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Low volume oven recommendations

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Low volume oven recommendations | 10 February, 2011

I'm in the market for a low volume oven and so far I'm pretty disheartened with the availability of low volume ovens at a good price. It seems like the only high quality and reliable ovens are $3500+, which is basically out of my price range.

I've used one of the ovens on eBay that are total pieces of crap for $200. I've seen some of the cheaper models from Madell and was not at all impressed with the quality. The T200C/N and other similar ovens seem to be Chinese built crap like the ones on eBay (correct me if I'm wrong) and then there are APS Novastar ovens which seem great, but are outside of my price range.

I don't need high volume, but I do need high quality. I don't want to constantly be worrying that the oven is going to break during a critical moment and my experience with tools is that you get what you pay for. I thought I'd be able to find a good quality oven with minimal bells and whistles in the $1500-2000 price range, but maybe not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

As an aside, I am very concerned with warranty and support. I've queried multiple websites and, while the warranty is usually acceptable, I am not satisfied with the answers I've been getting about availability of spare parts and their associated cost. This oven will be a long term investment and I want to know what my options are if it breaks.

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Low volume oven recommendations | 10 February, 2011

You answered your own question you get what you pay for. $3500 dollar’s for a small oven is not unreasonable. I have seen small proto type ovens do a pretty good job on basic circuits. If you are getting into high density BGa stuff and multi layered boards I would be getting nervous with a $1000 reflow oven. If you can’t spend another $1500 for something that’s critical for your board, I would seriously reconsider your business model and maybe do something else.

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Low volume oven recommendations | 10 February, 2011

Thanks for your advice. My business model is fine, but I just find it to be unreasonable that there isn't a "no frills" oven below $3500 that maintains quality. I'll spend that much if I have to as I don't want to mess around with bad solder joints on complex designs, but it was worth a shot to see if maybe what I'm looking for exists and I just hadn't found it.

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