If simple soldering irons find its way into your store tools more often, then you are not alone. Many seem not to be using soldering guns for electronic projects. Any good reason for that?
As a beginner in electronics, you might have been faced with a decisive problem on whether to settle for soldering gun or soldering iron. How does the two compare? What’s the difference?
A soldering gun is piston-shaped and used for joining two metal surfaces. Likewise, soldering iron is also used for joining two pieces of metal. It is wand-shaped and uses a heated metal tip. Despite the two tools being used for soldering purposes, there are differences between them.
Let’s check out the comparison:
A soldering gun is a powerful device mainly meant for soldering rather heavy pieces. The heavy pieces that you do not find on the common and simple printed circuit boards. You might find heavy connectors, brass pieces, or other things with mass. These will require more heat that you would not achieve using simple soldering iron putting out approximately 10 or 100 watts. Therefore, you are not likely to encounter this kind of device in typical electronic projects.
Additionally, it reaches much higher temperatures compared to soldering irons. Due to the high temperatures involved with a soldering gun, safety precautions should be put in place. Knowing how to use a soldering gun safely become inevitable.
You should also be aware of the best soldering gun top brands in the market just ensure you don’t go wrong with your soldering projects. The majority have preferred the common Weller soldering gun to carry out their various soldering electronic projects.
- Guns provide greater flexibility during work. Therefore, you are capable of working in confined places which could be rendered impossible if you were to use a soldering iron.
- Have more power voltage than a soldering iron.
- Soldering guns are effective for both heavy electrical connections and lighter touch metal works.
- They have got a step-down transformer necessary for converting the main power to low voltages with high amperage.
- It is efficient since it cools and heats up faster.
- Finally, soldering guns provides better visibility. They have got a small light that illuminates your working area.
- The copper wire that forms the loop dissolves with time and must be replaced quite often. This may increase the time needed to complete a single soldering project.
- Heavier than soldering iron.
- Might lead to clumsiness when working on small projects due to their size.
- Since soldering guns are meant for intermittent work due to the nature of operation of their transformers, the guns can disrupt your flow when soldering.
Soldering irons on the other hands are simple and lighter soldering tools. They are suited for smaller, simple and lighter electronic soldering projects. With this, you can use them on your circuit boards effectively since they are perfect where excess heat is not necessary or may damage the surrounding area.
Various types currently exist in the market and getting the best soldering iron might be hectic with Weller Soldering Iron being commonly preferred by many.
- Flexibility; there exist a wide variety of sizes to choose from.
- Suitable for light, low powered jobs or small electronics projects.
- It has different tips hence can be used for a myriad of projects types making the irons more efficient.
- There is a smooth workflow since it does not require repeated turning off and off since they stay hot longer than soldering gun.
- Less effective for heavier jobs
- Less voltage than a soldering gun
- Heat comparatively slowly
- Use more energy
- Less energy efficient than a soldering gun
- Have no temperature control.
What Should I Look For When Buying Soldering Iron or Soldering Gun?
Before deciding on whether to settle for soldering iron or soldering gun, there are several factors you put into consideration. You should consider the following factors when buying soldering guns or soldering iron.
#1. Wattage Rating
The rating should be between 20-50 watts for soldering irons. It is good to know that wattage has nothing to do with control of how hot the soldering iron gets. Wattage controls how fast the copper tip heats up and how fast it retains its normal temperature after soldering. Higher wattage maintains stable temperature during soldering. It reheats quicker in between.
#2. Replaceable tip
The soldering tip should be replaceable. You should buy a few extra tips to secure replacements when you need them.
#3. Temperature control
Most soldering irons do not have the capability of temperature control. This is a good feature to put into consideration if you are involved in lots of soldering. To solder using a specific and desirable temperature, you need to purchase a soldering station kit.
Though you can purchase soldering iron under $10, spare few dollars for a soldering station, the soldering station kit incorporates an integrated stand. This will ensure your workbench is not covered with burn marks.
#5. The shape and tip size
Depending on the nature of your soldering project, you will either need a thick or thin soldering tip. You should choose an appropriate soldering iron tip that best fits your needs.
Having been equipped with the necessary and relevant information on soldering iron and a soldering gun. Now, most of your worries are gone. You can now either buy either a soldering gun or iron depending on the nature of the project you are involved in.
We believe, this guide now gives an insight into what you should go for by considering all the benefits and disadvantages by the soldering iron and guns.
Check out this video. You can learn easily.