Whenever you decide to buy the best soldering iron for stained glass, consider the kinds of quality soldering irons available in the market. Remember, for a professional tradesman, a soldering iron is like an asset.
Some of the products will be great to work with; however, some are not just up to the mark. With this useful tool, you will enjoy your work because it will work efficiently and faster.
If working with stained glasses is your profession, choosing the right type of soldering iron is very crucial. It also means that you need to keep one eye on your wallet to see that the item is within your buying capacity!
Read more: How to Fix a Broken Wire Without Soldering
Best Solder for Stained Glass
|Weller WLC200 80 Watt Hobby and Stained Glass Soldering Station||Buy On Amazon|
|X-Tronic 3060-PRO-ST-ACC - 75W Soldering Iron Station - 5 Extra Tips, 2 LED Displays, Sleep Func, C/F, 3 Temp Presets, Mag Lamp, 4 Helping Hands, Solder Sucker, Tweezers, Solder & Brass Sponge w/Flux||Buy On Amazon|
|Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station||Buy On Amazon|
|YIHUA 862BD+ SMD ESD Safe 2 in 1 Soldering Iron Hot Air Rework Station °F /°C with Multiple Functions||Buy On Amazon|
|Hakko FX601-02 Adjustable Temperature Controlled Soldering Iron, 67 Watts||Buy On Amazon|
|X-Tronic 4010-XTS-2 Series 75 Watt Soldering Iron Station - Sleep Func, Calibration Func, C/F Func, 5 Extra Tips, Tube of Solder, Solder Sucker, SS Tweezers, Goot Wick & Coiled Brass Sponge w/Flux||Buy On Amazon|
|Vastar Soldering Iron - Soldering Iron Station, Anti-Static Soldering Iron Station Kit with On-Off Switch Temperature Adjustable||Buy On Amazon|
|Soldering Station, 65W Tilswall Solder Station Welding Iron with Smart Temperature Control (392°F-896°F), Extra 5pcs Soldering Tips, Built-in Transformer, Ideal for School Lab, Hobby, Electronics||Buy On Amazon|
|TXINLEI 8586 110V Solder Station, 2 in 1 Digital Display SMD Hot Air Rework Station and Soldering Iron, 12pcs Different Soldering Tips,Solder Wire,Tweezers,Desoldering Pump,700W 480℃||Buy On Amazon|
Best Soldering Station for Hobbyists Review 2021
One of the critical aspects of a soldering iron is not only it heats up quite faster, but it can hold on the high temperature for a significantly long period.
Following is a brief guide on some of the top soldering irons which you can pick depending upon your usage.
01. Weller WLC200 Adjustable 80 Watts Glass Soldering Station
The WLC 200 is a high-quality soldering iron station known for its power range, which can be adjustable from 5-80 watts. It is an ideal temperature which is preferred to be handled by any tradesman.
Strong Soldering Base
The unit has a soldering base, a pencil soldering iron (SPG80), which is quite light in weight and use some quick tasks.
Besides, the item has a 3/8-inches chisel tip, which is created by a mix of iron, copper cone, plating of chromium, and nickel that can reach a maximum temperature of 900 degrees (F) (controllable).
The chisel tip can work fine with other chisel tips, such as MTG21 ¼-inch, and cone tip Weller Pencil tips, e.g., MTG22.375-inch.
The heating element can be replaced, and the soldering iron is removable too. This is another excellent feature if you are looking for some customization.
On the base unit of the station is an in-built sponge that you can use to keep the soldering tip free from dirt and thus extend its longevity.
The WLC200 is the one unit you need if you want a smooth workflow. All you need to do is keep the chisel tip clean, which is a simple job indeed, and you’ll find that the efficient spring stand will allow you to drop the iron easily in the holder.
You don’t need to worry about checking if it has fallen into the slot or not. Either you are a hobbyist or a tradesman, the WLC200, with its durability or other value-added features, will make your life simpler. Indeed, this one meets all your soldering needs.
- Controls temperature well
- Sponge and soldering stand
- High heating in quick time and retains it well
- Extra chisel tip required for stained glass
02. X-Tronic 3060-PRO Adjustable 75W Soldering Iron Station
Irrespective of you being an amateur, or an expert, the 3060 soldering station from X-Tronic is here as a solution for all your tasks.
The kit comes with a complete package that includes units like a soldering iron of 60 watts and 15 watts additional for the mini motherboard in soldering iron.
Some other kits available with this include a holder for soldering iron (top-mounted), Solder roll holder (side-mounted), tip-cleaner (sponge) with cleaner flux, and a wet sponge.
It also has additional soldering tips (5), a solder sucker, two helping hands (you can detach them), a small mag lamp, to name a few.
Sleek Soldering Iron
The Soldering station from X-Tronic is sturdy and durable. It has an in-built LED light display, which enables you to flip between Centigrade and Fahrenheit readings.
Like the top soldering station, the technology used in this model (Magic Temperature Compensation) enables it to control high temperatures and heats very well. This unit can run well with almost any application and at any temperature.
Adjustable and Safe
This unit is entirely safe from electrostatic discharges (ESD), and it also has a sleep-timer featuring 0, 5, 10, and half-an-hour sleep functions, which can protect you during accidents.
Besides, it has 3 Preset Memory Functions and Digital Temperature Calibration function too.
The adaptable tweezers in the station will enable them to melt the solder in an appropriate place and shift the components.
The best part of this station is that it is effortless to handle, and there are no complications. Not only it’s a high-quality or durable item, but it will also suit your cause if you are trying your hands in this for the first time.
- Safe to handle
- Easy to use
- Can be used with most applications
- Runs in high temperatures
- Cord is short
Read more: Difference Between Soldering and Welding
03. WE1010NA Digital 70W Soldering Iron Station
The WE1010NA must be included in the list of the best soldering iron for stained glass.The product is right up to the mark due to its flexibility and ease of use. There is always the comfort factor associated with this soldering station from Wellar.
More Powerful and Efficient
The model comes as an upgraded version, and its 40% more powerful than the earlier two models. This means it can heat up faster and do the soldering job more efficiently and quicker.
Handles Different Ranges of Temperature
The WE1010NA can handle different temperatures, and there is a temperature lock mechanism in it that prevents the soldering tips and components from damage.
Thus, the unit’s life is expanded, and the soldering job can be done with more precision.
Since this tool is a more upgraded one, you’ll find a few latest features, including smart navigation, a standby option, and a setback mode (auto), which is useful in energy conservation.
Besides, the settings can also be password-protected. This will give you security in use while you operate with this tool.
Safe to Handle
As you would want from a high-quality soldering unit, the WE1010NA is certified as ESD-safe and also UL and CE certified, which means there is nothing to worry about working with it even if you are an amateur using it for electrical works.
Can be Used to Several Applications
This unit is suitable for all kinds of models like small appliances, repairs, small engines, audio systems, electronic usages, crafts, etc.
- Upgraded efficiency
- Smart navigation
- Easy tip change
- Sometimes temperature response can be sluggish
04. YIHUA 862BD Dual Core Soldering Iron Hot Air Rework Station
The 862BD from YIHUA comes in with a variety of features and accessories to help you master your soldering job. The efficient heating capacity and smooth operation are why several tradesmen have preferred this unit for a long time.
The unit comes with HD display, which makes it easy for you to alter the digital temperature readings from Centigrade to Fahrenheit for the soldering iron. Similarly, you can also change the temperatures.
All this is possible with just a button-click. The LED displays show the exact temperature for the soldering iron and hot air gun (additional feature, discussed below) and demonstrate the flow of air.
The Temperature Control Technology
With the PID technology used in this station, the unit can quickly detect the temperature of the iron’s heating element; then, it will rectify it fast and come back to the actual temperature necessary for heating.
A Hot air Gun Included
The unit has an additional hot air gun (500 Watts), which is utilized for heating the wires. This gun is for safety purposes since it makes sure to automatically cut the heat off while the gun is inside the holder.
The soldering iron’s wire is made of silicon, which ensures flexibility and hence it’s easy to solder the wires. Another advantage it brings is that you can clean it easily when you are putting it on the stand every time.
Hence, the 862BD set, with a broad range of accessories, is an essential tool for all soldering jobs.
- Lots of accessories
- Easy cleaning option
- Additional hot air gun
- Silicone wiring
- Replaced components not found easily
05. Hakko FX601-02 High Quality Controlled Soldering Iron
The Hakko FX601-02 is one of the latest versions of soldering iron. The model comes with variable temperature control technology. This is a feature that enables you to adjust the temperature you want to work with.
The unit is also useful as it doesn’t consume a lot of power.
Lighter in Weight
The FX601-02 is a model that is remarkably lighter in weight. Hence, with it, you can continue with your soldering for a long time with feeling fatigue in your hand. The lightweight and portable nature also ensure it can be carried easily.
The iron has a ceramic heating element, so it doesn’t take too much time to heat up. The iron can also hold the temperature for a considerable period.
UL and CSA-Certified
The FX601-02 is also very safe to handle since it is UL and CSA-certified, so you don’t need to worry about electrical discharges while working with it. The feature is something that most beginners would want to have in their soldering tools.
The power cord of this soldering iron is extra-long, which helps you work with applications that need a longer reach and mobility. When you are working in solar panels, then you will find this tool extremely helpful while soldering.
Superior Heat Conductivity
The model comes with an enhanced heat conductivity feature. The soldering tips help you in achieving a lot of heat recovery by consuming significant power. The tool helps you in optimal soldering.
- Quickly gets heated
- Get the temperature you desire
- Additional cord
- Ceramic heating element
- UL and CSA approved
- Tips are replaceable
- Doesn’t come with a stand
06. X-Tronic 4010-XTS-2 75 Watt Soldering Iron Station
The 4010-XTS is a soldering station from X-Tronic that arrives with plenty of in-built accessories. They are straightforward to handle, no matter you are pro or a beginner.
Even though the features are advanced, but a beginner will have no issues with this tool either.
The soldering station includes an entire kit. The accessories here include a soldering iron (75 Watts) and an additional 15 watts for the motherboard.
You’ll find a flexible grip iron with a heating element made of ceramic, solder sucker, solder roll holder, iron stand, soldering tips (5), etc.
Additionally, you’ll also get tweezers of stainless steel, brass sponge (coiled) for cleaning the tip, cleaning flux supply, and so on.
The LED display allows you to detect the digitally demonstrated temperature and flip between the centigrade and Fahrenheit through a switch.
Magic Temperature Compensation
The technology in the tool will help in heating up very well and, at the same time, control very high temperatures. Thus, the unit can run at different temperatures.
The calibration function is another added advantage in this soldering station, which is useful when the heating element is worn, or there is a new heating element you are using.
The Unit is safe from electrical discharges and has a ten-minute sleep timer function, which keeps you safe and prevents any accident from happening while soldering.
The 4010-XTS also has silicon and a 55-inches power cord from the main unit to the plug, making it suitable for use.
- Easy to use
- Can control high temperature
- Heats up quickly
- Finding new soldering parts can be a problem
07. Vastar Ant-Static Soldering Iron Station with On-Off Switch
The portable soldering iron station comes with features that you will expect in most expensive soldering iron kits. The body of the model allows for a better flow of heat, and also the temperature of the iron can be controlled as you want it to be.
Ease of Use
The device, being so portable, is quite useful for all levels of professionals. Irrespective of you being an expert or a starter, this device is made for all. You can just plug-in and start your work.
The platform for soldering iron is not only straightforward to work with, but its portable nature saves considerable space.
Flexibility is the term that associates with this Vaster soldering station. The temperature it can produce is up to 480 degrees (C), which means it can be used in a wide variety of soldering jobs.
Moreover, it also has an updated temperature control circuit, which helps to adjust the temperature.
The heating element is made of thermal ceramic, which ensures increased operational efficiency and longer service life.
The steel tubes of this unit are made of stainless steel (high-strength).
Besides, the tool is also made of “anti-burning” material, which any fire-related hazard.
In-Built Bracket and Cleaning
The tool has an in-built bracket for mounting (if needed) and a pen and a sponge to remove any dirt that gathers in the iron, and thus, it is ready for subsequent use.
The Vaster model has a variable power control knob that can make a power adjustment from 5 to 60 watts so that the soldering job is done with utmost perfection.
- Anti-static feature
- Sponge included for cleaning
- Ceramic heating element
- Temperature control with an analog dial
- Power adjustment between 5 to 60 watts
- Heating Process is slow
08. Tilswall Anti-static 65W Output Solder Station
The soldering station is launched with so many features and options that it will leave you in awe. One of the few soldering stations you’ll find in the market has so many accessories and in-built features to back it up. Let’s take a look:
In-Built Transformer and Temperature Control
The tool comes with a feature to hold or lock temperature. The station has an in-built transformer, which locates temperature every twenty minutes and locks it.
Ceramic Heating Element
The ceramic element ensures longer life and controls the issues that may arise due to the iron’s excessive heating. The stabilization feature of temperature ensures that stations can operate efficiently.
Wiring is ESD, FCC Safe and Free from Lead
The device is safe from electronic discharge, which can prevent hazards. Besides, the wiring of this station is free from the lead as well.
It has basic fuse protection, which ensures power is cut off immediately whenever there is a short circuit or power leakage.
The 65 Watt unit heating element is good enough to operate in variable temperatures and correctly do the soldering job.
Soldering Iron Cable
The soldering cable is made with 100% silica gel and Teflon, which helps achieve maximum operational efficiency in soldering under -140 to -392 degrees (F).
The material used in the cable also helps retain the softness, especially during winter, when it can be a challenge to utilize.
Additional Tips and Cleaning Sponge
The station contains five additional soldering tips and a sponge as well to make it free from dust.
- In-built transformer
- Ceramic heating element
- Silica-made soldering cable
- 65 Watt station for efficient soldering
- Cleaning sponge available in the kit
- Ideal for lab, hobbyists, electronics
- No customer service available
09. TXINLEI 8586 High Power Stabilization 2 in 1 Digital Soldering Iron
The unique feature of this soldering station is that it can work both as soldering and as a reworking station. The Station is made of by mixture of high-quality silicon shell and alloy metal. It makes the looks of this station quite sleek.
Temperature Stabilization and a Power Saving Tool
The soldering station is a quite helpful power-saving tool. The temperature stabilization feature helps it perform soldering jobs efficiently under different temperatures; it also eliminates noise and ensures longevity.
High Power and Fast Heating
The tool can run in high power and enables quick heating, which is why it is one of the most preferred options for soldering jobs. Just switch on, and it will heat within minutes.
The LED display indicates the temperature and also is controlled by a microcomputer.
The TXINLEI 8586 is one of the most comfortable soldering stations to operate. Whenever you hold the handle, then and there it will start working, and when you release you hold, the machine will stop running and go to a standby mode.
Lightweight and Portable
The device is very light in weight and quite portable. It means it easy to carry and hence easy to operate.
Hot Gun Feature
The station has a hot gun that operates on 700 watts of power while the soldering iron runs at a minimum of 60 watts power. The temperature range is from 100 to 450 degrees (C) for the hot gun, whereas the range of temperature for soldering iron is from 200 to 480 degrees.
- Saves power
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- LED display
- Efficient soldering on high power
- 20-in-1 Kit includes 12 soldering tips and other useful accessories
- Sometimes it’s challenging to regulate the heat gun
10. YIHUA 8786D Digital Soldering Iron Station
8786D is another classic example of the flexibility and high-class performance. The model offers soldering, desoldering, and reworking facilities. In this way, it is a 3-in-1 station which makes your job that much easier.
A user can independently switch on any function to work together; however, the machine can simultaneously work automatically too.
Temperature Control Technology
In this station, the PID technology ensures that the station can monitor and regulate temperature to accurate levels with high speed so that the soldering job can be done with precision.
The model is designed in a way (anti-static) to protect the tool from leakages, static, or components damage.
When the hot-guns fan stops automatically in an unusual way during operation, the in-built program will set an auto-alarm. It will switch off the power supply to the heating section to ensure there is no risk.
Digital Temperature Correction
This is a feature that assists in rectifying any changes in temperature, which can be caused due to things like heater replacement, soldering tip, other components, or some other factors, for instance, weather changes.
The functions of this soldering station are very user-friendly. So, it’s effortless for an individual to use this soldering device. There isn’t any need to be an expert in the task if you have this soldering station.
The system is also ESD certified, which means there is no risk of operating it with high power. Hence this is the reason why the 8786D is a very safe and trusted soldering iron device.
- Ease of use
- Digital Temperature Correction
- Temperature control technology
- Anti-static design
- Automated alert
- Power cord not long enough
Buying Considerations for the Best Soldering Iron for Stained Glass
So, what should you consider before you decide to buy the best soldering iron?
The Different Types
First things first, you have to decide what you are going to opt for. You will find a wide variety of soldering irons, out of which you need to pick one according to your needs.
But for that, you need to understand the difference between a soldering station and a soldering iron. A soldering station has a soldering pencil that is attached to a power station.
This power station is like a stand, which makes you rest the iron when it is not used. Thus, there is isn’t any chance of injury or accident.
Soldering iron offers excellent control on temperature, and since the iron’s end can be rested on the stand, there is no chance that it will get in touch with anything.
Another advantage that the station brings with it is electronic variable temperature control. Such a feature helps to work at the exact temperature, and so there is no guessing in your soldering job.
Because of such a feature, they are in demand for various applications. However, sometimes the only thing that can go against them is their bulky option, which can lead to people go for a more portable choice.
A soldering irons power rating is determined in watts. If used for home, then a power range between 60 to 100 watts is ideal for your job. Irons with lower watts are ideal to be used in lighter applications.
Hence, they are mostly suitable for home applications only. Soldering irons, i.e., the heavy-duty ones have a power rating, which is over 200 Watts. These are high-watt units and hence are ideal for more robust applications.
However, the PR (Power Rating) does not determine the unit’s overall performance.
There are different soldering irons available in the market with diverse weights. Remember, the lighter is your iron is, the better it is in terms of performance.
If your device is portable, lightweight, then it becomes that much easier to carry and operate. Don’t choose a large soldering unit because controlling it can be extremely tough.
A little wrong move can lead to an accident if you are working with a bulky device since your movement is restricted.
The Heating Element
You will find most of the soldering iron made of ceramic heating elements or a metal wiring. The ceramic element helps in faster heating of the iron and maintains a steady temperature.
However, those made of metal wiring are also considered suitable for the long run of applications.
Gripping is an Essential Aspect
As already discussed earlier, the ability to use an application easily and comfortably is a significant feature. Alongside the portability, the way you can grip the soldering station/iron is an essential point.
For instance, the grip or the handle should be comfortable to operate enough, since we all know that soldering is a tedious and time-consuming process. You don’t need to get a sore hand or fatigue in your hand muscles while soldering.
When you look to buy the best soldering station for hobbyists, ergonomics, or the comfort factor (in gripping), is the one major point you ought to consider.
Soldering Tips and Other Parts
Those of you, who are doing a lot of soldering jobs, consider a soldering tool that comes with several soldering tips. Ensure those tips are easily removable.
Not only that, ensure you are buying a product whose replacement parts are readily available. Besides, there are a few soldering irons available with stands, coils, solder sucker, cleaning sponge, etc.
If you can get to buy a kit with all these or as many accessories as you can, you have got a lucky deal!
All You Need to Know about Best Solder for Stained Glass- FQAs
Q. What is a soldering iron?
Ans: It is a tool that heats the core (conductive) through power (electricity). The core then warms up the soldering tip at a specific temperature for melting the solder.
Q. What is a solder?
Ans: An alloy with a low melting point which contains brass, tin, or lead is called solder. A melted solder is useful for metals (fused), circuitry works, or stained glass applications.
Q. How can I use a soldering iron?
Ans: When you are using a soldering iron, be extremely careful not to touch its tip since it can reach over 1000 degrees F. Make sure that you wear appropriate protective gear, for instance, gloves, and DO NOT wear anything that’s loose-fitting.
Before you go on for a soldering job, prepare a plan as to how you would proceed. If there is the sponge you’ve got with the soldering unit, then that’s fine, otherwise, get yourself a big sponge piece covered with heavy things so that you can use it to remove the tip to get it cleaned.
Before beginning to solder, locate an appropriate place for making it stand, use the stand if it is provided already in the soldering kit. After this, switch on the unit.
Whenever the soldering temperature is reached, touch the iron, against the soldered part, and lightly coat it. You should then carefully apply a little solder.
Ensure that the solder tip is shinning. After using it for some time in soldering tasks, wash the tip off and smoothly recover the tip. Keep the soldering in your working hand.
Q. How can I clean a soldering iron?
Ans: For heat to run correctly, the soldering iron should be cleanly kept. Not only cleaning the iron while using, but you also need to maintain the soldering iron to ensure it performs at optimal efficiency every time you use it.
A sponge (sulfur-free) and cellulose is a good option for cleaning the iron. Also, you can use a brass coil as a cleaning option for the solder. The sponge should be dampened and used for washing off the extra solder from the iron before you coat it with solder.
As well as, the same sponge can be used for cleaning the tip every time you are using the iron for soldering so that debris doesn’t build up, thereby hampering the irons’ performance.
If your soldering iron has rust or has stains, ensure the iron is cooled off entirely before you use steel wool to smoothen it. Remember, if you want to increase your soldering irons’ longevity, then using a specialized cleaner is a good option since it not only removes dirt’s built-ups of solder but also is reduces the oxidization rate.
Q. What is an ideal temperature for stained glass?
Ans: Approximately 700 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature to set when you are looking to solder iron. At this temperature, a solder can turn into liquid.
There should be a constant temperature maintained in your iron all the time. If not, then there will be cold spots that you’ll locate. A 50-50 solder melts at higher temperature whereas a 60-40 solder takes slightly lesser heat to melt.
Hence, you always recommend keeping a close eye on your soldering irons’ temperature because too much heat can break the glass.
Q. Is any soldering iron suitable for stained glass?
Ans: You must look for a soldering iron that can adjust the temperature. Suppose a soldering iron has a temperature dial. In that case, it’s great because you can monitor it.
Which will help you to regulate the temperature accordingly, depending upon the glass-projects you working, for instance, lead-based, or copper-coil based, etc.
For industrial use, it’s best to go for soldering iron with electric wiring, and for small-scale stained glass projects, opting for ceramic soldering iron is an ideal choice.
Now that you have got an idea about the different types of soldering irons and its features getting the best soldering iron for stained glass shouldn’t be any problem as such for you.
You can either go through a list or check out different online shops to know about the features and technical specifications to find which one is the best soldering station for hobbyists. Remember that today the soldering irons are manufactured keeping comfort factor (ergonomics) and user-friendliness in mind.
These devices aren’t complicated at all, and some of them come with in-built accessories and present functions to make the job as easy as just clicking a button. So, if you aren’t a soldering professional but are planning to do such a job, visit any online store to get a soldering unit as per your suitability and kick-start your work!