Soldering iron: which power is necessary?

Soldering irons are available in different capacities. Often there is uncertainty about what performance is suitable for which tasks, and in what performance you should buy a soldering iron at all. All important information about power and wattage can be found in detail in this article.

How much watts with the soldering iron?

If you want to buy a soldering iron, you will find devices with powers of less than 25 W - and devices with power above, up to about 150 watts. Some expensive devices are synonymous, but that's more the exception.

Note that this is about electric soldering irons. So-called soldering guns, which are basically not or only slightly suitable for finer soldering, are excluded - their power is usually in the range of 100 W - with a soldering iron you can not compare this, because the functioning is another.

Services of various electric soldering irons in overview:

soldering iron typepoweruse
Lötnadel5 - 10 wattsparticularly fine work, such as soldering extremely thin wires, SMD work, repair work
soldering iron15 - 20 wattsSolder electronic components, very thin wires and strands
Universal soldering ironabout 30 wattsfor many jobs except delicate electronics
Temperature controlled soldering ironaround 60 wattsuniversally applicable (also with electronics) because the temperature is kept constant
Big soldering ironmore than 60 wattsWorking outside the electronics (for example, soldering sheets)

Impact of performance

The higher the power (wattage) of a soldering iron, the hotter the tip of the piston becomes. For this reason, usually only pistons of 15 to a maximum of 25 watts are recommended for electronic components. Even with prolonged use, the soldering iron tip will not be so hot that components could be damaged.

Adjustable power

For electronic and electrical work, it is best to buy a soldering station. Here, the temperature of the soldering iron tip is kept constant by electronic means - the piston can therefore not overheat.

Despite the generally higher performance nothing can happen here, with a suitable tip you can use this soldering iron for electronics. Soldering stations are a bit more expensive to buy, but often pay for themselves. The price differences are approximately:

  • Soldering iron from just 5 EUR
  • Soldering iron sets from approx. 10 - 20 EUR
  • Soldering station, digitally controlled from around 50 EUR

Tips & Tricks

The purchase of a soldering station can sometimes be quickly paid for: with a soldering iron for electronics, you can in turn hardly larger solder joints produce reasonable (larger cable cross-sections, larger mass).

Video Board: CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOLDERING IRON! | 20 Watts vs 25 Watts vs 60 Watts