Soldering Station Comparison 2018

Purchase advice for soldering station comparison or test 2018

  • A soldering station consists of a heating element, a soldering iron, a soldering iron holder (= "third hand") and a sponge (= "soldering pad").
  • A distinction is made between analogue and digital soldering stations, with hardly any differences between the results in these variants. However, digital soldering stations can be fine-tuned in terms of temperature.
  • Compared to a soldering iron, a soldering station has the advantage that the piston of the station has no direct contact with the mains voltage, which is why during soldering, no electrostatic charge can be transferred to the item to be soldered. This prevents damage to the workpiece.

Soldering Station Comparison 2018: soldering

A soldering station is used to connect metals together. This process is called "soldering". Most of us have already learned that in elementary school. What many did not learn: It does not always have to be the classic soldering iron. So there are other soldering tools that can be used, for example. A soldering station.

We would like to introduce the latter to you in the context of our 2018 soldering station comparison. Among other things, you will be informed in our purchase advice on the most important purchase criteria for a station for soldering.

  • For soldering iron comparison
  • Third hand comparison

1. Not just for softies: soldering and brazing

To connect metals, heat is needed or high temperatures. If temperatures below 450° C are reached, it is spoken of soft soldering. On the other hand, if the temperatures during soldering are significantly higher than 450° C, this is the so-called brazing process:

  • At the soldering Metals are connected by means of solder. This solder is a metal with low strength, which makes it particularly suitable for melting.
  • At the brazing on the other hand, a so-called brazing alloy is used. This is a stable alloy of silver-containing metals, which liquefies only from 450° C. Due to the high temperatures, the process is mainly used industrially.

Smoke: Especially with new soldering stations, it may happen that the soldering iron smokes slightly on first use. This is perfectly normal and is especially common in cheap soldering stations.

2. More precise settings for digital soldering stations

In the domestic field, the soldering process is increasingly used, whereby a soldering station is often used. Basically, within the category of soldering stations, a distinction is made between two types of devices:

Analog soldering stationDigital soldering station

Soldering Station Comparison 2018: soldering

Soldering Station Comparison 2018: soldering

In analog soldering stations, the temperature is controlled by a rotary knob, which allows only a very inaccurate control of the temperature.

An analog soldering station always consists of the following components (identical to the digital version):

  • heating element
  • soldering iron
  • Soldering iron holder (= "third hand")
  • Sponge (= "soldering pad")
In a digital soldering station, the temperature is controlled by a display. With the aid of various buttons, the temperature can be precisely adjusted there.

A digital soldering station always consists of the following components (identical to the analogue version):

  • heating element
  • soldering iron
  • Soldering iron holder (= "third hand")
  • Sponge (= "soldering pad")
ideal for soft soldering
not mobile
Temperature setting rather imprecise
ideal for soft soldering
Temperature setting quite precise
not mobile
Conclusion: Various soldering station recommendations and experience reports suggest that there are hardly any differences between analogue and digital soldering stations as a result. The temperature is only more precisely controlled in a digital soldering station.

3. Performance as an indicator of power consumption

In addition to the question of whether you favor an analog or a digital soldering station, it is important to take a look at the wattage before buying your personal soldering station test winner. The wattage provides a good indicator of the power consumption of the device.

Note: The higher the wattage is, the higher the power consumption and thus your electricity bill will fail. The good news for you: Soldering stations generally consume very little power at 40 to 80 watts. You will not experience any big surprises after the purchase.

Soldering Station Comparison 2018: soldering

Digital soldering stations are particularly suitable for SMD soldering. For more information, see section 7.2.

4. Some like it hot: Short warm-up time beneficial?

If you want to buy a soldering station that is ready for use very quickly, then you should choose a model with a short warm-up time. The heat-up time measures the time required for a station to reach an operating temperature of 300° C.

The heat-up time always refers to the maximum temperature of the soldering station. In the beginning of the soldering process, set the temperature to the highest level when you are in a hurry.

The fastest devices in the soldering station comparison need only 50 seconds to heat up. But even the "slow" models are not really slow with about 80 seconds. The test of patience is only heating times of over 200 seconds.

Incidentally, we find: More important than the heat-up time is the question of whether the soldering iron of the soldering station can hold the generated heat for a long time. This is particularly the case with devices that are designed for extended use at a stretch. In addition, the case is often very well insulated on these models; so do not burn your fingers!

5. Soldering tips in two versions: chisel versus pencil

Desoldering stations?

Frequently, soldering stations are also called desoldering stations, because when repairing old contacts, they must first be freed from old solder (eg, solder). So they are "desoldered".

Before buying your soldering station, make sure that you check which soldering tips are included in the dissolving set. In soldering station complete sets are usually tips of the type "chisel-shaped" with a diameter of 2 millimeters included. These meet common requirements.

Experienced home makers know that there are also pencil-shaped soldering tips. These are then also suitable for filigree work. For more flexibility in soldering tips in different sizes are recommended, for example, 0.5 millimeters.

Soldering tips are the components of a soldering station that are most affected by wear. If you use your station frequently, you should stock up on this. It is cheaper, if you buy the tips in the offer.

6. How Soldering Works: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

After buying a soldering station, especially beginners often ask themselves the question: What now? We have one for this reason Brief instructions for soldering explains how to solder a wire to an LED, for example:

  • Soldering Station Comparison 2018: soldering

    Particularly convenient and space-saving stowage are soldering station sets in the suitcase.

    HeatThey both ends, so both the wire and the end of the LED. Be careful: Only heat as much as necessary, but like that little as possible!

  • Access to it Soldering tin (also called soft solder) and hold it to the slightly heated ends. The tin is thereby liquid.
  • Hold the ends together and wait for the tin to cool. The wire and the LED are now connected and conductive.
  • If the solder does not connect easily with the ends, then you can to a flux to grab. This is also called solder or soldering water and protects - in short - the ends to be soldered from oxygen, which otherwise prevents the connection with the tin, Note that Flux is a chemical that can irritate the skin. So avoid skin contact.

Danger:The soldering involves various dangers. On the one hand, there is a risk of burns due to the high temperatures. On the other hand, toxic fumes could rise from the liquid metal. Wear safety goggles and do not inhale the vapors.

7. Questions and answers about soldering stations

7.1. How is a soldering station different from a soldering iron?

Soldering Station Comparison 2018: comparison

Soldering station: The base station sits between the soldering iron and the power connection. This prevents transmission of the mains voltage to the item to be soldered.

A soldering station always contains (besides other components) a soldering iron and a base station. This base station - and thus also the soldering iron of the station - is supplied with power via a standard mains plug, So soldering stations can not be called mobile, especially not if you are heavy in weight, which can be the case even with the best soldering station. A mobile alternative are soldering stations with rechargeable batteries.

What sounds like a disadvantage at first, is actually a huge advantage: Because the soldering iron soldering station has no direct contact with the mains voltage due to the intermediate base station, which prevents the transmission of static charge during soldering, which would be a real problem, for example, when soldering boards or cell phone batteries. The Advantages and disadvantages of a soldering station at a glance:

  • no damage to electrical workpieces, as separation of mains voltage
  • Soldering iron often smaller than on 'mobile' devices
  • To control digital stations very simply and precisely
  • often expensive to buy
  • often heavy weight of up to two kilograms

A single soldering iron, however, has a low weight and, if it is a soldering iron with battery, mobile use.

7.2. What does SMD soldering mean?

The name SMD stands forsurface-mount device, which means in German as much as "surface-mounted component". Such components are always installed on boards or the like. Ideally, a soldering station with hot air is used for this purpose. Soldering stations with hot air facilitate, among other things, the desoldering, because you can use them to vacuum old solder (eg solder) very easily.

7.3. Which manufacturers and brands are recommended?

Unfortunately, the number of meaningful soldering station tests is currently limited, and the Stifung Warentest has not yet chosen a soldering station test winner. We therefore recommend that you orientate yourself by the quality of well-known hardware stores. A selection consists of the following manufacturers:

  • turbo
  • ERSA
  • Komerci
  • Blusmart
  • Weller
  • HoLife
  • Fixpoint
  • AGT
  • OHE
  • Tabiger
  • Vida
  • Fine
  • JBC

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Video Board: 10 Best Soldering Stations 2018