I bought a 20W soldering iron a while ago and I found the experience very frustrating as the tip does not get hot enough quickly and when it does melt the solder it gets cold so quick I can't get the solder to flow long enough i.e. I end up with blobs all over the place.
A friend of mine heard all my cussing and praying for a more powerful iron when I was putting a circuit together and out of the goodness of her heart she bought me 100W soldering iron from Hong Kong. I was praying for a 60W model. This new soldering iron gets hot, about 420 C and I an easily get the solder to flow but I am worried about this high temperature killing my PCB or components.
- Is a 100W iron safe to use on Arduino type projects?
- What are the risks I run with using this type of iron?
Just a safety check before I destroy something valuable.
Been soldering for a while now with both the 20W and 100W and they both have very different uses. The 100W is NOT recommended for smaller jobs and finer components - it is way too powerful. I replaced the tip of the 20W iron and tinned it properly and been keeping it tinned. It is actually not that bad so I suspect my blues started with the tip not being maintained properly. Lesson learned experienced gained.
Finally invested in a proper soldering station (Hakko-FX888) and I am in soldering heaven. I felt like I have been trying to paint the Mona Lisa with rock with my other irons. Life is beautiful again.