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The 9 Best Electric Soldering Iron Gun for Beginners and Experts
July 12, 2021
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best soldering iron 2021. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
With many industries employing the use of soldering irons, it’s no surprise that this tool, first mass-produced in 1894, is as popular as it is and a staple in the toolbox of many workmen, engineers, and homeowners alike. In addition to electricians who are commonly associated with this handy device, and use it for splicing and fusing wires, people in auto repair, roofing, plumbers, and even jewelers all swear by their trusty soldering irons.
Working on metal gutters, stained glass and mosaics, printed circuit boards (PCBs), and vacuum tubes all, at times, require the use of a soldering iron for repairs and maintenance. If you’re on the hunt for a new soldering iron, or want to buy your first one, our list of the best nine models available on Amazon has something for everyone, from beginners to professionals.
1. Best-Rated Soldering Iron—Anbes Soldering Iron Kit
With over 10,500 reviews, the Amazon’s Choice Anbes soldering iron kit is a solid pick for beginners and experts alike. This economical 60W model has adjustable temperature control, a desoldering pump, a stand, tweezers, and comes with five different soldering tips too. “This kit has already paid for itself several times over in the first week I’ve owned it,” reported one happy buyer. “It heats up fast, the tips are nice, and the included solder does the job… For someone who repairs electronics, there is literally no reason not to buy this kit.”
2. Best Soldering Iron for Beginners—SREMTCH Electronics Soldering Iron Kit
If you have no idea where to start when it comes to soldering, this soldering iron kit from SREMTCH will make it easy for you. As a contender for the best DIY soldering iron, this thing has a handy LCD digital display that clearly indicates the temperature, a temperature adjusting knob, an intuitive and simple on/off switch, a grip handle, a stand with a sponge, and even comes with wire and an array of other tools you may need for your soldering projects. What’s more, it comes with clear instructions (which are also displayed on the Amazon product page for your ease of reference). “Really good starter kit,” expressed one buyer. “I’m just experimenting with soldering and, in my opinion, this kit gives you everything you need to get started at a very reasonable price.”
3. Best Professional Soldering Iron—Hakko Soldering Iron
For pros who know what they’re doing, this best quality soldering iron from Hakko is more your bag. With a 97% positive rating, this top tool from a brand that knows its stuff is lightweight, ergonomic, has variable temperature control and features a ceramic heater and advanced electronic controls. Many buyers feel that it is one of the best soldering irons out there, especially for stained glass projects. One reviewer, who does vintage train repairs with lots of wire soldering and occasionally brass or copper metalworking, explained that comparing this tool to cheaper models was “like comparing a Porsche to a Rambler,” adding, “Tinning wire ends has never been easier or quicker. I barely have to touch a join before the solder flows, and stays flowing until I remove the iron… A high-quality tool, well worth the higher price.”
4. Best Budget Soldering Iron—LDK Soldering Iron Kit
If you’d like to try your hand at soldering, or perhaps occasionally need to solder something here and there, there’s not much point buying a top dollar soldering iron—at least not yet. In the meantime, the LDK soldering iron kit, which is Amazon’s Choice for top electric soldering iron, will do the job nicely, and will hardly make a dent in your finances. This economical kit comes with five replacement iron tips and a tube of solder wire to get you started. Understandably, at under $10, there are no fancy bells and whistles, but, the general consensus is that it heats up quickly and works well. One reviewer wrote, “I’m no soldering pro but I’ve got to think this kit is a great value! I’ve used it to solder some led strips and circuit wiring and had no issues at all (and this was my first time soldering anything at all).”
5. Best Soldering Iron for Home Use—Weller Soldering Iron
Heating up in a mere 35 seconds, this WPS18MP soldering iron from Weller, a tool company that has been around since the 40s, gives expensive soldering irons a run for their money. One of its best features, aside from quick heating and easy jack-and-plug tip change capability, is its light weight and easy-to-grip co-molded design that gives you ultimate control while working. There’s a simple light that turns from red to green to let you know when it’s ready for use, and also a bright working light to give you better visibility on what you’re working on. “Met my expectations and I would recommend it to anyone that needs a quality solder job every time,” wrote one satisfied shopper, and another added that it’s a “nice product at a very reasonable price. For home use, you can’t go wrong.”
6. Best Butane Soldering Iron—LEXIVON Cordless Soldering Iron Kit
Many buyers of this LEXIVON butane soldering iron felt that the last thing they needed when in the middle of an intricate soldering job was the wire getting in the way and so this cordless version suited them perfectly. Though a professional kit and not exactly made for beginners and novices, it’s not too hard to use with some basic experience, and everything you need to get soldering, apart from the butane, is in the kit—and it all comes in a convenient carry case. One buyer wrote, “I’m using this soldering tool daily in my shop, and it’s absolutely a lifesaver. Portable and heats up quickly, even better than my usual electric one. Definitely a high-quality tool.” The same customer also helpfully recommended using refined butane fuel to avoid igniting issues.
7. Best Soldering Iron for SMD—YIHUA 939D+ Digital Soldering Station
When it comes to soldering SMD, precision, temperature control, and tweezers are just a few of the things that can come in particularly helpful, and this digital soldering station has it all. Made with professionals in mind, this sturdy and durable device can live up to daily use, and then some. One satisfied customer, who used this to build a mechanical keyboard macro pad with great results, exclaimed, “Man, it’s amazing! The temperature control is awesome! It gets to temp very quickly and also keeps the temperature while you are working with it.” Another buyer commented that they “soldered, removed, and reworked some SMD components, through-hole, soldered wires from 28g to 8g, and it had no problem unsoldering 8g wire from high dollar Lipo battery packs that use high-temp solder.”
8. Best Soldering Iron for Automotive Wiring—Toolour Soldering Gun Kit
Though many will never stray from their trusty soldering irons, using a soldering gun, like this highly-rated model from Toolour, is almost an entirely different experience and provides other perks that many, including those who work on automotive wiring, swear by. For starters, the way it’s held and operated, some feel, provides more control, is safer, and far easier to operate. In addition, it’s a total breeze to use with one hand. “Where has this been all my life?” raved one electrician who has used numerous soldering irons throughout their career. “This is literally one-handed. Just touch it to the wire connection, squeeze the trigger, and done! So easy, my teenage boy used it to change out his car stereo.”
9. Best Soldering Iron Station—Weller Soldering Iron Station
Another top device from Weller, the WLC100 40W soldering iron is Amazon’s Choice for best soldering station with many stellar reviews from pros and DIYers alike. Its variable power control (5–40W), very high-temperature capacity (up to 900°F), built-in safety stand and cleaning sponge, and reasonable price, make this device an extremely popular option. In addition, the company has a great reputation and fine warranty, which is always a plus. “I am well pleased with it, and can recommend it very highly,” reported one customer who used to be employed at naval weapons and nuclear x-ray assembly facilities. “[It’s] just as well built as the larger units with more features, and is rated up to 300W. But for basic electronic work on circuit boards, jewelry making and repair, as well as most model work, this unit will do it all.”
Types of Soldering Irons
Soldering irons usually come with around 15–35 watts of power and are able to reach temperatures of 392–896°F. The simpler models have a standard temperature, whereas more advanced versions feature adjustable temperature controls and even automatic temperature adjustment. Although most commonly corded, soldering irons also come in rechargeable cordless, and USB charging versions, too. Butane soldering irons powered by a small self-contained gas tank are another popular cordless option.
Providing more control over the adjustment of power and temperature are soldering stations that have their own electrical power supply, tips with temperature sensors, and come with a stand and a wet sponge for easy clean-up. These soldering iron stations are commonly used by those working on electrical components, PCBs, and surface mount devices (SMDs). Soldering guns are also available and commonly used in situations where more heat is required than a soldering iron can provide, such as in heavy electronic and sheet metal applications.
Different sizes and types of soldering iron tips are available for various tasks, including magnetized, pyramid, chisel, conical, and concave tips, tweezers, and knives, that can be made of copper, iron-plated copper, solid iron, and steel, although the latter two tend to store less heat and are not preferred by professionals.
The Best Soldering Iron 2021—Summary
For the best quality soldering iron for professional use, you can’t beat this Hakko model, but for something a little more economical, with the added perk of being cordless, you’re guaranteed to love the LEXIVON butane soldering iron. We hope our review of the best soldering iron has been helpful. For more suppliers of related products, including rechargeable cordless soldering irons, portable soldering irons, soldering iron tips, soldering guns, ultrasonic soldering equipment, and other soldering tools, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.