PurpleJesus

Cordless Soldering Iron

17 posts in this topic

I'm thinking of getting a butane or otherwise cordless soldering iron to work on stuff in my car and out in the field.

Does anyone have any experiences with these things? any horror stories? Mostly I want it to solder wires under the hood and under the dash...

Is there one that works well and is safer then the others? I don't want to set my car on fire hooking up a stereo.

I do have a 12 volt DC iron.. but unless I leave the car running, I usually end up with a dead battery by the time I'm done.

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there was one on tv that i was seeing a while back i cant remember the name it was like 0 cool or cool touch or some shit like that, and it supposedly cooled off super fast when you turned it off i meant to get one but i hate ordering shit off tv.

Definitely not zero cool ;)Cold Heat. I've had no experience with either this type of butane irons, but I've heard bad things about the Cold Heat iron.

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I have a butane portable iron and it works great. Bought for wiring car audio too, now I keep it in my trunk as an indispensable tool.

I've only used it for short periods at a time, it does eat up the butane though and needs filling regularly. I'm not sure about the quality and lifetime of the thing, I haven't had it long enough, but treat it with respect and it's perfectly safe (e.g. the heating element is exposed with a semi-naked flame. Don't go poking it anywhere flammable. Obviously :roll: )

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If you get a butane iron, make sure to get the catalytic kind -- they don't require lighting. They do work wonderfully well, but keep a can of butane in the toolbox with them, as mentioned. The one I've used was some generic catalytic type that was being sold very cheaply at a junk/electronics shop on Canal Street in NYC -- we found them during HOPE.

I also have a small butane "pencil torch," which uses the traditional atmospheric blowtorch head. It's great for small jobs requiring big heat -- I've soldered 1/4 inch copper line with it before, and large electrical connections.

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Thanks guys.. that cold heat one.. I hear it's only good for soldering small stuff.. I'll check into the catalytic type..

I've also googled a bit and seen some rechargeable electric ones... these kind come up alot.. http://www.web-tronics.com/iscorsolir.html

any thoughts on those??

but back to the butane ones, would they be good for shrinking shrink tape too? That'd be a plus.

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Thanks guys.. that cold heat one.. I hear it's only good for soldering small stuff.. I'll check into the catalytic type..

I've also googled a bit and seen some rechargeable electric ones... these kind come up alot.. http://www.web-tronics.com/iscorsolir.html

any thoughts on those??

but back to the butane ones, would they be good for shrinking shrink tape too? That'd be a plus.

yes thetorch would be great for shrink rappng just pull the tip off and dont put the flame to close and it will shrink. and coldheat irons are not very good the tip is made of grapite so if you press hard at all it will break (like you know when your holding small wires down so you dont burn your fingers) and cold heats are only like 15watts; and the tips are seperated so when you touch the wire it grounds completes the circuit like big soldering guns, also the tip[s are spread quite a bit apart so inless your soldering like speaker wire or like 18gauge+ yo have to take time and position it so that both sides toch the wire so they dont work for pcb's

Edited by dinscurge
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cold heat works by creating a spark, that is not good for electronics. also i have one and they suck, compared to the butane ones, which suck compared to almost anything that plugs in.

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I use a Weller Pyropen WSTA3 quite often, and I have never had any bad experiences with it. I have had it for probably close to 10 years now and I have only needed to change the catalyst twice. It is a great iron for smaller things; however, I don't know how well it would work for large wires (#8 and larger) as I don't really ever use it with wire that big. One feature is that the exhaust only exits on one side, so that you can direct it away from something that it might burn. I have had problems with other cheeper butane irons burning or lighting stuff on fire with the exhaust gas if I am working in very tight areas.

I will chime in with the anti-ColdHeat crowd. You can't do detail work with them because the tip is so large and the tips break very easily.

-light

Edited by light
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I received one of the cold heat soldering irons as a gift once and I would like to reiterate they they are pretty much worthless. Small jewelry repair is the only thing they are good for. I've never had any success whatsoever with it in terms of electronics. The commercial always cracked me up though.

This soldering iron goes from 800 degrees to 0 degrees in seconds

Sadly, I was never able to solder a connection and then seconds later make ice cubes for my drink...

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I use a Weller Pyropen WSTA3 quite often, and I have never had any bad experiences with it. I have had it for probably close to 10 years now and I have only needed to change the catalyst twice. It is a great iron for smaller things; however, I don't know how well it would work for large wires (#8 and larger) as I don't really ever use it with wire that big. One feature is that the exhaust only exits on one side, so that you can direct it away from something that it might burn. I have had problems with other cheeper butane irons burning or lighting stuff on fire with the exhaust gas if I am working in very tight areas.

I will chime in with the anti-ColdHeat crowd. You can't do detail work with them because the tip is so large and the tips break very easily.

-light

Does it refill with regular butane that can be had any kwik-e-mart, or does it take some special adapter?

It looks to be the winner so far.

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I just go buy whatever butane RiteAid has. (I think it is Ronson Multi-Fill?) It has never given me any problems, although Weller would like you to think that you need to use theirs.

-Light

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I just go buy whatever butane RiteAid has. (I think it is Ronson Multi-Fill?) It has never given me any problems, although Weller would like you to think that you need to use theirs.

-Light

That's what I wanted to hear.

Thanks everyone.

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DING

Another cold heat story

They completely fail. First of all they work by using the solder joint to ground a positive and negative lead to create the "cold heat". So in theory you could really fuck up your electronics. I think I got one or two solder joints done with my cold heat before the tip broke... It costs just as much as a new soldering iron to get a new tip for it.

That being said I have a butane soldering iron that works pretty. But you will need to always keep butane handy.

Edited by xof7
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Not much to add here. The Cold Heat irons suck. Period. Don't buy one.

Get a Weller.

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If you get a butane iron, make sure to get the catalytic kind -- they don't require lighting. They do work wonderfully well, but keep a can of butane in the toolbox with them, as mentioned. The one I've used was some generic catalytic type that was being sold very cheaply at a junk/electronics shop on Canal Street in NYC -- we found them during HOPE.

I also have a small butane "pencil torch," which uses the traditional atmospheric blowtorch head. It's great for small jobs requiring big heat -- I've soldered 1/4 inch copper line with it before, and large electrical connections.

I've been looking around for little pencil torches as I like to solder with flame rather than heat when dealing with non-circuit boards.

:huh: Think I sould look at canadian tire?

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Canadian tire? No clue. I got mine off eBay (2 for $4.99 including shipping). I sold the second to a friend of mine for $5.

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