Your butane soldering iron is an easy-to-use device. However, it would be best if you were cautious when dealing with flammable fuel and equipment. Some of these butane devices come with a small user manual, but others may not have instructions.
There is no harm in learning how to use this potentially dangerous but increasingly helpful tool. It makes work easy and enhances your work safety.
Unboxing the Butane Soldering Iron
Many brands make the butane soldering iron with unique designs and additional functions. Nevertheless, a standard butane device has three parts, the tip, which is made of metal, the insulated handle, and the refill end.
Some butane devices have a cap for protecting the front of the device while others lack this piece. Some come pre-fixed with a foldable stand while others have a separate stand. A soldering stand is a safety tool. It prevents the hot soldering iron from burning or scorching your workstation.
If the soldering device does not have a stand, you can purchase a soldering stand to place the device while you work safely. Another important component that comes with the soldering iron is the tiny square sponge. The sponge needs to be wet and placed beneath the device as it rests on the stand.
Soldering irons have different types of detachable tips with unique functions. For instance, the hot blow head tip blows hot air. The hot air temperature rises to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the scooped tip works as a heat gun and is used to shrink wires.
The soldering tip is used to melt the solder wire or desolder components. A typical soldering tip produces up to 752 degrees Fahrenheit of heat in seconds.
For some butane devices, removing the entire tip section turns it into a blowtorch. The temperature of the flame released from a butane blowtorch can rise to 2372 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips have small windows or openings that show you the flame or heat is out. When butane is ignited, the color in the opening changes. That change in color is vital. It serves as a warning to avoid touching the tip or placing your hand on the tip and an indicator of a flame or heat.
Before soldering, you must ensure the tip is clean. Dirty tips have impurities that interfere with the soldering process. How do you know if your tip is clean? A clean tip should be silver in color while a dirty tip is black. Use the damp sponge to clean the dirty tip. Better yet, always clean the tip before fixing it on the soldering iron.
Igniter and Regulator
The igniter is a slider or button on the soldering iron. Butane is ignited when the button is pressed down, or the slider is pushed forward. Some butane soldering devices come with an additional safety button that must be pushed on or off to keep the flame burning. The switch is turned on for a continuous flame and off for short instances of burning.
For other devices, the slider acts as a flame controller. Sliding it down will produce a continuous flame. The little differences in each device necessitate reading a manual to understand how your device works.
The device also has a gas adjustment lever that functions as a regulator. The lever has different heat levels. In some soldering irons, the regulator also has an on and off function to control the flame. In short, the purpose of the ignitor and the regulator is to produce a continuous or non-continuous flow of flame or heat at varying energy levels.
Before turning on the igniter, turn on the regulator to your desired heat level. Then push the igniter button to ignite butane. Turn off the igniter and switch off the regulator after use.
Butane devices have a refill port for the butane gas. You can purchase butane canisters to refill the device when necessary. The canisters have a standard opening that fits in the refill region, making the process very smooth.
Using the Soldering iron
Before turning up your butane soldering iron, collect the essentials for the soldering process. Get the cleaned tip, soldering iron, stand, dump sponge, solder, wire clippers and solder braid ready. The butane soldering iron does not need time to heat up like their electrical counterparts. The heating process is instant. Therefore, getting things ready is very necessary.
Hold the soldering iron like a pen. Place a solder on the tip and ignite the butane. The heat will melt the solder. If you are connecting two different solders, the melting process will enable both metals to connect. If the connection does not occur, it could be because one or both solders have impurities. Clean the solders with the wet sponge before proceeding.
Proceed with caution when handling the buttons and slides on the soldering device. You do not want to create an inferno. Luckily, the soldering process does not take long. It is often done within a few seconds. Make sure to place the soldering iron on the stand after use. Always remove the solder first before placing the soldering iron on the stand.
Why the Butane Soldering Iron?
There are many types of soldering irons in the market. What makes the butane soldering irons stand out is the lack of electrical cords. As the name suggests, this device uses butane. Therefore, they can be used anywhere.
Furthermore, the soldering iron has a wide heat range compared to electric soldering irons, which have a pre-set heat range. The wattage range for butane soldering iron is between 25 to 75 watts.
Butane soldering irons also warm up quickly because of the proximity of the butane to the device parts. The soldering iron heats metal in about 10 seconds; this saves up on time and energy.
Butane can also be refilled once it has been exhausted in the device. The refilling process is not hard, regardless of the type of butane soldering equipment you are using.