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.
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.
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.