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Buying My First Soldering Iron


steve00
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I am going to be changing the pickups in my strat for the first time and I know almost nothing about soldering irons (althought I do have some limited soldering experience), so I have a few questions. I am trying to decide which soldering iron to buy, but I've been recommended different wattages and am a little overwhelmed at the options. I have decided to go with Weller and I've narrowed it down to a few different irons.

First, what is the difference between modular, temp-controlled and non-temp controlled irons? I was told to get a soldering iron between 10 and 30 watts to do the pickup work, but there are quick a few in that range. I've chosen a few Wellers that meet those specs, if someone could please help me narrow it down to a specific iron for this job because I really have no idea what to get. Here's the narrowed down list:

WP25 and WP25D 25 watt (anyone know the difference between the two?)

WM120 12 watt pencil type

SL325 23 watt

Anyone help or advice that anyone can offer would be very much appreciated. Thanks,

-Steve

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I am going to be changing the pickups in my strat for the first time and I know almost nothing about soldering irons (althought I do have some limited soldering experience), so I have a few questions. I am trying to decide which soldering iron to buy, but I've been recommended different wattages and am a little overwhelmed at the options. I have decided to go with Weller and I've narrowed it down to a few different irons.

First, what is the difference between modular, temp-controlled and non-temp controlled irons? I was told to get a soldering iron between 10 and 30 watts to do the pickup work, but there are quick a few in that range. I've chosen a few Wellers that meet those specs, if someone could please help me narrow it down to a specific iron for this job because I really have no idea what to get. Here's the narrowed down list:

WP25 and WP25D 25 watt (anyone know the difference between the two?)

WM120 12 watt pencil type

SL325 23 watt

Anyone help or advice that anyone can offer would be very much appreciated. Thanks,

The wp25d looks to be wired for 220 volt power so it's out.

The 12 watt iron is too small.

So I would go with the WP25 or the SL325. I've used the WP30 at work and it is a solid well made iron so the WP25 should be fine. I believe it is temp controlled but I don't know about the SL325.

Tony...

:D

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Either the WP25 or the SL325 should serve you well. You can't go too wrong with a Weller. Anything in the 25 to 40 watt range would be good for guitar work. The rest is technique. If you are going to be doing much fret work, you might want the 40 watt.

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I hear Fisher-Price has the "my first soldering iron" gift set.

jk jk,

Seriously, a Weller in the 25 to 40 watt range would be great for your needs. Soldering to the back of a pot for a proper ground does take a little bit of heat, and its better to have a larger iron with a shorter amount of heating time, than vice versa.

If you are just doing basic soldering you may want to check out the coldheat soldering iron tools...they are great for little jobs and you can easily throw them in your gig bag in case you need it at a gig!

I also have a butane soldering iron but I would stay away because they heat up waaay too hot ..but the portability is key!

Good luck!

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Somewhere in the 700F range is right for most of this type of wiring. For beefier stuff (like soldering to the back of pots) you may want a little more (800-900F). It doesn't matter a lot. These aren't particularly heat-sensitive electronics ... and proper technique makes a lot more difference.

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