I just got a cheap Chinese rework station, which broke on me after a few minutes. After some inspection, I've found that most of these low end soldering stations look exactly the same, minus some coloring / aesthetics. Let's see a few examples.
This is the station that I have ordered. The picture is not accurate, as the unit that I have is branded under a fake company "Yuhan" and is likely not made for american use. That's besides the point, note the location of buttons and knobs on the front plate, which are true to the actual unit.
Let's take a look at another. This one is about 30% more expensive, and is actually branded under the name "Kendall", and has the same interface, and in the same location, but with different stickers.
Seemingly the same product, no? Well, let's add another, 2 data points doesn't establish anything more than a coincidence. This is the Aoyue 968A+. it is double the price of the previous station.
It uses the same technology as in the first two, but also runs an extra tube through the compressor to form a "smoke absorber", which then gets spat back out the hot air module.
All of these stations seem like near exact clones, with different panels in the front and minor differences in the interface. So then to my question, What is the advantage of getting a higher quality unit if they all seem to be the same thing?