts of the tool begin to fail while others loose charge fast. If your iron is not holding charge for a long time, consider changing the batteries otherwise buy another one.

(Q) Which are the best tips for cordless soldering iron?

(A) Look for an iron that allows you to replace tips. Tips come in different sizes and shapes to allow flexibility. Most soldering irons come in conical, chisel, hoof, needle, knife, and tapered shapes. The type of project should help you determine the kind of tip you want.

Conical tips are ideal for applications that involve small electronics as they allow you to maneuver the devices with high precision. They also come in handy for general soldering projects as they are the most common.

Chisel tips are larger and suitable for general soldering applications that need the user to apply a decent amount of solder. However, they are not ideal for projects that require a high level of precision. Hoof tips are great for drag soldering. Their wide surface and concave shape allow you to drag the solder across the surface.

Needle-tip irons resemble conical tips only that they have a finer point. Professionals prefer irons with this kind of tip as it delivers excellent precision. However, it is not ideal for large projects as it is highly specialized.

Irons with knife tips are ideal for drag soldering and making repairs. You may also use them for projects that need less precision.

(Q) Why should I look for soldering irons with an EDS-safety label?

(A) The label ensures that the materials used to make the iron do not produce electrostatic discharge. The accumulation of static charge leads to electric shock.

(Q) How do you refill butane soldering irons?

(A) These steps should help you:

  1. Place the iron on a flat surface with the tip facing downwards
  2. Locate the fill valve and press the nozzle into the valve for 10 seconds
  3. Allow it to settle before you repeat the process
  4. Ensure the room is well-ventilated because butane is highly flammable

(Q) How do ​I remove oxidation build up on the soldering iron?

​(A) If you have been experiencing reduced effectiveness from the iron, clean the tip to restore effective operation by:

  • Adjusting the temperature of the iron
  • Apply flux-core solder to the tip
  • Clean using brass wool or special cleaning tool to remove oxidation

Conclusion

The guide should you choose the best cordless soldering iron for your needs. If looking for a powerful cordless soldering iron, then the SolderPro 120 is a good buy. However, if you are on a budget and want to work on small soldering projects, then the Weller P2C is an excellent option.

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