Soldering iron or soldering station
Soldering iron or soldering station? - When the next project is coming up and the new microcontroller has no connectors, this question always comes up. We help you to find the right product for your soldering work!
What do I need a soldering iron or soldering station for?
Connections between electrical components or cables are not always feasible with alligator clips, sometimes more stable connections are necessary. These connections are made with solder. For this you need a soldering iron. The soldering iron is a tool whose tip generates such a high temperature that the solder is made to melt. The solder drips onto the area that is to be joined and thus connects the electronic components. When the liquid solder has cooled, it becomes hard and the electronic components, or conductive cables, are firmly joined together.
What types of soldering irons are there?
When buying the right soldering iron, there are several things to consider, as there are now many different models of soldering iron.
Universal soldering iron
A universal soldering iron is a soldering iron that can be used for a variety of soldering tasks. It often has different interchangeable soldering tips that can be of different shapes and sizes to perform different types of soldering work. A universal soldering iron can also have different temperature settings to handle a wide range of soldering materials. Incidentally, a universal soldering iron can also be used to write on wood.
A soldering needle is a tool used to join metal parts together by melting a solder. A soldering needle consists of a steel or brass needle attached to a handle. The tip of the needle is heated to melt the solder, which is then applied to the parts to be joined to join them. The soldering needle is used in electronics, jewelry making and other areas where it is important to join small metallic parts together. A soldering needle is the best choice for ultra-fine work. A fine soldering iron is recommended when the tasks do not become too specialized.
For woodburning, a special soldering iron, called a burning iron, is used. Firing irons have different tips that can be changed as needed. There are different types of firing irons, which differ in size, shape, and power. Which firing iron is best depends on the type and size of the piece of wood to be worked on, as well as individual preference. It is advisable to choose an iron with an adjustable temperature to achieve the best result. However, it is also possible to use a universal soldering iron. You should make sure that the temperature is adjustable.
Battery Soldering Iron / USB Soldering Iron
A battery soldering iron is a portable soldering tool that uses a battery as a power source. It is like a classic soldering iron, but it is more compact and does not require an external power source. The rechargeable battery allows the soldering iron to be used independently of a power outlet, making it a practical tool for use outdoors or in places where power access is not available. A battery soldering iron usually has an adjustable temperature control so that the temperature of the tip can be adjusted as needed. This is especially important for sensitive electronic components that must not be overheated. Overall, a cordless soldering iron is a practical and versatile tool for anyone who is frequently involved in soldering work and needs a convenient and portable soldering solution.
A USB soldering iron can be plugged into a laptop, power bank or other USB power source to heat the tip. It usually has an adjustable temperature control so that the temperature can be adjusted as needed. Overall, a USB soldering iron is a convenient and portable soldering solution for anyone who is frequently engaged in soldering work and needs a flexible and convenient power source. It is especially handy for travellers or craftsmen who often work on the road and do not have access to a power outlet.
SMD soldering iron
An SMD soldering iron is a special soldering tool designed for processing surface-mount devices (SMD). SMD devices are small electronic components that are mounted directly onto a circuit board instead of being inserted into holes as with through-hole devices. An SMD soldering iron has a fine tip that allows precise soldering work to be carried out on small SMD components. It is an indispensable tool for electronics enthusiasts, craftsmen and engineers who make repairs to electronic devices or work on circuit boards and microcontrollers.
SMD soldering irons are often used in combination with special SMD solder, which offers good adhesion to the components and a uniform melting temperature. It is important to use a suitable solder to ensure that the SMD components are soldered properly and that no damage occurs to the component or PCB
Hot air soldering iron
A hot air soldering iron is a soldering tool that uses hot air to solder electronic components. It is an alternative to traditional soldering irons that generate heat using electrical energy to heat the solder joint.
A hot air soldering iron has a nozzle that blows hot air onto the solder joint to heat the solder joint to the required temperature. It is particularly useful for processing delicate electronic components as it allows more precise temperature control and reduced risk of damage to the components. A hot air soldering iron is a handy tool for makers who like to work with electronic components. It is particularly useful for working with surface-mount devices (SMDs), which are very small and delicate and require precise temperature control. Overall, a hot air soldering iron is an advanced and versatile soldering solution that offers high precision and reduced risk of damage to components.
For the ambitious hobbyist, a soldering station is the right choice; it can easily handle regular work. Different soldering tips help to make your own soldering iron more flexible for all applications and offers further advantages over a simple soldering iron as explained below.
Which is better? The soldering iron or the soldering station?
It all depends on what you want to do with it. For simple soldering work, the simple and inexpensive entry-level soldering iron is quite sufficient. It will always provide faithful service if it is not too complicated.
If you run a workshop or are an ambitious hobby maker, the soldering station is recommended. It is more powerful and has more possibilities for adjustment. In addition, with soldering stations the settings are finer and the handling more practical. A digital soldering station makes selecting the temperature of the soldering iron even easier and safer.
Compared to a conventional soldering iron or soldering gun, this innovative soldering station is a great help. With this device you can better control the temperature and precisely set it too high or low temperatures to process special soldering material. Precise temperatures can determine the quality of the solder joint when in doubt.
You can also use the built-in protection features of a soldering station to prevent electrical components from being damaged. In addition, some of the devices have functions such as the automatic sleep function, standby mode and automatic switch-off after a few minutes of inactivity.
Whether to use a soldering iron or a soldering station is also a question of price and future use of the device. With the right soldering needle on the right soldering gun, everything can be soldered from the smallest SMD component, cables, to coarse lines. Decide for yourself what suits you best! We at Berrybase wouldn't call ourselves a Maker Shop if we couldn't offer a variety of different products at unbeatable prices.
A hot air soldering station can also be the right solution for many projects because it can liquefy the solder in a targeted way with an air flow of up to approx. 500 °C, without direct contact.
Just buy a soldering iron and try it out, the cheapest products start at well under 10 euros. Quickly add a stranded wire or two to the shopping basket and you're ready to go. If the demands on the device grow over time, you can easily switch to a soldering station without losing much money.
Tip: A desoldering pump can't hurt to start with, especially if a connection has come to nothing.
What to look for when buying a soldering iron?
When it comes to choosing the right soldering iron or station, it is the hard facts that count and that you should look out for when buying:
1. The power of the soldering iron in watts.
A higher wattage means more power. This also applies to soldering stations. Soldering stations with a higher wattage also mean more power for longer working times. A 60- to 100-watt output for electronic soldering stations is sufficient for most tasks.
2. The heat-up time
A fast heat-up time is defined as soldering irons that heat up to 300 degrees in under 200 seconds. Of course, there are also models that reach their working temperature in less time. For hobbyists, however, slower heating times, from 200 seconds upwards, are perfectly adequate.
However, if you are always using the soldering iron for a short time in between, you will soon be annoyed by a heating time of more than 200 seconds.
3 The maximum working temperature
With 315 °C the solder can be melted without any problems. This is sufficient for most projects. If solder has been previously soldered and is now to be removed, higher temperatures may be necessary. Berrybase soldering stations can easily dissolve even stubborn solder.
4. The personal field of application
It makes a difference whether you want to solder in a large workshop or have limited space in your hobby room. But Berrybase has tools in the right size and with the right power for your personal needs and circumstances in the shop.
5. The price
With such a wide range of soldering products, from hot air soldering stations, digital soldering stations to soldering irons and accessories, it is not easy to keep track of everything. But with Berrybase's pre-selected selection of high-quality products for soldering technology and accessories, you can quickly find the right device with a good price-performance ratio for beginners to Makers.
Which Maker projects can you realise with a soldering station?
Basically, a soldering station can be used to realise any microcontroller project that requires permanent connections. It doesn't matter whether you are just starting out with prototyping for flashing LED light diodes or are already building the classic DIY amplifier yourself. A weather station with particularly stable connections for environmental influences, or you are already active in robotics. As with all projects, start small and try things out. Every material works differently and can be better connected with this or that flux. Berrybase wishes you much success with the right products for your soldering needs.