A soldering iron kit is a great tool to have in your home if you are a crafter, mechanic or like to work on computers and other electronics. There are many kinds of soldering iron kits on the market for anyone that is interested in owning one. The following article will help you to discern what is important in a soldering iron kit and what you can live without.
You can find a soldering iron kit in several sizes. The most common are the ones for homecrafters that are small and used for projects from burning wood to fixing computers. There are larger commercial soldering iron kits that can be used for huge projects such as cars and metalwork. These include plasma cutters and any other types of arc welder. They do the same thing in principle. Some countries will not make the distinction between the two other than using terms like "hobby" or "craft" soldering iron kit.
Consider the Project
When purchasing a soldering iron kit always keep in mind the type of projects you will working on. This may determine that you need more than one soldering iron. If you're working on computers or burning wood then you need a soldering iron that uses very low wattage. A wattage between 30 and 80 is best suited for work on computers as a higher wattage can damage the circuit board. A higher wattage would also cause wood to burn instead of just smoldering and charring the wood. If you need to solder pipes together then you would be best served using a soldering iron kit that includes a 200 or more watt soldering iron.
Bang for the Buck
With the economy the way it is our budgets are often small so we look for the best value. Paying over $20.00 for a soldering iron kit seems drastic for the hobbyist but not if the kit is robust. Purchasing just a soldering iron for that amount of money could be considered a waste. Look for a soldering iron kit that includes the soldering iron, a stand, solder and multiple tips. All of these extra goodies can make up for the higher price tag. A soldering iron kit can be made even sweeter if it includes the tool to remove excess solder, a cutter and a leveler.
Cold Heat vs. Traditional
A traditional soldering iron uses a metal tip heated to a steady or variable temperature with electricty, while a cold heat soldering iron uses a technology that is completely different. This type of soldering gun uses batteries so it is cordless. It also has a patented tip that is made out of a material that resembled graphite found in No. 2 pencils we used as children. The tip heats up to around 800 degrees Fahrenheit in a second and cools down within 3 seconds. The ambient temperature of the tip is also safe and will not burn you. One issue with this type of soldering iron is that it is only good on minor repairs and not wood or heavier metals like silver.