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Old 08-31-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default Soldering tools and items

I think its time for me to buy some soldering tools and items. I also better do it while I have some extra money. I am willing to spend about $100 total (not including tax or shipping). Recommend me some soldering tools, wires, etc. Anything that will get me started.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

Harbor freight can probably get you started for cheap.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

I'll check there whenever I have free time. Is there some knowledge of what I should look for before I go?
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

Personally I have no named brand recommendations,
Just get a decent sized (30w or greater) iron.

I'm not even sure if you can buy flux less solder any more, but if you can, don't... it's so much easier having the flux as a core in the solder than having to apply it before soldering.

If you can get a soldering iron stand, ideally one that comes with a sponge holder for cleaning the iron.


I've put together a blog post a couple of months ago on beginner electronics benches. for around the $100 mark you can actually get quite a lot in the way of tools that you'll find useful in one way or another.
Ah-Screw it: The Workbench/shop stock lists. Electronics (Beginners list)
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

What do you want/need to solder? For most electronics work a 30-45W pencil soldering iron will do you fine. You don't want to go higher than that if you will be soldering on circuit boards since excess heat will burn and lift traces and could damage components. You may want to consider some kind of a stand with clips to hold things while soldering and you'll need some basic hand tools such as needle nose pliers and diagonal cutters. A solder sucker is handy but you can also get braided solder wick.

I'm not up on current brand names. I have a Weller soldering station that I've been using for about 35 years that works great.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

I prefer solder wick, myself, but then, I do that for a living. There are times when a solder sucker comes in handy, though.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

check various DIY stores.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

Not sure how old you are but if you're old like me you also need some form of magnification to be able to see to solder things!
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dngrsone View Post
I prefer solder wick, myself, but then, I do that for a living. There are times when a solder sucker comes in handy, though.
This. Those bulbs are pretty much useless most of the time.

Also, make sure you get some of the fine tips. And have a few on hand. I go through those things ridiculously fast.

As far as wires, I always use IDE ribbon cables. Those things are wonderful if you need more than a few wires.

If you don't already have one, get a multimeter too, preferably one with a continuity check buzzer. It'll save you a lot of frustration.

EDIT: Almost forgot... Those "helping hands" things can be extremely useful. Definitely get one. Harbor Freight runs them for like $6 all the time.

Like this:

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Old 09-03-2011, 05:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Soldering tools and items

Alright, cool. I better write these things down before I head down there. Hopefully I can find everything I need there.

I don't really have any projects in mind. People always told me soldering is a nice skill to know. So I just thought I better buy them while I still have the money.
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