At first glance, it can be relatively easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of a soldering iron, especially if you’ve never seen or used one in the past.
With that being said, it’s a device that is relatively easy to use, especially as they are designed for the everyday DIYer, so all you have to do is think of a project that might require some soldering.
The problem is that choosing the right soldering iron can be tough, especially for beginners, and knowing how to buy soldering irons is of utmost importance to make sure you buy a unit that is perfect for your everyday needs.
Where Can You Buy a Soldering Iron?
As one of the most versatile tools that you can get your hands on, there are plenty of different places that will sell soldering irons. If you’re looking for a brand new unit, it’s always best to visit a hardware shop or an outlet that sells home improvement equipment.
For a less expensive investment, a secondhand unit, or if you don’t think you’re ready for a brand new one, be sure to visit reputable secondhand stores, discounted hardware shops, or even online retailers.
What Are the Different Types of Soldering Irons?
Even though you might assume that a soldering iron is a single device, it comes in many different shapes and forms that are designed for specific purposes.
As the more common type of soldering iron, a simple iron will give you up to 35 watts of power which is great for any electronic repairs, such as fixing video game consoles or children’s toys. This particular model also has temperatures that are set based on thermal equilibriums that are set by the machine itself, which helps provide an easier soldering process.
Soldering stations are a great option for people who are looking for an all-in-one place to store and use their soldering iron. They have an independent power supply and give you the ability to adjust the temperature based on the material you’re working with. They will also come equipped with a wet sponge for you to clean the soldering tip after you’ve finished.
With a design that might resemble the average hand drill, soldering guns have a tip that is built out of wires that cool very quickly, which eliminates the need for a safe storage place as it’s far less of a fire hazard. Soldering guns have a trigger, similar to a glue gun, and are easy to use as the solder is only activated when you pull the trigger.
If you have your own jewelry-making business, you’re certainly aware of a soldering torch as they are quite useful for melting metals ranging from copper to gold. The entire unit is powered by propane and will provide high levels of heat in short bursts.
However, due to the heat that is produced by the gun, you will need to wear flame-resistant clothing and work in a flame-resistant area. Also, they are certainly not recommended for novice users.
What to Look for in a Soldering Torch
When you’re trying to figure out how to buy soldering irons, you need to think about all of the features that are typically included with one, and whether you need a more simple or more robust design.
Cordless or Corded
Similar to other handheld tools, soldering torches come in both corded and cordless varieties. If you have a designated workstation, you won’t need a cordless model. On the other hand, if you’re going to use your soldering iron for various repairs around the house, a cordless one would be your best option.
For people who want to have more customized soldering experience, you’re going to want a soldering iron that has temperature control. With that being said, you’ll need to know the melting point of the materials you’re working on in order to adjust the temperature to a point wherein the metals don’t burn.
Choosing tips for your soldering iron is basically like buying accessories for your tool since different tips serve different purposes. For example, you can typically choose between chisel, pyramid, tapered, and conical tips, but selecting the right one will depend on the task at hand. You’re also going to need to choose between soldering tip materials, but nickel, copper, and chrome have the tendency to be the most resilient.
Aside from temperature control, you’re also going to need to find a soldering iron that has the right wattage. The higher the wattage, the more power the iron would have, which can make it more difficult to work with if you have delicate materials.
The average DIY project won’t require anything more than 35 watts, and you should typically be safe at around 15 watts. On the contrary, for larger industrial projects, 60-watt soldering irons may be a better option.
Learning how to buy soldering irons is what will give you the information you need to make the right purchase for your DIY or at-home projects. As an incredibly versatile tool that most handymen have in their toolkits, it’s surely something that you should consider investing in and learning how to use correctly.