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Good Lead-Free soldering Iron???

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#54564

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 1 May, 2008

I was asked to try and find us some good Lead-Free soldering Irons, I know all Irons are "LEAD FREE" I mean I need to know if anyone has any recomendations for an Iron with really good recovery time, that is higher heat capable. For a price that isn't going to break the bank. Please tell me brand and Model. Thanks in advance.

Wayne

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#54571

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 1 May, 2008

I am partial to Weller for the small rework irons. I use both the WSL with WMP (current model) and some older EC1302 irons with their power supply (I forget the model, but the one with analog setting knob and digital temp readout).

I actually prefer the EC1302 iron and tips, but the heat control on the WSL/WMP is really good. Their tips are a bit fragile, though.

Really, the tip itself is the big thing, the thermal conductivity from the heating element to the tip has to be very good. Also, the platings need to resist tarnishing as much as possible. The fine needle points are just barely adequate to heat the joint, but sometimes you have to use those on fine lead pitch parts. The "screwdriver" tips are better for most other work.

No doubt SnPb is a lot easier to work with, but I do a lot of Pb-free with SAC305 alloy, both in paste and wire solder, and the above irons work with it. You do have to turn the heat up from about 650 F to about 750 F.

Jon

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#54588

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 2 May, 2008

Has anyone tried a PS-800E made by OKi Metcal? I have been looking at them, it looks like a good Iron, but I would like to know how these are actually working in the field not just some sales pitch by someone getting a commision. Thanks, Wayne

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#54593

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 2 May, 2008

> Has anyone tried a PS-800E made by OKi Metcal? I > have been looking at them, it looks like a good > Iron, but I would like to know how these are > actually working in the field not just some sales > pitch by someone getting a > commision. Thanks, Wayne

Cost of ownership should also be consdieration, alot of iron makers have quite high prices for tips and over one year this can add up. With LF soldering tips are stressed more due to higher tin content being more aggressive on the tips. All new irons have sleep temps etc etc to help with this, but tip life is defined by user technique also so is highly variable.

A very good cost/performance make of soldering irons I can recommend is Quick Electronics from China. They are no.1 in CHina and have small compact systems from 90W to 180W, high effeciency systems. Cartridge Tips have thermocouple spot welded to actual tipproviding extremely close closed loop temperature control and they use inductive heating method so no fragile elements in handle etc.

Tips cost is best I have seen for the technology offered in their irons.

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#54617

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 6 May, 2008

I have been using several PS800 soldering irons for sometime now and find them very good indeed. Tip life etc are all excellent. At the moment I am trialling the new PS900 iron, early indications go that it is even better. I also have no affilition with Metcal/OKi so this is an unbiased view.

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dlm

#54660

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 8 May, 2008

The iron of my choice would be the Hakko iron. They have a double plating on their tips. The cost is relatively low and have a digital read out. They can also be locked out so that the temperatures can't be reset by the operators. This is the only iron that we use for Lead Free.

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#54665

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 8 May, 2008

I agree with dlm. We have been using Hakko irons for our lesd free soldering for about 6 months now. They work great and the tips are relatively inexpensive - $9 to $15, plus they last a very long time compared to our previous brand that we used. The model we have is the FM-203 - it can take two irons - which we do - one for leadfree and one for leaded - and the different circuits remember temperature and settings for each iron. Plus the tip holders can be bought color coded to designate different tip and iron usage. Good luck in your choice.

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#54670

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 8 May, 2008

Take a look at Pace and Metcal both have quick recovery irons that are good for lead free applications. Also try a preheater to warm the boards prior to solder.

D. David McGee Mfg. Eng. Gaston Electronics 704-822-5031 Phone dmcgee@gastonelectronics.com

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#54677

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 8 May, 2008

I love my Pace ST-30. Not too expensive and works a charm. Tips are also reasonable at $6-$15.

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#54689

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 9 May, 2008

I would recommend you take a look at JBC if you are looking for a "good" soldering iron to work with lead free solder.

Find the attached comparative graphs and before anybody asks. Yes, I am affiliated with JBC.

Attachments:

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#54690

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 9 May, 2008

we sell the Hakko type 900M-T tips that fit for 936 soldering stations for $5 only. Shipping included. Reply if interested.

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#54719

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 13 May, 2008

I'm not affiliated with JBC in any way, but I do agree you should take a look at them.

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#54861

Good Lead-Free soldering Iron??? | 23 May, 2008

I have looked at the JBC irons several months ago, and we will be getting a few of them for the people that do rework all day long, but for the general user around here all they are doing is touch-up and 500 bucks for an Iron for 50 people is a little out of our range. especially at 39-50 bucks a tip. I agree these are GREAT units, but you have pay for great. I have tried the Metcal/OKi PS80OE this past week and It is a Really good Iron so far. Great recovery time, and only 7-12 bucks for tips. Thanks to all for advice. JBC is the best Iron I have ever used as well. Wayne

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