While a soldering gun and a soldering iron share many of the same qualities, they differ as well. A soldering gun is most often used for jointing jobs and for metal surfaces, and it has a trigger that allows you to operate it with a single handle. However, a soldering iron is also useful for jointing operations, utilizing a heated metal tip. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your task's purpose.
Warning: Always take safety precautions when using soldering guns or irons, like working on fire-resistant surfaces and wearing heat-resistant gloves.
The soldering gun can be used for heavy electrical connections and components like cable lugs or heavy wire. While they can also be used for smaller projects, be careful because they can produce too much heat for the surrounding soldering area.
Soldering guns have a higher power voltage than soldering irons. This voltage typically ranges from 100-240 watts. This tool also gives you more flexibility while working, as it has a loop-shaped tip made by copper wire. It allows you to work in confined spaces, whereas the same tasks are not as easily accomplished with a soldering iron.
It also heats up faster than the iron. A special step-down transformer converts power from the mains to low voltage yet high amperage current. Within seconds of turning it on, the tip is ready to solder. Due to the instant heat-up and cool-down mechanism, a solder gun could be more economical in electric-power usage. Also, this heated gun incorporates a small light that is activated once you depress the trigger. This enhances visibility.
During soldering, the copper wire loop gradually dissolves. It must be regularly replaced, which adds to the overall time taken to complete a job. Also, the gun is heavier than the soldering iron. This can cause physical strain during work. And, for smaller pieces, the bulky nature of the solder gun may cause clumsiness. This tool is better-suited for intermittent use.
The smaller irons are better suited for light electronics work and for use on circuit boards. They are perfect for jobs where too much heat could damage the surrounding area, and different soldering irons can be used for different purposes.
A soldering iron is a lighter tool than the gun, making it easier to work with. The iron is available in a wide range of sizes, which gives you more flexibility. And, most solder irons have many tips for various tasks. Because the iron remains hot for longer, you don’t need to keep turning it on and off. This allows for a smoother work flow.
If you have heavy work pieces, you’ll find the soldering iron less effective. It doesn’t have as much voltage as the solder gun, which makes the iron more suited for lower-power jobs. Soldering irons are also slower to heat up than guns.