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Are there ever cases that the heating element is in the base of a soldering iron? I thought that the heating element is almost always in the wand, and the base just provides the power, but a friend thinks otherwise.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have seen hot air wands with the heating element in the base. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Apr 29 '16 at 7:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ If your friend is still unconvinced, ask them: What is the job of a soldering iron? To heat your hand or to heat the solder on the tip of the iron? The best soldering irons have one piece tip/elements so you have full power right at the tip at all times. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Apr 29 '16 at 7:38
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It makes no sense for the heater to be in the base, since the heat needs to be conducted all the way to the wand, resulting in a large loss. A coil in the wand generates the heat, and the base only contains circuitry that regulates the electricity being sent to the wand.

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There certainly are, and they have the advantage of being cordless.

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The "base" would be a blacksmith's forge, or a brazing hearth or a small gas burner or oven.

I've never seen one used in the electronics industry though...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My grandfather had one of those. He'd heat it by putting it in the fire of a small camp stove. It's not exactly temperature controlled, but he didn't use it for electronic soldering. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 29 '16 at 10:41
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There are microwave soldering irons. Not that the heating element is in the station, but the electrical power is spent there. Then the microwaves carry it to the wand.

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