User Controls

Electric vs. Gas Soldering

  1. #1
    aldra JIDF Controlled Opposition
    What do you prefer? Up until now I've always gone electric because my dad told me gas was fickle back when I was a kid and first got started.

    I've used a bunch of different models but most recently had one of these:

    https://www.seeedstudio.com/Mini-Soldering-Iron-US-Standard-Shape-BC-p-2494.html



    which was really nice because it had a direct digital temperature setting, was narrow enough you could hold it like a pencil for fine work and you could even run it off 5v USB (with a lower max temp) if you didn't have access to power mains.

    I broke it though and couldn't find anything similar at local electronics shops, so I thought I'd try out gas. Got one of these:

    http://www.portasol.com/product-r3.asp?P_ID=333


    Picked up this one instead of the higher models because I don't need anything more than 450°C and it's significantly thinner than anything else that the store had. So far it's been pretty solid, heats up fast, evenly and gets the job done. Iginition uses external flint like a BIC lighter so you just turn on the gas, hold the cap close and roll it. The only thing I don't like is that there's no way to directly set the temperature; all you have is a valve to control the amount of gas (like a lighter or blowtorch) so you've got to develop a feel for it. This is something that you're going to have to deal with with any gas iron unless it has some kind of integrated thermometer though.


    In short, pleasantly surprised. Thoughts?
  2. #2
    gas solders are a bitch to use. it runs out halfway thru on long jobs and overheats easily and theres no reason to use it if your not an outdoor technician where you have to go around and solder stuff.
    The following users say it would be alright if the author of this post didn't die in a fire!
  3. #3
    aldra JIDF Controlled Opposition
    It's easy enough to refill if you have the right adapter; I imagine if I had to take it somewhere and do a long job I could easily take a refill tank too.


    How do you mean overheats, like the thing fucking pops or just gets hotter than you want it to?
  4. #4
    Originally posted by aldra It's easy enough to refill if you have the right adapter; I imagine if I had to take it somewhere and do a long job I could easily take a refill tank too.


    How do you mean overheats, like the thing fucking pops or just gets hotter than you want it to?

    a proper butane flame heats to 600+° C so the tip could be some 400+ may be 500 C, too hot, and in unventilated room the heat is going to travel all the way back to the other side so if it has a plastic body it might melt or curl, depending on the quality.

    i used a cheap chinese made once which was ok for a short while but i couldnt stop the nagging voice in my head that keeps saying "blow up, blow up, blow up"

    yours seems to be a high end one have you tested it ? just let it run until the gas runs out and see if theres changes in the plastic body.
  5. #5
    AngryOnion Big Wig [the nightly self-effacing broadsheet]
    I got one these and I love it.
    https://www.amazon.com/CO-Z-Soldering-Electronics-Computer-Repairing/dp/B0872B6QNP/ref=sr_1_30?dchild=1&keywords=soldering+station&qid=1623598094&sr=8-30
  6. #6
    aldra JIDF Controlled Opposition
    pretty cheap for both solder and reflow. I had/have a temperature control station similar to that but without the air gun, but it was too bulky for my liking.



    Originally posted by vindicktive vinny yours seems to be a high end one have you tested it ? just let it run until the gas runs out and see if theres changes in the plastic body.

    I'll give it a try - it advertises 60mins runtime on a tank; I used it for 15-20mins today and didn't notice any heat transfer to the handle whatsoever.
  7. #7
    Originally posted by aldra pretty cheap for both solder and reflow. I had/have a temperature control station similar to that but without the air gun, but it was too bulky for my liking.





    I'll give it a try - it advertises 60mins runtime on a tank; I used it for 15-20mins today and didn't notice any heat transfer to the handle whatsoever.

    how much did you paid for them.
  8. #8
    Never tried gas soldering, only electric so electric for me. As with anything you get what you pay for...I used $40 solder irons for years then I got a $500 Hakko solder station and the difference is night and day.
  9. #9
    netstat African Astronaut
    edited for privacy
  10. #10
    stl1 Dark Matter
    I've had a Weller gun with light and high and low temps that has always worked OK for me but I'm sure the tiny ones have a use if you're doing a lot of circuit board repair.
  11. #11
    Originally posted by stl1 t I'm sure the tiny ones have a use if you're doing a lot of circuit board repair.

    or branding niggers.
  12. #12
    aldra JIDF Controlled Opposition
    Originally posted by vindicktive vinny how much did you paid for them.

    the temperature controlled one? like $80 or something. Gas one was $70.



    Originally posted by Jiggaboo_Johnson Never tried gas soldering, only electric so electric for me. As with anything you get what you pay for…I used $40 solder irons for years then I got a $500 Hakko solder station and the difference is night and day.

    Hakko's expensive as shit, don't really need to be spending that much - typically I only need 300-400° and would like an accurate temp control. Anything on top of that seems unnecessary.



    Originally posted by netstat only used electric except for plumbing stuff of course, i guess gas might be better for large components where electric takes a long time to heat up and it's difficult to keep proper heat through the joint, or maybe i just need a higher power electric than the cheap radioshack model i bought around 2005 and still use



    Originally posted by stl1 I've had a Weller gun with light and high and low temps that has always worked OK for me but I'm sure the tiny ones have a use if you're doing a lot of circuit board repair.

    I don't do any plumbing or pipe work. I guess if I needed to do some brazing or similar I could use the propane torch but it's not something I've ever really considered
  13. #13
    stl1 Dark Matter
    It won't work for plumbing or piping. I mainly used it for soldering wires. It turns out that what I thought was a Weller gun is actually an Archer gun from Radio Shack.

    Here's a pick of an old used one for sale.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/224466498016?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-213727-13078-0&mkcid=2&itemid=224466498016&targetid=4581183927179143&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=418233787&mkgroupid=1241348861725295&rlsatarget=pla-4581183927179143&abcId=9300542&merchantid=51291&msclkid=ac2917bbf7fe109c3a88777316d283db

    I've had mine for 40 or fifty years and it still works fine. All I've ever had to do to it was to replace a few tips over the years.
    The following users say it would be alright if the author of this post didn't die in a fire!
  14. #14
    aldra JIDF Controlled Opposition
    I've never seen one like that before, looks like it'd be a bitch for fine work. I guess it'd be ok for something like home/commercial mains work but a regular iron should be able to match it except for maybe durability
  15. #15
    Originally posted by stl1 It won't work for plumbing or piping. I mainly used it for soldering wires. It turns out that what I thought was a Weller gun is actually an Archer gun from Radio Shack.

    Here's a pick of an old used one for sale.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/224466498016?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-213727-13078-0&mkcid=2&itemid=224466498016&targetid=4581183927179143&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=418233787&mkgroupid=1241348861725295&rlsatarget=pla-4581183927179143&abcId=9300542&merchantid=51291&msclkid=ac2917bbf7fe109c3a88777316d283db

    I've had mine for 40 or fifty years and it still works fine. All I've ever had to do to it was to replace a few tips over the years.

    how is it possible for you to not know how long have you have had it.
  16. #16
    Originally posted by aldra I've never seen one like that before, looks like it'd be a bitch for fine work. I guess it'd be ok for something like home/commercial mains work but a regular iron should be able to match it except for maybe durability

    have you seen pcb from the 70s to 80s ?

    their resistors are the size of peanuts.
  17. #17
    stl1 Dark Matter
    Originally posted by vindicktive vinny how is it possible for you to not know how long have you have had it.


    Do you think you'll remember exactly when you bought a tool 40 or 50 years later? My teens or early twenties.

    Hell, I probably used it to install 8-track tape players with.
  18. #18
    Originally posted by stl1 Do you think you'll remember exactly when you bought a tool 40 or 50 years later? My teens or early twenties.

    Hell, I probably used it to install 8-track tape players with.

    you couldnt tell if you have had it since your 11 or 21 ?

    were yiu still a virgin when you got it ?
  19. #19
    Sophie Pedophile Tech Support
    Depends on if i am working on electrical stuff, or copper piping. For piping i use gas and special solder.
  20. #20
    Sophie Pedophile Tech Support
    Gas like a torch, i should probably clarify.
Jump to Top