Soldering station: What is the best of 2022?
Today’s subject is directly related to work. After all, a soldering station is not exactly a hobby.
You may have seen a relative using a kind of screwdriver with a wire plugged in, and smoke rising. The process is called welding, and a soldering station has exactly the same principle. In a way, the soldering station is the evolution of the tinner (the screwdriver with the tip that produces smoke).
With technology increasingly sophisticated and delicate in its operation, tools need to learn to deal with it. With us you will learn everything you need about these stations, as you continue reading. We will “weld” the knowledge in your mind!
First, the most important
- Soldering stations are mostly used as tools for professional use. Tinners perform a similar task at a lower cost, with more risks. But, don’t worry, we will address this issue.
- It is not uncommon to call soldering stations rework stations. However, there is a very specific feature that sets them apart, and we will not leave you lacking in this information.
- Welding devices are equipment with potential risk (to the user and the components). Always read the manual before use, and follow the recommended procedures when leaving it to rest.
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Best soldering stations: Our recommendations
Soldering station is the main option for soldering on printed circuit boards. Essential tool for anyone who works with maintenance. So, check out the best models available on the market now:
- An excellent analog option
- Best professional antistatic soldering station
- Best seller in many stores
Buying a soldering station is not that simple. Due to the investment, and as you don’t buy this tool often, some precautions are essential. That’s why we’re here!
If you want to learn all the features about a soldering station, just follow along with us!
What is a soldering station?
If you quickly scanned some of the best equipment available, you noticed some visual difference besides the colors.
When we talk about soldering station, we need to pay attention only to the equipment: an isolation transformer with temperature control and a soldering iron.
It is even possible to make it, as long as you have certain knowledge in electronics.
When we start from this premise, the equipment is then a “crate” with an on / off switch and a temperature regulation (analog in all models found).
Essentially, this is what a soldering station is all about. And your goal is to weld. The temperature adjustment allows greater options of use, in contrast to the soldering iron, or tin, available on the market. Let’s compare:
That is, the station ends up being a more complete soldering iron and widely used within its work area. Thermal control – the crucial difference between the two – allows the user to regulate the temperature of the weld tip.
How can this help? Circuits have a certain resistance to exposures, and this can damage them. With a soldering iron, the margin for errors is very small.
Likewise, when it comes to maintenance, you should keep the following in mind: replace or repair a part.
This often means taking something out of the circuit and installing something new. You can do this with a soldering station, regulating the temperature, much better than with a soldering iron. The chance of damaging something is much less.
Soldering or rework station?
But there is a specific equipment for the type of maintenance mentioned in the previous section, called a rework station. They can be sold individually or be in the same equipment as the soldering station.
Why are they an advantage? Rework stations are nothing but boxes with a heated air pumping system. It goes through a blower that is directed to the component to be released. The high air temperature melts the weld, and then tweezers are used.
Therefore, the name derives from the fact that it is necessary to fix something, through substitution. Perform a new job on something where the job has already been done.
Can you do with a soldering station? Yes! But the risks of failure are greater. And, in the existence of both, it is a good option to have them together if you are an industry worker. Compare and understand the quality of both:
Simply put, you use a soldering station to “stick” components (printed circuits, electrical connectors) and a rework station to “peel” components.
Soldering stations are more robust equipment than soldering irons, and provide a unique feature: temperature regulation.
For this reason, they are much more expensive (on average 3x more) than the iron itself. You will find soldering stations from R $ 100 up to your thousands of reais.
The differences follow mainly in the quality of the equipment (some brands are already renowned in the market), functionalities and characteristics of use. We will address the issue later.
Where to buy?
These equipments have a specific audience, so that maintenance and hardware stores are ideal places to find them. Some department stores may also have some models.
However, we recommend searching over the internet. Stores like Amazon have several models available. They can be compared, chosen and delivered at home.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing soldering station models
Now that you know how a soldering station works, you need to understand that they have some distinct characteristics. Yes, one of them is quality. We are talking about mechanical and electronic components, and good materials help a lot.
Some brands already have a name on the market, look for them or follow a recommendation from those who use this equipment. But you also need to know a little about:
- Operating power
Although the voltage of the electrical appliance is often tied to 110V or 220V, the soldering station works differently. The tip works at a certain power, in Watts, ranging from 5 to 90.
This power determines the heating capacity of the equipment’s resistance. The higher the power, the larger the resistance and the faster the heat generation.
Likewise, greater power allows a greater temperature range, ensuring that temperatures above 400 degrees are reached. Sufficient value for welding on large metal surfaces.
In general, a weld with power starting at 30W is sufficient for day-to-day welding. And the selectable temperature control at the soldering station guarantees extra care not to damage the soldering object.
Anyone dealing with soldering tips knows the importance of using the right temperature for soldering (no more, no less). This ensures work resistance and reduces the risk of damage to components.
Another trick to facilitate the use, that an essential equipment, some stations have LED display. Its function is to show the current temperature of the equipment, ensuring that you use it within the ideal temperature.
The soldering station tip or nozzle can have different sizes and shapes. Find out which are the nozzles that come with the product you choose. This can certainly be a differential of the offer.
Either way, it is possible to purchase a nozzle kit separately, and it is normal to do so. Therefore, check the prices of the nozzles you want to use and if they are compatible with the chosen model.
We have seen throughout this Guide that a soldering station is different from a rework station. But that they can be found in a single device. If your intention – and need – is to use both tools, make sure the product works both ways.
It is worth mentioning that the soldering and rework station on the same equipment makes the product more expensive. So, assess your real need not to overpay for something you won’t be using!