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Portable Soldering Iron

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m85476585

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Can anyone recommend a good portable soldering iron? I don't know if butane or battery power would be better. I'm thinking butane would be better than batteries as long as there isn't too much risk of it slowly leaking into my range box. I would also consider a regular plug-in iron with my inverter, but something more portable would be better.

The main purpose would be in-field repairs, mostly for wiring or rocketry electronics, like a broken terminal block on an altimeter for example. I don't expect to be able to do fine surface-mount soldering or anything like that.

And before anyone says it, I'm not getting another Cold Heat. I had one, and although it kind of worked, it was a lot more trouble than it was worth. The tip kept eroding, and it didn't make reliable contact. I only got good results with NiMH batteries, which the instructions specifically warned against using, and eventually the part that holds the tip melted and it was no longer usable.
 

SCE to AUX

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I really like the Weller Portasol butane powered units. The one I have comes in a kit with the soldering tip, blowtorch, hot air blower (for heatshrink tubing), and hot knife.

Runs an hour or 2 on a tankful of gas, and refills from standard lighter refill cans. Adjustable heat output for delicate PC board work or heavy duty jobs.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WOHSHM/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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sj_h1

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cornyl

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I use the radio shack butane soldering iron. It works great for any field work.
Best part is when you are done soldering and the tip is still hot you simply put the cap on and you can put in your box while it is hot.
Cornyl
 

als57

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Another vote for the Weller. Works great ; even outside.

Al
 

Evo666

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I use the Bernzomatic micro torch for working on my car. Paid around $15 at walmart. It uses butane fuel that last about 30min or so.
 

Micromeister

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I really like the Weller Portasol butane powered units. The one I have comes in a kit with the soldering tip, blowtorch, hot air blower (for heatshrink tubing), and hot knife.

Runs an hour or 2 on a tankful of gas, and refills from standard lighter refill cans. Adjustable heat output for delicate PC board work or heavy duty jobs.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WOHSHM/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Ditto everything SCE to AUX posted. they are outstanding units for field work. A wonderful addition to the tool bin.
 
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m85476585

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The Weller iron sounds good, but would it be OK to leave it full of butane in my range box for months at a time without it leaking? My range box lives in the trunk of my car.
 

SCE to AUX

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Mine lives in a toolbox which bangs around in the trunk of a car all year. No leaks yet...
 

DaveHein

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I've used a 25 Watt soldering iron plugged into an AC inverter powered off my car's battery.
 

RocketT.Coyote

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I use a butane pen torch or a push-button start butane torch with a soldering tip. Occassionally, one finds 12v soldering irons in The Sportsman's Guide btw.
 

Scott Evil

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Butane!

The "Cold Solder" doesn't work real well. The tips are like a brittle pencil lead.

:2:
 

m85476585

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How easy is it to maintain a good temperature on the Weller P2CK?

I found a pencil-type iron, the Hakko 921M-V12, with true temperature regulation that should work as well as my soldering station. I'm thinking that the Hakko might be a better choice since my soldering station lives at home (while I'm in college) and I don't have a soldering iron at all right now. I just have access to a cheap pencil-type iron and I might be able to talk my way into using the soldering stations in the EE lab, but it is kind of inconvenient.

I always keep my inverter in my car, so running the Hakko iron shouldn't be a problem as long as its electronics can run off the modified sine output of the inverter (I assume it will be fine).

Are there any other temperature-regulated pencil irons out there that are any cheaper?
 

WillMarchant

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The cold soldering tool is an OK emergency tool for just soldering wire. It puts an enormous Voltage potential onto the subject and I can't recommend it for anything electronic. And it will fire an e-match quite handily! :shock:
 

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