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Soldering gun or soldering iron?

Old 04-18-2003, 04:38 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

My old soldering iron (pencil type) has died. I will replace it this weekend. I was never comfortable with the soldering iron, so I was thinking of buying the gun style intead. The iron just felt awkward, did not offer me the "control" I would have liked.

Any thoughts?

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Old 04-18-2003, 05:59 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

The difference between a soldering iron and gun is the like the difference between a chain saw and a coping saw, they do different things. Guns are normally pretty high wattage, while irons are good for circuit boards and smaller wire. However a butane soldering iron that has adjustable heat settings and can do most work required on a boat even battery cables if you remove the tip and go torch mode. Plus they will shrink that really nasty heat shrink tubing with glue.... do yourself a favor and get a butane iron
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:53 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

I think of a soldering gun for wires (as in a boat), and soldering iron for electronics (circuit boards, resistors, etc.). The big iron for leaded glass, too. I never seem to get enough heat from a iron. I like the analogy of a chain saw and a coping saw... Also, be sure to tin those wires first, makes the job a lot easier.

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Old 04-18-2003, 07:33 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

You really need to get a cordless soldering iron.
Radio Shack sells one that works well, I like it better than the one that Weller makes. They are adjustible to match the amount of heat needed to the job. And you dont need to plug it in, use it anywhere. After you use it once you will never use an electric iron or gun again.

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Old 04-18-2003, 07:37 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

Another vote for the coping saw versus chain saw analogy.

Though I have never used one of those butane irons, I do know people tha are very happy with them.

Just keep in mind, that it is an open flame, in other words, keep away from flammable stuff.
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:01 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

You can get a two stage soldering gun. Trigger has two positions 125w/250w. Interchangeable tips allow for different jobs including cutting nylon rope with ease. Sears, ect.

fwiw
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:02 PM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

Most "guns" have two settings. And they are the most versitle. Unless you are planning on working on PC boards,go with the gun!You can also buy different tips for various jobs. Butane maybe ok for certain applications but you are at the mercy of the quantity it holds. Plus the open flame danger that Steve W2 notes. I've done my share of soldering. I'm MIL-STD 2000 certified as a inspector,that's the military standard for soldering. And in the past have taught soldering techniques.
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:03 AM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

Another nice thing about a gun vs an iron. My gun has a light. That is very handy when working on the boat!

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Old 04-21-2003, 04:23 AM
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Default Soldering gun or soldering iron?

Working on somewhat larger equipment than most that have posted, my idea of a soldering iron is different. My soldering iron weighs about two pounds, is electric, and is used to solder metal seams, etc. It also works great for battery terminals. Not good for anything smaller.

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