Tuesday, November 12, 2013

7 Complete Soldering Stations Under $250

The sheer number of soldering stations available on the market (Q Source offers almost 60 models on our Web site) can make choosing the right one a little confusing at times. Whether you're looking for a particular set of attributes, application-specific features or shopping by price, we want to help you select the best possible station for your needs.

With that in mind, and as a launching point for a new series of articles, we present a look at a selection of complete* soldering stations (power unit, soldering iron, and stand). Listed in order of price, (lowest to highest) here are 7 Complete Soldering Stations Under $250:

  1. Weller WLC100 Hobbyist Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $51.00
    Q Price: $42.71
    SKU: C010-000366
    Manufacturer Part #: WLC100
    • Suitable for DIY applications, students, and hobbyists
    • Features a variable power control producing 5 – 40 watts and an on/off switch with a power indicator light
    • Temperature range to 900° F
    • Ships with a lightweight, cushioned-grip pencil iron; a safety guard iron holder, an ST3 iron-plated copper tip, and a natural sponge tip cleaning pad

  2. Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $107.47
    Q Price: $91.35
    SKU: H001-002544
    Manufacturer Part #: FX888D-23BY
    • Temperature-adjustable, compact soldering station
    • Provides increased thermal performance and quicker thermal recovery time
    • Digital station offers selectable preset temperatures, password protection, digital calibration, and a low temperature alarm
    • Ships with the FX-8801 soldering iron, a T18-D16 tip, the FH800-01BY iron holder, an A1561 tip cleaning wire, and the A1559 cleaning sponge (purchase the FX-888D from QSource.com and receive an additional A1559 sponge for FREE)

  3. Weller WES51 ESD-Safe Analog Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $127.00
    Q Price: $115.00
    SKU: C010-000383
    Manufacturer Part #: WES51
    • Designed for continuous production soldering
    • Heater/sensor combination allow for fast heat up and speedy temperature recovery times
    • Features a wireless temperature lockout and an automatic shut off function
    • 50-watt unit uses ET Series tips

  4. Weller WTCPT 120V/60W Temperature-Controlled Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $176.00
    Q Price: $145.00
    SKU: C010-000362
    Manufacturer Part #: WTCPT
    • ESD-safe, temperature-controlled station with a ferromagnetic temperature sensor in the tip
    • Uses a distinctive closed-loop method for maximum tip temperature control
    • Fast iron changes with the quick-disconnect plug
    • On/off indicated by a lighted rocker switch

  5. Weller WTCPTD 240V/60W Temperature-Controlled Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $176.00
    Q Price: $145.00
    SKU: C010-000363
    Manufacturer Part #: WTCPTD
    • ESD-safe, temperature-controlled station protects sensitive components
    • Ships with a PTA7 tip and can utilize tips in the 600° F, 700° F, and 800° F temperature ranges
    • Quick-disconnect plug speeds up soldering iron changes
    • Lighted rocker switch shows whether the unit is on or off

  6. Weller WESD51 50W Digital Soldering Station
    Regular Price: $182.00
    Q Price: $156.00
    SKU: C010-000392
    Manufacturer Part #: WESD51
    • ESD-safe station perfect for continuous production soldering
    • Quick heat up and temperature recovery using an innovative heater/sensor combo
    • Stops unauthorized temperature changes with its wireless temperature lockout function
    • Prolongs tip life and conserves energy via its automatic shut off feature

  7. OKi PS-900 SmartHeat® ESD-Safe High Powered Thermal Control Soldering System
    Regular Price: $256.47
    Q Price: $243.65
    SKU: M020-001639
    Manufacturer Part #: PS-900
    • Designed for lead-free soldering applications, multilayer boards, and thermally demanding components
    • SmartHeat Technology requires no calibration and allows for soldering at lower temperatures
    • At home in both small and large production environments
    • Utilizes high-quality tips for low-cost operation
* Please note: The Weller WD1 Digital Soldering Station Power Unit (Q Source #: C010-000407, Manufacturer Part #: WD1) is also available for under $250 but does not include an iron or stand.

Whether you're just starting out in soldering, or you need a professional-level unit, each of these high-quality soldering station packages offers the specifications and capabilities to help you get the job done at an excellent low cost. The stations listed here range in price from just over $42 to a little over $243 and are made by top manufacturers (Weller, Hakko, and OKi/Metcal). Next time we'll look at a new group of stations including a few JBC Tools models.

For more information or to purchase any of these powerful stations please visit our Soldering Station Department at QSource.com. You can also give us a call at 800-966-6020 or contact us via email.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about any of the soldering stations we carry or related topics please leave us a message in the comments section.

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